Portrait and Biographical Album of Rock Island County, Illinois
William Adams, a prominent farmer of the English birth, residing on section 26, Coal Valley Township, is a son of William and Eliza (Tonkin) Adams, who were natives of England. They came to America in 1854, and located in Tennesse, where they lived until 1862, when they came to Galena, IL. They lived at that place only one year, when they came to Rock Island County, locating in Coal Valley Township. In 1866 they returned to Jo Davis County, where both parents died-the mother October 14, 1867, and the father in September 1869. They had a family of six children, bearing the following names: John, William, James, Henry, Joseph, Eliza.
William the second member of the family, was born in Cornwall, England, Feb 2, 1838. His school privileges were very limited, never been able to attend any public or private school; but on the other hand, when most children were ready and privileged to enter school, he was at an early age-six years old-employed in the mine at Cornwall. He came to America with his parents, and lived under their charge until his marriage. He came to Rock Island County in the autumn of 1863, locating in Coal Valley Township, where he has since resided.
He was married in Tennesse, Dec 31, 1857, to Catherine, daughter of John and Kittie (Ferris) Tonkin, who were also natives of England, and the parents of a family of eight children, three of whom died in infancy. Those living are John, Susan, Catherine, Mary J., and Elizabeth A. Catherine was born in Cornwall, Nov. 12, 1839. To Mr. and Mrs. Adams have been borne a family of 12 children, only five of whom are living, as follows: john H., Mary C., Eliza, Elizabeth A., and Ola M. Those they have laid away in the cold, mother earth are Susan, Margaret J., May B., Mary B., Edna, William, and William J.
Mr. Adam served as School Director for 15 years, and as Assessor for about three years. In polotics he is identified with the republican party. Socially, Mr. A. is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and his son John H. is a member of the same order.