Ada was founded in 1836 by Rix Robinson (1792-1875) who was also the village’s first white inhabitant and township supervisor. But Robinson’s first contact in Ada began in 1821 when he took over a trading post located on the Grand River next to the present day Ada Village. Born in Massachusetts, Robinson became the first white settler in 1832 and established Ada in 1936 (although official government records don’t exist prior to 1938). Robinson married two Native American women while living in Ada. It had previously been inhabited by Native Americans, most likely from Ottawa tribes living along the Grand River.
Robinson was the Kent County Supervisor in 1934, the Ada Township Supervisor in 1840, the Kent County Circuit Court Associated Judge in 1844, State Senator in 1845, and State Commissioner of Internal Improvements in 1846.
He served as a member of the Michigan Constitutional Convention in 1850 and served as a peace negotiator between Native Americans and the government all while living in Ada. The township and village were named after Ada Smith, who was the daughter of Sidney Smith, the first postmaster of Ada in 1837.
In 1910 the Ada Masons completed a Masonic Temple structure on Ada St. that also served as Ada’s post office, library, and Amway’s first warehouse. It now is a restaurant and bike shop.
In 1850 this house was built and owned by Rex Anthony in the early 20th century. Anthony delivered Ada’s mail and rain an ice cream parlor next door.