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William John McAdams, who since 1909 has lived retired, although previously actively connected with agricultural, commercial and industrial pursuits, was born in Elizabethport, New Jersey, August 10, 1849, a son of John and Jane (Crothers) McAdams, who were natives of Ireland, and with their family crossed the Atlantic to the United States, settling in New Jersey. The father was a railroad man, being employed on the York & Erie Railroad as section boss for seventeen years. He came to Racine County in 1851 and turned his attention to farming in Caledonia Township, while later he followed agricultural pursuits in Raymond Township. Eventually he retired to Union Grove, where he spent his last days in the enjoyment of well earned rest, passing away in 1891, his remains being interred in Oak Grove cemetery. His widow survived until April, 1909, and was laid to rest by his side.
William J. McAdams was educated in the district schools at Caledonia Center and remained upon the home farm until twenty-six years of age, during which period he became familiar with all the different phases of farm life. He then started out to engage in agricultural pursuits on his own account and was closely identified with general farming in Raymond Township until 1891. He was the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of good land but when he retired he sold one-half of this, retaining possession of the other until about two years ago, when he disposed of it. He was engaged in the grocery business for two or three years and afterward was employed in the shops of Racine but since 1909 has engaged in no business, enjoying a rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves. In 1909 he erected a beautiful and commodious residence and he also built the Christenson store building.
In 1876 Mr. McAdams was married to Miss Rebecca W. West, who was born at Raymond Center, a daughter of Thomas and Charlotte (Ferris) West. The father’s people came from Canada and the mother’s from Ireland. They arrived in Racine County in 1840 but returned to Canada, although in 1841 they came again to this County. The grandfather was Thomas West, who carried on general farming. The father carried the mail from Raymond to Racine for thirteen years, taking charge of the route at the beginning of the Civil war. He died in 1913 and is still survived by his widow, who is now eighty-five years of age. Mr. and Mrs. McAdams have become the parents of four children: Ethel, the wife of William H. Hartig, by whom she has three children-Ethel, Doris and Robert; Charles and Daisy, both at home; and Olive, now in Los Angeles, California.
The parents are consistent members of the Congregational church and Mr. McAdams is a loyal supporter of the Republican Party. His has been an active and useful life. His time has always been well spent and in all of his business dealings he is thoroughly honorable, reliable and progressive, so that his rest is well deserved and none can envy him his success, so honorably has it been won and so worthily used.