October 30, 2017
1864 Born J. W. Adams of Holden - descendant of the oldest and most prominent of America, the two great presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams.
Biographical Sketch of J. W. Adams, Holden, Johnson County, Missouri From "History of Johnson County, Missouri," by Ewing Cockrell, Historical Publishing Company, Topeka, Cleveland, 1918. *********************************************************************J. W. Adams, proprietor and founder of the Adams Poultry and Egg Company, of Holden, Missouri, was born in Owingsville, Bath county, Kentucky, July 19, 1864, a son of Hiram and Elizabeth (Markland) Adams, both of whom were natives of Kentucky. The Adams family, of which J. W. Adams is a worthy and capable descendant, is one of the oldest and most prominent in America and traces its origin to the same progenitors who produced the two great presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams. The founders of the family in America came from Scotland. Hiram Adams migrated with his family from Kentucky to Pilot Grove, Mo., Cooper county, in 1868. In this county both parents spent the remainder of their lives and died at Bunceton, Missouri. Both parents are interred in the Masonic cemetery at that place. They were the parents of five children, as follow: J. W., with whom this review is directly concerned; Lillian, who is associated with her brother in the poultry and egg business; J. M., who is also assisting his brother in conducting the business at Holden; Effie M., who is another very capable assistant in the management of this very extensive concern; and Joseph G., now residing in California, a veteran of the Spanish American War, who served several years in the regular army of the United States. J. W. Adams was reared and educated in Cooper county, Missouri and taught school for several years prior to locating in Johnson county. Every member of the Adams family has taught school, forming one sixteenth part of the entire teaching force of eighty teachers in Cooper county, a remarkable record for a family of "self-made" men and women. Seventeen years ago, in 1901, J. W. Adams came to Holden, Missouri. During that period, he has made one of the most conspicuous business successes in the West. He began in the poultry and egg business on salary, but in 1909 he engaged in business for himself on an ordinary scale. For a period of 23 months he was in partnership with another man, and the firm was doing a business of about $50,000 annually. Since that time, the Adams establishment has made wonderful strides and its growth has been phenomenal. The concern handles poultry, butter, and eggs in carload and trainload lots, and the products are shipped to Chicago and New York mainly. The produce is purchased from the local trade, and through branch houses at Paola and Harrisonville, the Paola branch having been established in 1915 and the Harrisonville branch being placed in operation in 1913, with local managers at each point. I. S. Oliver has charge of the Harrisonville business and Lysle Snow is in charge at Paola. This large establishment operates extensively in eastern Kansas and this section of Missouri. The goods are shipped in carload lots to Chicago and New York accompanied by a capable caretaker who goes with the shipment to its destination. Some idea of the magnitude of the Adams business can be obtained by the following figures: From March 1, 1916 to March 1, 1917 there were shipped by this concern 1,440,545 pounds of poultry; 1,286,190 dozen of eggs; and 51,762 pounds of country butter; and 24,601 pounds of green hides. The total amount paid for produce during that period was $603,245.70. The payroll during the year amounted to $25,048.43, for an average of seventy people employed in every department of the business. The feed bill for the poultry alone amounted to over $14,000 dollars. The Adams concern is unquestionably the largest of its kind in Johnson county and one of the largest and most successful in this section of Missouri. The packing houses and offices of the company in Johnson county are located on the corner of Main and McKisson streets convenient of the Missouri Pacific and Missouri, Kansas & Texas railways. A cold storage plant is operated in connection with the business. Mr. Adams was married July 15, 1903 to Miss Pearl Oliver, of Greencastle, Indiana, who was reared and educated in Warrensburg, Missouri. Three children have been born to J. W. and Pearl Adams, namely: Hiram M., William P. and Katherine Elizabeth. Mr. Adams activities during his residence in Holden have not been exclusively confined to the development of his own business but he has taken a keen and influential interest in organizing and developing public utilities which have been of decided benefit to his home city. He organized and placed in operation the Holden Ice and Fuel Company and is now president of the company. His primary object in the organization of this industry, was to enable him to get refrigeration for his own plant and he succeeded in raising the necessary capital for the building of the former plant in three weeks, and it has grown to be an important local enterprise, which benefits the entire city. Mr. Adams is also vice-president of the Home Telephone Company. Mr. Adams is affiliated fraternally with the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. While residing in Cooper county, he served as clerk of the House of Representatives under Joseph Tall, at that time chief clerk of the House. In 1899, he was chief clerk of the Senate Journal. The success of the Adams Poultry and Egg Company is a striking illustration of what can be accomplished by an individual who has the power and initiative to develop a business to its greatest capacity. The history of this important industry is a history of the man himself. Its success is the direct outcome of the injection into it of the energy and virility of its creator whose ambition has known no bounds and who possesses an inherent ability to do things on a broad and ever widening scale. ==========================================
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