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Adams County

Adams County was founded on January 22, 1800, and was formerly part of York County.  Named in honor of the second President of the United States, John Adams, its county seat is Gettysburg.  Adams County, PA has a reputation for being the largest producer of apples in the Commonwealth and boasts the nickname “Apple Capital USA”.  The state is well-known for producing other kinds of fruits, as well, with approximately 20,000 of the state’s acres given over to all kinds of fruit.  In fact, fruit lovers–including Pennsylvania lawyers, teachers, policemen, and professionals of every other type–line up at the various farmer’s markets to purchase fresh, in-season fruit from late spring to late fall.

Pennsylvania lawyers practicing law in Adams County specialize in various niches of the law, including areas like bankruptcy law, employment law, personal injury law, immigration, family law, medical malpractice law, workers compensation law, and even criminal law.  Criminal law involves, logically enough, crimes committed by one party against another and are broken up into two subsets:  felonies and misdemeanors.  Felonies are larger offenses that typically result in harsher punishments.  Misdemeanors are smaller offenses that yield sentences that are not quite as harsh.  It is recommended that defendants retain one of the many experienced Pennsylvania lawyers practicing criminal law to represent them no matter which type of crime they have been accused of committing.

In addition to being home to many fine Pennsylvania lawyers, this quiet Pennsylvania County became extremely famous for one of the nation’s most tragic Civil War battles.  July 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 1863–the Battle of Gettysburg.  When the armies hobbled away from Gettysburg, they left behind a wrecked community, along with 51,000 killed, wounded, and missing.  The injured and dying soldiers were packed into just about every building.  Many of the dead lay in hasty, shallow graves, with too many not even buried properly at all.

Truly distressed by this situation, Pennsylvanian Governor Andrew Curtin commissioned a local Pennsylvania lawyer, David Wills, to obtain land to provide a proper resting place for the Union dead.  Nearly four months after the battle, they began transferring the bodies to the 17-acre Gettysburg National Cemetery.  When the cemetery was dedicated on November 19, 1863, the primary speaker was the renowned orator, Edward Everett.  As was typical at that time, his detailed speech lasted for over two hours.  It was the extremely short, two-minute speech of a guest who had been invited to share his “few appropriate remarks” as an afterthought that captured the hearts and imaginations of all Americans.

Since the shortness of his speech so stunned the audience that they barely reacted, Lincoln remarked to a friend, “That speech won’t scour. It is a flat failure.”  History shows a different perspective, however.  This speech remains one of the most poignant wartime oratory masterpieces of the English language–indeed, just a masterpiece in general, wartime or not.  In fact, even Everett was moved enough to write President Lincoln that “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes.”

Lincoln formulated those brief but eloquent 272 words of the Gettysburg Address with exceeding thought, finishing the speech at the home of David Wills in Gettysburg the night before the dedication.  And though the Battle of Gettysburg ended well over a century ago, nearly 2 million people journey to this historic location, the largest battlefield shrine in America. They come to see for themselves the spot where thousands fought and died, fighting for opposing causes but for similar inspiration–the spot where President Lincoln spoke and his words still speaks to us today.

Fourscore and seven years ago our father brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it as a final resting place for those who died here, that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate…we cannot consecrate…we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

President Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863

Pennsylvania lawyer provides for four types of incorporated municipalities:  cities, boroughs, townships, and, rarer cases, towns.  Below are listed the cities, boroughs and townships located in Adams County:



  • Berwick Township
  • Butler Township
  • Conewago Township
  • Cumberland Township
  • Franklin Township
  • Freedom Township
  • Germany Township
  • Hamilton Township
  • Hamiltonban Township
  • Highland Township
  • Huntington Township
  • Latimore Township
  • Liberty Township
  • Menallen Township
  • Mount Joy Township
  • Mount Pleasant Township
  • Oxford Township
  • Reading Township
  • Straban Township
  • Tyrone Township
  • Union Township

Census-designated places

Census-designated places are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law, but are compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau in order to compile demographic data.  Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, are sometimes categorized here as well.

  • Bendersville Station-Aspers
  • Cashtown-McKnightstown
  • Hampton
  • Lake Heritage
  • Lake Meade
  • Midway
  • Orrtanna

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