Francis M. Adams, who is engaged in extensive farming and stock raising operations on his fine farm of 484 acres, situated in sections 17 and 20, Gillespie township, Macoupin County, was born in this township, July 1, 1833, and has spent his whole life in his boyhood home. He is a son of Giles M. and Elizabeth (Taylor) Adams.
The Adams family ranks with the old and honorable ones of Virginia and claims Welsh, Irish and French ancestry. Daniel Adams, the grandfather of Francis M., was born in Virginia and died in Illinois, at the age of 74 years. Giles M. was one of his family of eight children.
Giles M. Adams was born in Virginia in 1801, removed with his parents to Kentucky and thence to Tennessee. In 1829 he migrated to Madison County, Illinois, accompanied by his wife and two children, and two years later settled on what is now our subject's home farm. He entered a small portion of it at first, as his means were very limited, but made many additions, and through industry and energy accumulated a property of 300 acres. He found it necessary to build his own log house and clear his own land, but he prospered through all the hardships of those early days and died at the age of 68 years, a man of large capital. In politics he was a Democrat. For a considerable period he was a justice of the peace and did much in those early times to peaceably adjust difficulties and to promote movements intended for the well being of the whole community.
Giles M. Adams married Elizabeth Taylor, who was born in South Carolina, April 19, 1809. The five children born to them were: William W., born September 28, 1826, who lives in Montgomery County, Illinois; Daniel, born July 27, 1827, deceased; Mrs. Nancy Ann Dillard, born April 14, 1829, a resident of Gillespie township, Macoupin County; Francis M., of this sketch; and James, deceased.
On February 2, 1864, our subject was married to Elizabeth K. Grimes, who was born at Carlinville, Macoupin County, Illinois, February 27, 1841, and is a daughter of William and Nancy (Wagner) Grimes. William grimes was born January 13, 1811, in Baltimore, Maryland, was married July 20, 1837, and died February 24, 1897. He was a son of Nicholas Grimes who was born March 7, 1783, and died April 1, 1848. the mother of Mrs. Adams was born April 22, 1820, in Madison County, Illinois, and died May 28, 1856. For some years William Grimes was a blacksmith at Carlinville and then became a farmer, dying a man of large means accumulated by his own efforts. Mrs. Adams inherited 1,000 acres of land, and the combined acreage of Mr. and Mrs. Adams includes 2,160 acres in Macoupin and Christian counties. Mrs. Adams' grandfather, Peter Wagner, came to Illinois from Tennessee as early as 1820. Mrs. Adams is the only surviving child of her parents; her sister, Mrs. Mary A. Beggan, born February 22, 1844, died September 1, 1899, and her brother, Stephen N., born September 2, 1848, died February 24, 1896. Mr. and Mrs. Adams have had six children, namely: William M., born November 24, 1866, deceased February 1, 1870; Mrs. Mary S. Teter, of Hilyard township, Macoupin County, Illinois, born June 25, 1868, who has three children, - Clarence L., William E. and Kenneth L.; James L., born December 14, 1872, deceased December 27, 1874; Stephen N., born October 26, 1875, deceased September 18, 1878; Oscar N., born November 15, 1877, deceased March 18, 1878; and Mrs. Nancy Virginia Davis, of Gillespie, Macoupin County, born January 10, 1880.
For a period of 26 years Mr. Adams ran a threshing machine and was interested in a sawmill for some 16 years, in connection with large farming operations.
In politics he is a Democrat and he has filled a number of the township offices, serving four years as a justice of the peace, three years as highway commissioner, one term as township supervisor and has been a member of the School Board for many years. The local school house is situated on his farm. The family is one of great prominence in Gillespie township and Mr. Adams, aside from being one of its largest capitalists, is also one of its best and most reliable citizens.