GILES M. ADAMS. The recollections of few pioneers extend further back than those of this gentleman, who holds an honorable place among the farmers of Brushy Mound Township and occupies one of the oldest homesteads of the county. His portrait presented on the opposite page represents the lineaments of one whom all delight to honor and whose long life of usefulness entitles him to the respect not only of his contemporaries in the settlement of the county, but of the younger generation who are enjoying the fruits of his labors.
In the early part of this century there resided in the State of Virginia a gentleman bearing the name of Daniel Adams. He removed from that, his native State, to Kentucky and bought a large tract of land at Poplar Cave. Unfortunately he lost his land through a defective title, and afterward removed to Tennessee where it is supposed the remainder of his days were passed. His son, William C., the father of our subject, was born January 12, 1803, either in Virginia or Kentucky. He accompanied his father in his removal to Tennessee and was there married to Margaret Ward, a native of Alabama.
In 1828 the father of our subject emigrated to Illinois with his wife and the children who had been born to them in Tennessee, making the journey Northward with teams. He first stopped in Madison County for a time, but in 1830 came to this county. At that time there was but few white settlers here, and deer, wolves and other kinds of wild animals were very numerous. He entered Government land near Dorchester, and for nearly five years lived in the log house that he built there. At the expiration of that time he sold his place, and coming to what is now Brushy Mount Township, entered Government land, which forms the homestead now occupied by his son, our subject. There were no railways here for some time afterward, and Alton was the nearest market, the country being still only partly settled and in a wild condition; as there were no mills in this county the father had to go either to Alton or Edwardsville to get his grain ground. His farm work was done by oxen, and he was compelled to use primitive farming machinery extant in that day. When he was scarcely past the prime of life he departed from the scenes of his labors, dying January 29, 1854, and thus a useful and respected pioneer was taken away from the community. His widow survived him many years, her death occurring July 17, 1883, on the home farm. She was the mother of twelve children - Giles M., Moses H., Sally Eveline, John J., Nancy, Jesse B., Elizabeth, Daniel E., Eliza J., James, George W., and Francis M.
Giles M. Adams, whose portrait is presented on another page, was born in Knox County, Tenn., May 9, 1825. He was about three years old when the family came to this State and remembers well the incidents of pioneer life here. Schools were not free in his early boyhood, but were conducted on the subscription plan, each family paying tuition according to the number of children they sent. The schoolhouse that our subject attended was a log building and the seats were slab benches without backs or desks and supported by wooden pins. Mr. Adams was never separated from his parents until their death and he now owns and occupies the old homestead; having never married he made his home with his brother George until the death of the latter. He is a good, practical farmer, carries on his agricultural operations so as to make money, and is one of the solid men of the township, where he is held in universal respect for his many sterling qualities. In his political views he is a sound Democrat.
The brother of our subject, George W., departed this life May 18, 1891. He was born in the pioneer home of his parents in Brushy Mound Township, November 12, 1847. He was reared and educated in his native township and in due time became an excellent farmer, who carried on his operations successfully. He was quite young when his father died and continued to live with his mother on the home farm. With the exception of four years spent in Montgomery County he was a continuous resident of this county until his death. His wife, with whom he was united in marriage August 13, 1868, bore the maiden name of Mary E. Dowdall, and was a native of this State, born in Greene County, to John S. and Ellen (Witt) Dowdall. Mr. and Mrs. Adams had eight children, four of whom are now living - Laura E., Margaret E., Cora B. and George W. George W. Adams was a stanch upholder of the Democratic party. He was a good citizen, a kind husband and father, and his neighbors always found him helpful and obliging.