THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   EDMUND ADAMS, a highly intelligent farmer of the town of Sullivan, skilled in the art of surveying, was born here July 24, 1840, son of Vespasian and Calista (Dewey) Adams. His paternal grandfather, John Adams, who was born at Troy, N.Y., November 12, 1782, received from DeWitt Clinton an appointment as Public Surveyor. He came to the town of Sullivan in 1802 on a hunting expedition, and killed a great number of otters, which paid all the expenses of his trip by the sale of the skins. So pleased was he with this country, to which he had been led by the fact that his father, Elisha Adams, had been made owner of Lot 55 for military services rendered in the Revolutionary War, that he moved to it and became a permanent settler in the year 1806. This was new land, which was all a wild forest. There were no roads and no mills near; and the manner of getting meal was to pound the corn in a hollowed stump. Fish abounded in great numbers. Salmon trout was a daily ration, and could be caught in Chittenango Creek with the hands. Deer and other game were plenty; but any one going on a hunt for them ran the risk of encountering bears and wolves, with the possibility of meeting a savage Indian. Still, this latter chance was not, after all, so perilous, because, as a general thing, the Indians were friendly. They had not yet met the hordes of rapacious white people who afterward treated them so unjustly, and considered the few white settlers scattered around as some favorite children of the Great Spirit, and, when they came with their little presents of game to the log houses, warmed themselves at the firesides, and often spent the night. Lot 55, on which John and his brother Derrick settled, was conveyed to the latter about 1820; and John purchased Lots 48 and 49, three miles south, and the present farm of Edmund.
   The grandfather owned a farm of two hundred and fifty acres. He lived there until his death with his wife, Miss Theodosia Barnes, whom he married rear Manlius Village, May 16, 1808. He died at the age of seventy-five years; his widow, some years after, at the same age. They had a family of six children, two of whom are living, namely: Mrs. Susan G. Cook, in Syracuse; and Mrs. Betsey C. Adams, in the town of Sullivan. Their mother was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. For many years Mr. John Adams was a justice of the Peace. He was a Democrat in politics. James Adams, son of John, succeeded to the estate on his father's death, in 1856. James remained a bachelor. He died in 1886, sixty-five years old. Besides being a model man and a most progressive farmer, he succeeded to his father's profession, and was a most competent engineer and surveyor. The parents of our subject were both born and reared in the town of Sullivan. The father was a farmer, and owned land in his native town. He was twice married, and had one son by each marriage. Edmund Adams is the eldest. His brother James is a farmer, residing in Wisconsin. Vespasian Adams died at the age of twenty-six years, and his first wife was but twenty-two years of age at her death. They were Methodists in belief, and Mr. Adams was a Democrat in politics.
   Edmund Adams grew to manhood in the town of Sullivan, attending the district schools there, and graduating from the seminary at Cazenovia in 1862. After that he went to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor for one year. He married in 1565 Miss Helen A. Wild, one of his classmates of Cazenovia Seminary, a daughter of Allen Wild, who owned farms in Otsego and Delaware Counties, and was a very prominent man of his day. Mr. Wild was born in the year 1811, and is connected with some of the best families of the country, having been closely related to Vice-President Wheeler. He now resides with his son-in-law, our subject, in whose home his wife died in 1892, at the age of eighty-three years.
   After his marriage Edmund Adams worked on shares for sixteen years his uncle James's farm, formerly his grandfather's, and in 1875 bought a part of it. He now owns one hundred acres of the old homestead, on which he does general farming, having made valuable improvements in the matter of buildings and variety of stock. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Edmund Adams, namely: Kate, wife of Rev. Charles Bassett, a Methodist minister of New Jersey--she was also a graduate of Cazenovia Seminary, ranking the highest in the class of 1886, winning the Wendall Scholarship medal, and being chosen Preceptress of the DeRuyter Institute; Robert B., born in 1873, now in Syracuse University: and Caryl, born May 17, 1882.
   Mr. Adams is well read, a man of quick and clear understanding. He has a tasteful home, and is very comfortably provided with this world's goods. Just and liberal in his dealings with his fellow-men, he is blessed with a sagacity- which has presented him from falling a prey to speculative adventurers, while by steady application and good management he has attained his present prosperity. In his politics he is a stanch Republican, and he and his wife are prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Besides farming, Edmund Adams served an apprenticeship, both with his grandfather and uncle James, as a surveyor, and since the death of the latter has had an extensive practice in both Madison and Onondaga Counties. Almost a century covers the practice of these three men, who have been most prominent in all the legal contests pertaining to real estate in the towns of Sullivan and Manlius. Mr. Adams boasts, honestly and with pride, that no court has ever yet changed a line nor altered a peg that an Adams set.

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