Contra Costa County











     Though a comparatively recent addition to the business life of Richmond, Contra Costa county, Cal., the Richmond Lumber Company, organized in September, 1903, bids fair to absorb a large share of the milling trade of this section.  Its senior partner, Frank E. Adams, is a man of extended experience in many lines of business, and Herbert C. Barlow, who became a member of the firm May 1, 1904, is deserving also of favorable mention.  Mr. Adams was born at Jefferson, Wis., May 26, 1854, the son of J. H. and L. H.. (Blodgett) Adams, the former born in Syracuse, N.Y. and the latter in the state of Vermont.

     J. H. Adams was a harness-maker by trade, and upon moving from New York to Wisconsin in the early days, established a business in Jefferson.  He was an ambitious and fearless man, and in 1854 crossed the plains in search of a fortune, visiting various mining districts on the American and other rivers, and in a measure realizing his money-getting expectations.  His return to the east in 1856 was shorter but more dramatic and thrilling than his crossing the plains in 1854, for the steamer Golden Gate, upon which he sailed for Panama, was wrecked, and the crew and passengers were robbed of all they had in the world.  His accumulated gold dust became his in memory only, and it was with difficulty that he secured passage on a ship at Aspinwall, which finally landed in New Orleans, thus enabling him to proceed up the Mississippi river to his old home in Beloit.  There was nothing to do but begin at the bottom round of the ladder, and this he did by again working at his trade, later removing to Beloit.  In 1876 he went to Milwaukee and entered into contract work with the Milwaukee Harvesting Machine Company, and there his death occurred in 1893, at the age of seventy-nine years.  He is survived by his wife, who still makes her home in Milwaukee, and by six of his eight children, of whom Frank E. is the eldest.

     Graduating from the Milwaukee high school in 1870, Mr. Adams engaged in farming near Beloit with his father until twenty-one years of age, finally taking entire charge of the farm.  In 1879 he became identified with the Milwaukee Harvesting Machine Company as traveling salesman, and in this capacity made sales in practically all of the middle western states.  Coming to California in 1893, he became associated in business with one of the large lumber firms of San Francisco, and in September, 1903, located in Richmond, Contra Costa county, opening the yard and business known as the Adams Lumber Company, and May1, 1904, the Richmond Lumber Company of Richmond and the Adams Lumber Company were consolidated with yards and office at the Adams Lumber Company's old stand, the Southern Pacific depot.  Aside from his prominence as a business man, Mr. Adams is entitled to rank among the brave and fearless men who shouldered arms in behalf of unhappy Cuba in the Spanish-American war.  Enlisting in 1897 in Company L, Second Oregon Volunteer Infantry, he participated in seventeen out of thirty-three battles in which his regiment was engaged, serving in all a little more than a year.  He suffered the climatic and other disadvantages of fighting in a southern climate, and at the battle of Malabon was wounded in the right hip by a mauser ball.

     In 1901 Mr. Adams was united in marriage with Elizabeth Down, a native of Wisconsin.  There are no children of this union.  The family attend the Christian Church, to which Mr. Adams is a liberal contributor.  In politics he is a Republican, giving to the casting of his vote the same regard for the public welfare which characterizes as a whole his broad-minded and liberal life.  He is highly respected by a host of business associates and friends, and is recognized as a genial and public-spirited addition to the commercial and social life of Richmond.





Transcribed 8-28-16  Marilyn R. Pankey.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Page 1295. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2016  Marilyn R. Pankey.







Contra Costa County Biographies

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