Edward Adams

From the Biographical Review, Volume XXXIII, located at the Durham Center Museum.
Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin


Edward Adams, wholesale and retail dealer in meat at Haines Falls, N. Y., was born in Durham, Greene County, February 1, 1838, son of Seymour and Maria (Chidister) Adams. His grandfather, Joseph Adams, who was a native of Connecticut and of English descent, carried on a farm in the vicinity of Hartford when a young man, later moving to Durham, near Cornwallville, where he spent some years, and then settled on a farm in Cairo, where he died at the advanced age of ninety-seven years. Grandfather’s wife, with whom he lived for over seventy years, died at the age of ninety-nine years and six months. She was the mother of five children.

Seymour Adams, father of Edward, was born in Hartford, Conn., and was educated in the common schools. He began to support himself by conducting a farm on shares, later coming to Cairo, where he purchased a piece of property and rented it to the agricultural society. He was engaged in business in the village of Cairo for a time, and on relinquishing that he gave his whole attention to his farm, which was devoted to dairy purposes. For forty-four years he supplied the Catskill Mountain House with poultry, butter and eggs. In politics he usually voted the Republican ticket, and was well known throughout the county. He was a charter member of the Masonic lodge in Cairo. His wife, Maria, was a daughter of William Chidister, of Kiskatom. Her father was a farmer, and in early life owned the property which was later purchased by her husband. The last years of his life were spent in retirement at Cairo, where he died at the age of eighty-two. Seymour and Maria C. Adams were the parents of five children; namely, Edward, Emily, William, Elizabeth, and Eliza. Emily married William Lewis of Cairo, N.Y.; William resides in Rensselaer County, N. Y; and Eliza died at the age of thirty-five.

Edward Adams was educated in the common schools. He worked on a farm in Acra until his marriage, when he purchased a farm in Cairo, on which he followed farming until 1870. In that year he came to his present location, three and one-half miles from Tannersville, on the Little Delaware Turnpike, and started in the meat business, having as a sole customer the Catskill Mountain House, which he has supplied for the past twenty-eight years. As the hotels increased in number, he added to his list of patrons the Laurel House, the Hotel Kaaterskill, and others, his business becoming extensive. He supplied in 1898 two hundred and thirty-two hotels and boarding-houses, selling in five Saturdays, from July 30 to August 27, forty-four thousand eight hundred and ninety-seven pounds of meat. He runs three two-horse and two one-horse wagons, and employs seventeen men. He buys the choicest cuts of beef, slaughtered for him in New York, and uses about two car loads per week. He kills all the lamb and veal on his own premises employing a buyer of live stock on the road, and keeps for ten to twelve tons of beef on hand at all times during the summer, his two refrigerators holding five hundred tons of ice. By adhering to the principle of fair dealing he has built up this large trade unaided. His residence, barn, ice-house, slaughter-house, and refrigerators were built under his personal supervision. He keeps ten horses and five wagons for delivering his meat. He also owns a farm of one hundred acres.

In 1859 Mr. Adams married Adelia A. Crary, a native of Delaware County, adopted daughter of Jacob Craft. They have three children: Jennie and Jessie, twins; and Ida May. Jennie married George White, a hotel-keeper near East Durham, N. Y., son of William White; and she has one son, Edward. Jessie married Sherwood H. Camp, a carpenter in Catskill, N. Y., son of Harmon Camp, formerly of Windham, N. Y., and has one daughter, Edna. Ida May married Joseph Hand, of New York City, formerly manager of Marlboro Hotel and now clerk for a broker in Wall Street. They have three children—Eva, Florence, and Joseph.

Mr. Adams is a Democrat in politics, and takes and active interest in political matters. He was Supervisor one term in Cairo, but refused a re-nomination. He is a charter member of Kademak Lodge, No. 693, F. & A. M., was Junior Warden when the lodge was first established, and is one of the few now living who organized the lodge. He is also a member of the Royal Arch Masons. He is liberal in his religious belief and a strict observer of Sunday as a day of rest.


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