Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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WHEELER, J.H. Vol. II. Pp. 698-700. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910


Conspicuous among the leading citizens of Mason City is Joseph W. Adams, vice president of the Commercial Savings Bank, actively identified with various enterprises, and is prominent in business, social and fraternal circles. A native of Illinois, he was born, November 8, 1862, in Rock Island county. His father, the late E. W. Adams was born in Kentucky about 1825, and there grew to man's estate. In 1842 he migrated to Rock Island county, Illinois and there spent his remaining years on the farm which he improved, dying in Hampton, Illinois, in 1888, aged sixty-three years. He married Ann D. Willis, who was born, July 26, 1829 in Maryland, and is now a resident of Rock Island, Illinois. Of the five children born of their union, four are living, as follows: Clara, widow of George B. Holland, of Rock Island, Illinois; Joseph W.; Myra, wife of R. S. Silvis, of Rock Island; and Harry B., of Wapato, Washington.

Brought up on the home farm, Joseph W. Adams attended the common schools throughout his boyhood and youth, studying with diligence. In 1880 he began working in a drug store, and finding the employment congenial determined to fit himself for a druggist. Going, therefore, to Chicago, Illinois, in 1881, he entered the Chicago School of Pharmacy, from which he was graduated in 1884. In December, 1885, Mr. Adams accepted a position with Winter & Cushing, druggists in Princeton, Illinois, with whom he remained until September, 1887, acquiring a practical knowledge of the business. Coming from there to Mason City, Iowa, he embarked in the drug business on his own account, being junior member of the firm of Atkinson & Adams, which existed until March 1, 1896, when Mr. Adams bought out his partner. In May, 1902 having conducted the business alone for six years, he sold out his interests in the establishment and became assistant cashier in the Commercial Savings Bank. He proved himself eminently capable and trustworthy in that capacity, and was made vice president of this institution in 1903, and has since filled the position most satisfactorily. He is also officially connected with other important industrial enterprises of this city, being treasurer of the North Iowa Brick and Tile Company, of which he was once of the organizers; and secretary and treasurer of the Commercial Bank Block Company.

On May 26, 1886, Mr. Adams married Alice S. Vincent, who was born, August 13, 1865, in Hampton, Illinois, being one of the six children of Dr. George I. and Mary (Thomas) Vincent. Her father, who located in Rock Island county, Illinois, about 1854, as a pioneer physician, was born and bred in Vermont, and died in 1889, in Illinois, while her mother, now residing at Rock Island, was a native of Massachusetts. Mr. and Mrs. Adams are the parents of two children, namely: Joseph W., attending Harvard University; and Stella B.

Fraternally Mr. Adams is a member of Benevolence Lodge, No. 145, A. F. and A. M.; of Cerro Gordo Lodge, No. 70, K. of P.; of Mason City Lodge, No. 375, B. P. O. E.; of Midland Lodge, No. 226, M. B. A.; and both he and his wife are member of Unity Chapter, No. 58. O. E. S. Mrs. Adams is a most estimable woman and a conscientious member of the Congregational church. Politically, Mr. Adams is a Democrat, but has never been an aspirant for official favors.

NOTE: Joseph W. Adams died on April 24, 1935. Alice S. (Vincent) Adams died on May 19, 1921. They were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City IA.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2014



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