Adams Mill Bridge is named after Adams Mill which bears the name of early settler John Adams. He moved to Democrat Township, Carroll County, Indiana and settled land in 1831. He finished construction on Adams Mill in 1845.
On June 14, 1871, the Carroll County Commissioners- Warren Adams (son of John Adams), David Carson and Mahlon Kerlin- approved petitions requesting that two bridges be built over the north fork of the Wildcat Creek. According to records in the Carroll County auditor's office, the petitions being approved were that of March 1869 presented by William Orr and others requesting a bridge be built at the town of Lancaster in Clay Township, and that of September 1870 presented by Richard Lowman and others requesting a bridge at Adams Mill.
After approving the request, and studying bids opened on Aug. 8th, 1871 the commissioners approved a contract to build both bridges. The estimated cost given the commissioners was $11,800.00 for materials and labor for both bridges, plus excavation cost of fifty cents per cubic yard.
The bridges were completed on June 10, 1872 by Wheelock Bridge Company for total cost of $12,237.33.
According to local residents, this is the second covered bridge which is at the Adams Mill Covered Bridge location. The original span was washed out in 1875. The original bridge had a one- ton weight limit, compared to a three- ton limit now.
The Wheelock Bridge company used their own patented iron abutments and were constructed using the Howe truss design. Arches were added later to the Adams Mill Bridge. It was later determined that the arches only added weight without adding strength.
Alpheus Wheelock was associated with the Smith Bridge Company and was agent for the Company in Northeastern Indiana and perhaps in other areas as well. The 1880 Census listed Wheelock as a resident of Auburn: he was born in New York City in 1829. In 1870, he obtained a patent for the construction of abutments made of cast iron plates. At least four bridges, both wood and iron, in Carroll County had the patented iron abutments. No other records are known showing the use of this abutment.