AUSTIN ADAMS. This gentleman who was an important factor in the development and improvement of Bird Township, and whose portrait is shown on the opposite page passed from the busy scenes of earth June 4, 1891. At tone time he was numbered among the largest landowners in the county but before his demise he disposed of the greater part of his large estate to his children. In this he has shown the wisdom of the keen men of today who are learning to be their own executors and no longer trust to the uncertain processes of the Probate Courts.
The father of our subject, Horatio Adams, was born in Kentucky in 1799, and is wife, Siotha Meuar was also a native of Kentucky, born there in 1802. the father of Horatio was Andrew Adams, who was born in Germany, and emigrated to America when a small child. He engaged extensively in farming and died in Henry County, Ky., at the extreme age of one hundred and two years. Horatio Adams was reared to manhood in Henry County, Ky. He was an active and enterprising man of broad views and keen intelligence, and was active up to the time of his death which was caused by a paralytic stroke when he was seventy-four years old. The father of his wife, Siotha Meuar, was Jeremiah Meuar, who was born in Virginia, of Scotch parentage. His father was a farmer in the land of Burns and emigrated to America at a very early day. He made his first home in Virginia and afterward removed to Kentucky where he died at the venerable age of almost one hundred years. He was highly honored by all who knew him for his character and patriotism, and was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.
Horatio Adams emigrated from Kentucky to Illinois in September, 1828, and made his home in Clay County and afterward in Green County of this State. After a residence in the latter place of some five or six years, he came to Macoupin County and made his final home in Bird Township, where he continued to reside till his death. Both are buried in Bird Township. Their memory is blessed and cherished not only by their children and grandchildren but by the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church with whom they were in the bonds of fellowship, and by all who enjoyed the pleasure of their acquaintance.
An interesting family of five sons and five daughters gathered about this worthy and venerable couple. The oldest daughter, Phoebe, was the wife of Brookings Chatman, and died in Bird Township, August 14, 1849. Next came the sons, Jefferson and Austin. The second daughter, Eliza, was the wife of John Kessinger and died November 20, 1878. the next two children were sons, Andrew and William. The daughter Martha, became the wife of William Rice, and died in 1851. Nancy, who was the wife of Rev. Adam Waggoner, died in Carlinville, Ill., in 1860. Agnes, Mrs. George Bates, died in 1868. The youngest child was John Q.
Austin Adams was the third child in his father's family and was born March 7, 1826, in Henry County, Ky. He was a child of only three years when he came with his parents to this State, and was educated in the district schools and trained in the practical details of farm life. He remained with his parents until he was about twenty-two years of age, when he took to himself a wife at Anderson's Point in Carlinville Township, December 29, 1847.
The lady who thus became Mrs. Adams was Miss Maria C. Anderson, a sister of the late C. H. C. Anderson whose biography will be found elsewhere in this volume, and a daughter of the late James C. and Ann R. (Harris) Anderson. She was born in Christian County, Ky., June 4, 1821, and died January 6, 1890, in Bird Township. She was the happy mother of seven children. The eldest, a son, died in early infancy. The second is James H.; Leonora and Lodusca both died in infancy; Rejena M. is the wife of E. F. Woodman; Leonora S. is the wife of W. V. McCann; Austin E. took to wife Miss Eva A. Robinson.
The subject of this notice followed the occupations of farming and stock-raising. When he was first married he rented land for one year in Carlinville and after that purchased a farm of three hundred and twenty acres in Bird Township, where he passed the remainder of his life. He increased his possessions until he was the prosperous owner of about one thousand acres. He erected excellent buildings upon his land and made extensive and permanent improvements. As before stated he gave to his children most of the land which he had accumulated, thus acting the wise part of executing the provisions of his will while alive.
In his early days Mr. Adams was of the Whig persuasion politically, but after the organization of the Republican party he espoused its principles and casts his vote for its candidates. For forty years his first wife was an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for some forty-five years Mr. Adams was a devoted member of that church and contributed liberally of his means toward the erection of churches and the support of the Gospel.
On March 16, 1891, Mr. Adams was married a second time, choosing as his wife Miss Mattie L. Black, the daughter of Peter and Rebecca (Chiles) Black, natives respectively of Kentucky and Illinois. The wedded life of our subject and his estimable wife was of brief duration and was terminated by the death of Mr. Adams a few months later. His loss is sadly felt by his sorrowing wife, his bereaved children and his many friends. A public spirited citizen, he richly deserved the honor and esteem freely granted him by his neighbors, and his memory will be held in loving remembrance for many years yet to come.
"We mourn for him whose life has flown
Out from its fragile shell of clay
Into the nightless perfect day.
To reap the fruit that here was sown."