Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of
Greene County, Missouri

Together with Bibliographies of Prominent Men of Other Portions of the State, Both Living and Dead


WILLIAM H. McADAMS. For twelve years this representative colored man has been connected with the public schools of Springfield and for six years has been principal of the Lincoln High School. He has been unusually successful as an educator, is a man of popular address and marked originality of thought and expression. He is thorough-going and progressive and holds the confidence and respect of the people. He is a product of Missouri, born in Springfield September 7, 1860, and is the son of Lewis McAdams, who has made his home in Springfield for years. The elder McAdams was born in slavery and belonged to one of the old residents of Springfield, William McAdams, who treated him with great kindness and gave him opportunities to accumulate something for himself. He learned the harness and saddle business of Mr. McAdams and became a good workman. He was freed by President Lincoln's proclamation. After the war Lewis McAdams engaged in farming and moved to Jefferson City, Mo., in 1870. In 1881 he returned to Greene County and bought property here which later sold to advantage. In 1884 he bought the home place, which now consists of 200 acres of fine farming land, and aside from this he owns property in town. He has prospered by industry and close attention to business and his fine farm shows the care and hard work that has been put upon it. It is believed that valuable lead mines exist on the farm. He is one of the well-to-do colored men of Springfield. He is the father of seven children, all of whom he educated except one, five of them having been teachers. Mr. and Mrs. McAdams are members of the Gibson Chapel Cumberland Presbyterian Church and Mr. McAdams has been elder, besides holding other offices. In politics he affiliates with the Republican party. Until thirty-five years of age he was a slave and was not taught to read or write. He has thus made his way against great difficulties and deserves much credit. His son, William H. McAdams, received his education at Lincoln Institute, at Jefferson City; and graduated from that institution in 1880. He then came to Springfield and began as third assistant of the colored school in Springfield. By diligence and ability he gradually worked his way to the front until he now has charge of the colored school of Springfield. He has been principal of the Lincoln High School since it was started and has brought it to its high state of perfection. He is a popular and successful teacher and is recognized as such by one and all. On August 26, 1886, he was married to Miss Ida V. Bryant, who was born August 16, 1867, and three children blessed this union: Orval E., born December 16, 1887; William H., born December 28, 1890, and Charles L., born May 9, 1893. Our subject was United States census enumerator in 1890 for the first and fourth wards of Springfield. Like his father, he is a stanch Republican in his political views. He stands deservedly high among the people of Springfield, where he passed most of his life and is doing a noble work in educating the colored people.

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