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Published by Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia 1879

Page 198


The Adams family was one of the first to make a permanent settlement in Gillespie township, and the name of Mr. Adams' father, Giles M. Adams, was familiar to the early pioneers of the county. Daniel Adams, the grandfather of Francis M. Adams, was a Virginian. He purchased 700 acres of land at Poplar Cove, in Kentucky, but lost his land through an old claim which had been located prior. He then moved from Kentucky to Tennessee. Giles M. Adams had been born in Virginia on the 10th of September 1801, and was a boy when he moved with his father to Kentucky. He was married in Tennessee to Elizabeth Taylor, who was born April 19, 1809, in the Greenville district, in South Carolina, and was connected with the same Taylor family of which Gen. Zachary Taylor, president of the United States, was a member. In the year 1828, Giles M. Adams moved from Tennessee to Illinois, and settled on the Flagg farm, about five miles north from Edwardsville, in Madison county, where he farmed one season.

He came to Gillespie township in the fall of 1829, and settled on the west half of the northeast quarter of section twenty. This is on the same farm where his son, Francis M. Adams, now resides. In those days there were few people living in what is now Gillespie township. When he built his cabin in the edge of Dry Fork timber, it took a hard day's ride to get six men to assist in raising the structure. The winter of the deep snow was long to be remembered for the many trials and hardships which it brought the early pioneers. The ground was covered with snow several feet in depth, confining the settlers to their houses and preventing travel and communication with the rest of the world. To get water for household purposes, Mr. Adams was obliged to go to the neighboring sloughs, cut chunks of ice, and suspending these before the fire, catch the water melting from the ice in buckets. The conveniences of life were few, and for some time after coming to the county he was obliged to go to Alton and Edwardsville to mill, and found it necessary to travel to Carlinville to get his ax ground, that being the nearest place in the county where he could find a grindstone. He had settled in this locality without entering land, but afterward entered forty acres, embracing the spot where stood his cabin, and subsequently a larger quantity. he had come to Illinois without any capital. When he reached Edwardsville he had a light team and wagon, and a dollar and a half in money, which amount he found diminished by one-half the next morning, after paying for his night's lodging. He was a man accustomed to hard work, and was ambitious to get along in the world and become possessed of considerable means. He had abundant energy and good business qualifications. As he had opportunity he entered land and bought other tracts which had been improved. At the time of his death he owned about 1000 acres, 430 of which were situated in Montgomery county, 100 in Bond county, and the balance in Macoupin. He died in the fall of 1870, in the sixty-ninth year of his age. He had accomplished a great deal of hard work through life, and had undergone considerable exposure. He had also once been thrown from his horse while on the road to Carlinville, and sustained injuries from which he was insensible for a week, and all these causes combined to break down his constitution and cause his death. In politics he had always been a democrat, and supported the principles of the democratic party from youth to old age. He was elected justice of the peace and held that office several years, till he resigned it. His widow is now living in Montgomery county, near Harvel. Giles M. and Elizabeth Adams were the parents of five children, as follows: Daniel, now deceased; Nancy, wife of Luke Dilliard, of Gillespie township; Francis Marion Adams; William W., living in Montgomery county, and James I., who is deceased. He lived on the old stage road between Carlinville and Bunker Hill, which, in the early history of the county, was a popular thoroughfare of travel. For some years his house was one of the principal stands on this route. In 1842 he erected the substantial frame building which is now used by his son, Francis M. Adams, as a residence.

Francis M. Adams, now living on the old homestead farm, was born in Gillespie township, July 1st, 1833, and has been living in the township ever since. He was married February 2d, 1864, to Elizabeth K. Grimes, who was born at Carlinville, February 27th, 1841. Her father, William Grimes, was a native of the city of Baltimore, Maryland, and was one of the early settlers of Macoupin county. When a young man he came to the county and married Nancy Wagner, whose father lived two miles northwest of Plainview, in Hilyard township. William Grimes resided in Hilyard township and Carlinville, and his home is now mostly in Christian county. He owns large tracts of land in Montgomery, Christian and Macoupin counties, Illinois, and in Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Adams have had five children, whose names are as follows: William Martin Adams, born November 24th, 1866, died February 1st, 1870; Mary S., born June 25th, 1868, and now living; James Lawrence, born December 14th, 1872, died December 27th, 1874; Stephen N., born October 26th, 1875, died September 18th, 1878; Oscar Eugene, born November 15th, 1877, died March 18th, 1878. Like his ancestors Mr. Adams has been a democrat. While in county and township contests, and on local issues, he has always felt himself free to support the best man for the office, without regard to politics; still, on general elections he has adhered to the support of the democratic party. He was the second member of the Board of Supervisors from Gillespie township, and was elected to that office in 1872. He is well known throughout the county, and although still a comparatively young man, may be regarded as one of the old settlers; few persons having lived in the county longer than himself. He can recollect when Edwardsville was the place where his father went to mill. He is a good farmer and an enterprising and public spirited citizen.

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