Corning, the county seat of Adams County, was one of a chain of towns established along the East Nodaway River in the mid-1850s. Its growth was rapid during the years just before the Civil War; after the war the coming of the railroad brought a second period of intense development. The town's grid is unusual, with a narrow north-south strip of blocks constituting the business and public center of the community. One of these blocks was set aside as a central park which was to house the county courthouse.
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