The town began in 1900, when the Rock Island Railroad marked the site as a future station. The railroad ran along the Ozark Trail, which later became Route 66, creating an economic boom for this tiny agricultural community until I-40 bypassed the town.

Adrian is the geo-mathematical midpoint of Route 66, and the town's motto is: "When you're here, you're halfway there." Travelers take their photo in front of the sign that reads, "1,139 miles to Chicago - 1,139 miles to Los Angeles."


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