Francis M. Adams, who has borne the title of general ever since his boyhood, is an honored citizen of Macoupin county and can claim descent from worthy pioneer stock. He was born on section 20, Gillespie township, July 1, 1833, and is a son of Giles M. and Elizabeth (Taylor) Adams; the former was born in Virginia and the latter in South Carolina. On the paternal side the family is of Welsh, Irish and French origin. Daniel Adams, the grandfather of our subject, was a native of Virginia and was one of the early settlers of Illinois, dying in this state at the age of seventy-four years. There were eight children in his family. Giles M. Adams migrated with his parents to Kentucky and later to Tennessee. He married Elizabeth Taylor, who was born April 19, 1809, and with his wife and two children came to Illinois, arriving at Edwardsville, Madison county, in 1829. Like a majority of the pioneer settlers of this state he was not heavily supplied with this world's goods and his total cash resources when taking up his residence in Macoupin county were seventy-five cents. Beginning at the bottom of the financial ladder he bravely met every obstacle and through undaunted energy and perseverance acquired three hundred acres of good land and also gained a reputation as one of the reliable and substantial men of the county. He died at the age of sixty-eight years; his wife passed away eight or nine years later. Politically he was in sympathy with the democratic party and he served for a number of years as justice of the peace, being at all times a stanch friend of stable government and an advocate of recognized principles of law and order. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Adams were five children: Daniel, who was born July 27, 1827, and is now deceased; Mrs. Nancy Ann Dillard, who was born April 14, 1829, and lives in Gillespie township; Francis M., of this review; William W., who was born September 28, 1836, and took up his residence in Montgomery county; and James, born November 10, 1841, deceased.
In the early district schools of Gillespie township Francis M. Adams gained his preliminary education. He received a thorough knowledge of agriculture and stock-raising under his father and at the age of thirty-one was married, later becoming the owner of the old homestead as his share of the family estate. He has engaged in farming since boyhood and for twenty-six years ran a threshing machine. He was also for sixteen years interested in a sawmill. A man of unusual enterprise and business ability, he has made excellent use of the opportunities in a growing country an d has been remarkably successful in his work. His principal attention has been concentrated upon farming and stock-raising, and it is acknowledged that he has few superiors in those lines in this section of the state. he and his wife own two thousand six hundred and sixty acres of farm land in Macoupin and Christian counties, one thousand acres of which represents her share of her father's estate. Notwithstanding his advanced age, Mr. Adams recently purchased an automobile and one of his favorite recreations is riding through beautiful scenes which have been familiar to him since his earliest recollection.
On February 16, 1864, Mr. Adams was married to Miss Elizabeth K. Grimes, who was born at Carlinville, February 27, 1841, a daughter of William and Nancy (Wagner) Grimes. The grandfather, Peter Wagner, came to Illinois from Tennessee about 1820. William Grimes, the father, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, January 13, 1811. He was married to Nancy Wagner, July 20, 1837, and died in Christian county, Illinois, February 24, 1897. He followed the blacksmith's trade for a number of years and then turned his attention to farming, in which he attained a large measure of success. His father was 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. Mr. and Mrs. Grimes were the parents of three children: Elizabeth K., now Mrs. Francis M. Adams; Mrs. Mary A. Beggan, who was born February 22, 1844, and died September 1, 1899; and Stephen N., who was born September 2, 1848, and died February 24, 1896. Mr. and Mrs. Adams are the parents of six children. William M., the eldest, was born November 24, 1866, and died February 1, 1870. Mary was born June 25, 1868, and is the wife of Philip S. Teter, of Macoupin county. They have three children: Clarence L., William E. and Kenneth L. James L. was born December 14, 1872, and died December 27, 1874. Stephen N. was born October 26, 1875, and died September 18, 1878. Oscar N. was born November 15, 1877, and died March 18, 1878. Nancy Virginia was born January 10, 1884, and is the wife of Samuel Spencer of Gillespie.
Politically Mr. Adams is an earnest supporter of the democratic party and as a patriotic citizen has accepted the responsibilities of public office. He has served with great acceptance to the people as supervisor, justice of the peace and road commissioner, and for twenty-three years past has filled the office of chairman of the board of school directors. the local schoolhouse is situated on his farm. he possesses unusual public spirit and is foremost in all movements which seek to promote the material and moral welfare of the community. he has shown his friendly interest in others in many ways. In his business dealings he has always been prompt, reliable and trustworthy, and he is regarded with the highest respect and esteem by old and young throughout the wide region where his name is known.