Search billions of records on


Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois with Portraits 3rd. ed. revised and extended (Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 253-254.

EUGENE JOSEPH ADAMS, a native of Chicago, who has spent half his life in railroad service in this city, was born December 6, 1862. He is a son of Thomas and Joan (Burke) Adams. Thomas Adams was born in the parish of Emily, County Tipperary, Ireland, and died in Chicago, August 27, 1893, at the age of sixty years. About 1850 he emigrated to America and located in Chicago, where he soon obtained employment as a clerk in the postoffice, under Postmaster Isaac Cook. He served in this capacity eight or nine years, at the end of which time he became baggage agent of the Pittsburg & Fort Wayne Railroad. He served this corporation at its Chicago terminal until the Union Passenger Station was built, in 1881. At that date he became the General Baggage Agent of the Union Depot Company, supervising the handling of all the baggage transported by the five lines entering that station. He continued to discharge the duties of this position up to the time of his death, a fact which attests his faithfulness and capability. He was a member of the Roman Catholic Church and an adherent of the Democratic party.

Mrs. Joan Adams, who still resides in Chicago, was born at Elgin, Illinois. She is a daughter of Eugene Burke, an early settler at that place, who died there in 1891. Mr. and Mrs. Adams were the parents of eight children, all now residents of Chicago, to whose training and education the parents gave especial attention. Their names are: Eugene J., Margaret V., Samuel M., James J., John F., Mazie E., Harry S. and Elizabeth. Eugene J. Adams attended St. Patrick's Commercial Academy and afterward took an eighteen-months course at Bryant & Stratton's Business College. At the age of sixteen years he became a clerk in his father's office, and was continuously connected therewith up to the time of the latter's death. He succeeded his father as General Baggage Master at the Union Station, a position for which he was amply fitted by experience and training, and which he acceptably fills at the present time. Fifty men are required to handle the baggage which passes through this station, and twenty-five others are employed in taking care of the United States mails which arrive and depart therefrom. Mr. Adams supervises the work of these departments with an ease and alacrity born of years of practice and experience, and enjoys to an unusual degree the confidence of the corporations served by the terminal company. His position is one requiring constant and unremitting attention, and permits of no vacations or holidays throughout the entire year. Comparatively few of the people who constitute the traveling public realize or appreciate to what extent their comfort or convenience depends upon the prompt and systematic labors performed by Mr. Adams and his assistants.

In 1889 occurred the marriage of Mr. Adams and Miss Helen E. Rowan, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Rowan, of Chicago. A son is the fruit of this union, now four years of age, and bearing the name of Thomas. Mr. Adams and his family are members of the Lawndale Catholic Church, and Mr. Adams is a member of the Royal League. He has been a Democrat from boyhood, though he never participates in active politics. His life has been devoted strictly to the performance of duty, and his rapid promotion is due to his energy, punctuality and capacity.

– Submitted by Sherri Hessick on November 29, 2008.


DISCLAIMER:  The submitter is not related to the subject of this biography nor is she related to anyone mentioned in the biography.