AS RECORDED IN:
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND
REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903 P. 432
SAMUEL G. ADAMS, a venerable citizen of Willimantic, Windham county, commands the respect of the community in which his long and useful life is passing, not more by his advance age than by his manly character and strict integrity. In his special line of work, that of house-moving, he is known all over the eastern part of the state, where he has been engaged in his business since 1862. He was born in Lebanon, Conn., June 24, 1829, on a farm, which is now near the city line of Willimantic, and which was then the home of his parents, Samuel and Jemima (Gardner) Adams.
Ebenezer Adams, the grandfather of Samuel G., held a commission in the Revolutionary army as Major, and in after years was known as Col. Adams. His remains were interred on the old Adams homestead near West Kingston, R.I. Col. Adams was a volunteer from Rhode Island under Arnold, and became a captain of the artillery. One of the originators of, and captain in, the expedition under Col. Barton, he took a conspicuous part in the capture of Gen. Prescott in 1777, where he served as captain under Col. Barton (for this Lieut.-Col. Barton was breveted Colonel, and a sword was voted him by Congress). This exploit was the capture of Gen. Prescott by thirty-eight men on the night of July 12, 1777. They crossed Narragansett Bay in four whaleboats under the command of Col. Barton, and passing unobserved three British frigates, landed and made their way to a farm house, five miles above Newport, R.I., where Gen. Prescott had his headquarters. The guards were surprised, the door of Prescott’s room broken in by a negro of the party, who used his head as a battering ram, and the British commander was hurried away, half dressed, to Warwick Point, and afterward to the headquarters of Gen. Washington in New Jersey. “This exploit, though certainly one of the most hazardous attempted during the entire war, is just casually mentioned in history, accidentally brought in as it were, and yet it was very important in its results.”
Col. Adams was twice married, and his second wife, who was a Miss Fanning, was the mother of Samuel Adams, and the grandmother of Samuel G.
Samuel Adams was born in the town of Richmond, Washington Co., R.I., and was a life-long farmer. His first marriage occurred in Rhode Island, when Penelope Card became his bride. They removed to Lebanon, Conn., to settle on a farm, and there his wife died. Mr. Adams then wedded Jemima Gardner. He lived to the age of seventy-four years, and his remains are resting in the Cemetery at Willimantic. To his first marriage came one child, Mary Ann, who married Dunbar Loring. The children of the second marriage were: John Quincy, who learned the carpenter trade in Willimantic, and died there when about sixty-four years old; Samuel G.; and Elsie, who married William Bailey, and died in Willimantic. Mr. Adams was a Democrat, but when he had cast his vote according to his best judgement he felt that his political duties were very largely discharged, and he never had aspirations for official honors. From his sixteenth to his twenty-seventh year he followed the sea, and having saved his money was able while still a young man to retire from the water, and engage in the cultivation of his own farm at Lebanon, which he bought with his savings. At first it consisted of only ten acres, but he added to it from time to time as his circumstances permitted until he had a choice farm of seventy-five acres. His start was from his own resources and from this modest savings, which by thrift and industry grew into a very handsome competence.
Samuel G. Adams received his education in what was known as the Village Hill District School in his native town of Lebanon, and had among his teachers a Mr. Abell, Joseph Foster, John Maxwell, Asaph Kingsley, and the Hon. Silas F. Loomer, late of Willimantic. Mr. Adams had but a limited opportunity at school as he lived three miles from the school house, and could as soon as he was able to do any of the work on the farm, attend only in the winter season. When fourteen years of age he began to work in the stone quarry, and two years later shipped from New London on the whaler, “Columbus.” For some three years he was several times at sea, but a sailor’s life did not prove to his liking, and when he was about nineteen he gave it up entirely. For the ensuing two years he was employed in the bridge building department of the New London, Willimantic & Palmer Railroad, then building, and which is now a part of the Central Vermont system. Mr. Adams was engaged for a number of years in getting out ship timbers, and shipping his products to the coast by the new railroads, which had penetrated regions hitherto inaccessible to the dealer in ship material. In 1862 he began the business of house-moving, which has been his occupation to the present time, and in which he has gained a creditable reputation for himself all over the eastern part of Connecticut.
On Feb. 18, 1850, Mr. Adams was married in Greenville, Conn., to Miss Mary E. Bailey, a native of North Stonington, and a daughter of James and Emily (Green) Bailey. The young couple made their home on Village Hill in the town of Lebanon. A year or two later they settled on the old farm where Mr. Adams was born, and in February, 1881, removed to Pleasant Street in Willimantic, where they are found at the present time. This Pleasant Street home has been greatly remodeled since it passed into the possession of Mr. Adams, and is now one of the most attractive on the street. To Mr. and Mrs. Adams have come the following family: Albert C., a farmer of Lebanon, lives on the old Adams place; Julia is Mrs. Alvin Lyman, of Lebanon, Conn.; William J. lives in New Haven; Mary Ann is the wife of Philip Bowen, a deputy marshal of New Haven; Nelson B., is associated with his father in business in Willimantic; Samuel is a market man in Willimantic; and three daughters died in childhood.
Samuel G. Adams is a Democrat, and served as a burgess while Willimantic was a borough, but has never been an office-seeker. In the I.O.O.F. and the K.P. he is an active and influential member, and the local division of the Uniformed Rank of the Knights of Pythias bears his name as a token of respect the brethren bear for him. Mr. Adams has extensive real estate holdings in Willimantic, where he has built six houses, and owns several others. His start in life was a tireless energy and a boundless ambition to get ahead, backed up by an iron constitution and most industrious habits. All his life he has been a hard-working man, but today he is a remarkably well-preserved and active. His heavy head of dark hair, hardly streaked with gray, gives no evidence of his age, and his keen perceptions, quick decisions and retentive memory bespeak a wonderfully rugged frame. Throughout his long business career his personal standing has been beyond question, and he has met his every obligation without hesitation. Mr. and Mrs. Adams have had a wedded life of over fifty-three years, and in that time they have made a host of friends, being highly esteemed in the community where they have lived so long and well.
Reproduced by: Linda D. Pingel
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April 7, 2008
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