Biography of James E. Adams

JAMES E. ADAMS. The calling to which Mr. Adams’ attention is devoted is one of the utmost importance to any community and is deserving of liberal patronage from the inhabitants. His well appointed mercantile establishment is located at Varner, and there he also has charge of the interests of “Uncle Sam,” and presides over the post office. He was born in Graves County, Kentucky, October 3, 1838, a son of Jeremiah M. and Hannah (Edens) Adams, who were born in South Carolina and North Carolina October 16, 1798 and June 3, 1802, respectively. In 1819. Mr. Adams went to Graves County, Kentucky, where he was married in 1823, and spent the rest of his life there. He was a strong, active and useful pioneer, and for a period of fifty years was a minister of the Methodist Church, and noble were his efforts to “rescue the perishing.” On the 24th of March, 1872, he was called from life, and his widow’s death occurred November 2, 1881. The paternal grandfather, Zadack Adams, removed from South Carolina to Kentucky in 1819, there followed the occupation of farming and eventually passed from life. He was of Irish origin, and is supposed to have been a soldier of the Revolution. He and his wife, who also died in Graves County, reared a large family.

Ezekiel Edens, the maternal grand-father, was also a pioneer of Graves County, but came thither from North Carolina. His entire life was devoted to farming, and one of his sons, James G., became very wealthy and influential, and lived at Edens’ Hill, near Paducah. To Jeremiah M. Adams and wife the following children were born: William H., of Graves County, a farmer; Benjamin H., a farmer and tobacconist of that county; James E.; Martha E., who died, the wife of William Reasor; Susan E. M., wife of H. L. Anderson, of Kentucky; Nancy J., wife of M. L. Stewart, of Kentucky; Phceba I., the deceased wife of John D. Kay; Mary A., wife of Prof. G. J. Wilkerson, of Ballard County, Kentucky; and Hannah J., widow of F. M. Moore.

James E. Adams received a practical education in the common schools, and upon attaining a suitable age began teaching school and followed this occupation for some years. September 5, 1866, he married Nancy J. Taylor, who was born in Graves County, Kentucky, and where she died the 20th of September, 1882, having become the mother of seven children: Ella, wife of B. F. Campbell, of Little Rock, a passenger conductor on the Iron Mountain Railroad; Ezra; Bertha, wife of Thad Z. Eaton; Ida; Eliza; Jerry H., who died in infancy; and Elbert, who also died young. Mr. Adams took for his second wife Miss Sue F. Griffin, who was born in Tennessee and died in Ripley County, Missouri, July 2, 1889. December 8, 1889, Mr. Adams married Martha A. Stewart. When the war opened he joined the Federal Army, Fifteenth Kentucky Cavalry, but his services were rejected on account of ill health. He then followed merchandising in Mayfield, Kentucky, until 1885, when he came to Varner and opened the “Kentucky Home,” which is one of the best general mercantile establishments in that section, and has a liberal patronage. He started in life with no capital, is now well-to-do financially, and stands high in the estimation of the people of his section. He is a member of Faithful Lodge No. 304 of the A. F. & A. M. at Fair Dealing, has been a member of the Methodist Church since he was fourteen years of age, and in politics has ever been a Republican, his first presidential vote being cast for Bell in 1860.



A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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