George W. Adams. The name of this gentleman was for many years a familiar one among the people of Macoupin County, where he entered upon and finished a most worthy career. His portrait presented on the opposite page represents a citizen widely known and honored wherever known. Not only was he a witness of the development of Macoupin County from a comparatively unimportant portion of the State to its present position among the foremost counties, but he aided in its progress and his history is closely interwoven with that of the county. His life was a busy one; realizing that we are not here merely to “kill time” he aimed to fill his life with useful deeds. It may truly be said of him that he was one of those.
“Who comprehend their trust and to the same
Keep faithful with a singleness of aim;
And therefore do not stoop or lie in wait
For wealth or honor or for worldly state;
Whom they must follow, on whose had must fall.
Like showers of manna, if they come at all.”
The parental history of Mr. Adams is fully given in the biographical sketch of his brother Giles M., elsewhere in this volume. We will merely relate the most important events in his life and those incidents which most powerfully affected his destiny. Prior to his demise he was a farmer of Brushy Mound Township, and occupied one of the oldest homesteads in the county. He was the son of William C. and Margaret (Ward) Adams, who came to Illinois in 1828, becoming pioneers in what was at that time a wilderness, where wild animals and Indians roamed unmolested. There were neither railways nor free schools, and farming was conducted after the most primitive style. In that sparsely settled section the father made a settlement near Dorchester and afterward improved a farm in what is now Brushy Mound Township.
In the log cabin which was the pioneer home of his parents, in Brushy Mound Township, George W. Adams was born November 12, 1847. He was reared to a stalwart manhood in his native place and gleaned a common-school education in the schools of his boyhood. His attention was mainly given to agricultural pursuits and having a predilection for rural labors he naturally chose farming as his life vocation. When quite young he was orphaned by the death of his father, after which he continued to reside with his mother on the home farm. This place was his home during his entire life with the exception of four years passed in Montgomery County.
In his wife Mr. Adams found a true helpmate, one who doubled his joys and divided his sorrows. She bore the maiden name of Mary E. Dowdall, and was born in Greene County, this State, to John S. and Ellen (Witt) Dowdall. The marriage of our subject and his estimable wife was celebrated August 13, 1868, and four children born of the union are living at present, Laura E., Margaret E., Cora B. and George W. Four children are deceased. Politically Mr. Adams was a stanch upholder of the Democratic party. His death occurred May 18, 1891, when only in the prime of a useful life. As a husband, he was tender and devoted; as a father he reared his children to nobly act their part in the battle of life; as a citizen, he was upright and patriotic. Although his large circle of acquaintances deeply mourn his untimely demise, they realize that he has left behind him that which cannot fade away – the example of an honorable life.
Source: Chapman bros. Portrait and biographical record of Macoupin county, Illinois. Chicago: Biographical publishing company, 1891.