The beauty of a city depends largely upon its architecture, and to those who design and construct its buildings is due the credit of the position it holds in this direction. Among those who have done a large amount of work which adorns the streets and avenues of Modesto, Stanislaus County, is Moses Adams, who is well versed in the details and principles of this branch of industry and has established an extensive and lucrative business. He is prepared at all times to execute orders with accuracy and promptness and manifests the courtesy and fairness which ever marks the successful businessman. Many of the fine structures in his city and the surrounding country stand as monuments to his industry and skill.
Mr. Adams was born in Waterford, Vermont; on the 12th day of July, 1838, of old English ancestry. The ancestors of one branch of the family landed with the Pilgrims from the Mayflower on Plymouth Rock. The great-great-grandfather of our subject became one of the early settlers of Waterford, Vermont, and men of worth and prominence belonging to the family have since resided in that portion of the Green Mountain state. The family is one of distinction in American history. Jonathan Adams, the father of our subject, was born in Waterford, on the 3rd of May, 1811, and became an industrious and well-to-do farmer. He was also a valued member of the Methodist Church and his life was well worthy of emulation, while his influence was ever on the side of right and the good. He married Roxanna Ladd, a native of his own town, born November 3, 1814. She belongs to another branch of the family from the ancestors to whom he traced his lineage. The Ladd’s were honored early settlers of the Green Mountain state and were noted for their uprightness, intelligence and prominence in the commonwealth in which several generations had lived and died. Mr. and Mrs. Adams spent their lives on a farm near Waterford, respected and esteemed by all who knew them. The mother of our subject departed this life on the 3rd of February, 1889, and the father was called to his final rest on the 21st of March, 1894, having attained the ripe old age of eighty-three years. He left to his children an untarnished name. Five of the six sons and daughters who constituted the family are still living, Martin, having died in 1856. The others are Otis, Moses, Jonathan C., Orange and Hannah, the last named being the wife of Henry Hudson, of Vermont, while the sons are well-to-do and respected citizens of the Golden state.
Moses Adams, the third child of the family, acquired his elementary education in the public schools of Vermont, and at the age of eighteen began to learn the carpenter’s trade, following that vocation in the east until 1862, in which year he came to California, in August. In Sacramento he joined his brother Otis, who had come to this state in 1854, having made the journey across the plains. They proceeded to Aurora, in Esmeralda County, Nevada, where for some time the subject of this review engaged in contracting and building. He then returned to the southern mines and engaged in the search for the precious metal at Angel’s Camp and vicinity for two years, but met with only moderate success. Subsequently he returned to the east to visit his parents, relatives and friends, and since then has made the trip across the continent four times. After remaining for some time at his old home in Vermont, he went to Chicago, where he was engaged in the building business for a year, after which he returned to California, where he has since resided. The year 1873 witnessed his arrival in Modesto. The town had been founded in 1870, and Mr. Adams began work on the new court-house which was then being erected. Through the past twenty-seven years he has been actively engaged on many of the leading structures, including the Odd Fellows building, of which he was also the architect, and the Modesto Bank building, having charge of its construction and making it one of the model bank buildings of the state. During his residence in the city he has won a creditable reputation by reason of his skill, his executive force and his thoroughly reliable methods.
Mr. Adams belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having become identified with the fraternity in all its branches, his connection therewith covering a period of more than a quarter of a century. He passed all the chairs in both the subordinate lodge and the encampment. In politics he has been a life-long Republican, and is earnest in his support of the party which stands for the protection of American industries, for national expansion and which believe in upholding the supremacy of the flag wherever it has been planted.
Mr. Adams returned to the east in 1890, and on the 24th of September of that year was united in marriage, in his native town of Waterford, to Miss Mary E. Ladd, who was born in that town and is a representative of that branch of the Ladd family of which his mother was a member. She had for some years been a successful teacher in her native state and is a lady of sterling worth, culture and refinement. Their union has been a most happy one, and on the 24th of May, 1892, there came to bless their home a little son, whom they named Ezra Parker. Theirs is one of the pleasant residences of Modesto. It was erected by Mr. Adams and is surrounded by orange and other fruit and ornamental trees which were planted by him. Both Mr. and Mrs. Adams enjoy the warm regard of a large circle of friends in Modesto and in the best homes of the community they receive a cordial welcome.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.
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