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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Samuel Elmer Adams

A comparatively late arrival in the west and Sonoma county is Samuel E. Adams, who came here from the middle west in 1900 and has every reason to be satisfied with the opportunity for advancement which has come to him during the past decade. The earliest member of the Adams family of whom we have any definite knowledge is the paternal grandfather, Benjamin Adams, who was born in Kentucky and who in an early day became a pioneer settler in Brown county, Ill. Near Mount Sterling he entered a tract of land from the government for which he paid $1.25 an acre, and there his earth life came to a close. The duties which he laid down at his death were assumed and faithfully continued by his son and namesake, Benjamin Adams, until he too laid down the burden of life, his death occurring when he was only forty-four years of age. His marriage united him with Miss Mary McCoy, a native of Brown county, Ill., her father, Samuel McCoy, immigrating there from Ohio. Mrs. Adams survived her husband many years, passing away at the age of sixty-three years.

Of the three children originally comprised in the parental family Samuel Elmer Adams is the only one now living. He was born October 8, 1867, on the farm near Mount Sterling, Brown county, Ill., which had been the home of his grandfather and father before him. He was educated in the public schools in the vicinity, and in addition to his educational training he gained a good insight into farming through doing his share of the chores that almost without exception fall to the lot of farmersí sons. The training proved timely, for at the time of his fatherís early death he was able to step in and assume responsibilities which otherwise would have been impossible. He proved equal to the task thus suddenly laid upon his shoulders, and he continued the management of the farm until he was thirty-three years of age. After spending a short time in Chicago he came to California in 1900, and at Reclamation, Sonoma county, he was fortunate in securing employment as foreman on the Rose ranch, property of the California Sugar Company, where he continued for two years. He then came to Petaluma and became foreman of the warehouse for George P. McNear, after which he was foreman of a large alfalfa ranch in Humboldt county, Nev., for two years. At the end of this experience he again came to Petaluma and for one year was engaged in the poultry business, after which he carried on a grocery business in Santa Rosa for two years. It was in 1909 that he undertook the business in wich he is now engaged in Petaluma, general contracting, teaming, heavy hauling, street grading and excavating. Beginning the business in a modest scale, it has constantly grown until from six to ten four-horse teams are necessary to carry on the business. One of the contracts which he executed was grading the switch yards for the Northwestern Pacific Railroad at Petaluma.

In Brown county, Ill., Mr. Adams was married to Miss Ada Frank, a native of that county, and four children were born of their marriage, Merle, Rita, Nanetta and Ila. In his political sympathies Mr. Adams is a Democrat, and fraternally he is a member of the Redmen and the Woodmen of the World. Push and enterprise are strong points in the make-up of Mr. Adams, and all who know him admire him for his integrity and straightforward business methods.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011