Adams, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Adams


Submitted by Mrs. Florence Adams Geiger

In 1832 the government purchased from the Indians all the land in Porter County lying south of Lake Michigan. When this news was heralded through the eastern states, pioneer hearts were stirred, and many families started on the long, hazardous journey westward. Porter County with its rich prairies and timber lands attracted many of these early pioneers.

Henry S. Adams of Jefferson County, Ohio, his wife (Jane Fleming), three little daughters, and his mother arrived in Porter County April 27, 1833. In May he laid claim to 160 acres of land at $1.25 per acre and erected the first log cabin in Morgan Township. He broke twelve acres of the virgin land and raised corn and wheat in order to have food for his family. Deer and wild game were plentiful for meat. There were no roads, but their cabin was near an Indian trail that lead from Lake Michigan to the Kankakee River (now State Road 49). Indians roamed the prairie and often came to their cabin asking for bread. An old settler was heard to say, "There was nothing here but Indians, wolves and snakes." A little stone inscribed, "Infant Adams, 1833" marks the grave of a baby girl that the family thought to be on the corner of their claim, but when the land was surveyed, the grave was where the four sections met; you will find the broken corner there yet to prove this is true. It is known as the Adams cemetery, and there five generations of the family sleep.

In 1840 the first Christian church in Porter County was organized in the Adams' home; services were held in homes and the school house. In 1869 Henry Adams donated an acre of land on the northeast corner of their claim (State Road 49 and 250 W.), and a building costing $2,000 was built. Lewis Comer was its first pastor. Services were held there for many years, but now the hundred and five-year-old church stands as a silent witness and a memorial to those early pioneers. It is known as the Adams Christian Church, and once a year a reunion is held for old members and friends. Again the old bell rings and a church service is held.

All public meetings were held in the homes, and the Adams' home was always open. Henry Adams served on the first jury in Porter County, helped raise funds to build the first courthouse, and was active in all civic affairs. History says they were all honest and industrious people, and did much in helping organize Porter County.

Henry and Jane Adams had a large family, ten girls and two boys. The oldest, Edward Adams, was born July 19, 1839 (my grandfather) and married Matilda French, daughter of Ora French, in 1862. To this union was born three children: Robert, Lilly and May. Robert married Sarah E. Dick in 1888. Three children were born to this union: Floyd, Florence, and Leland. Floyd married Lulu Shelburne of Fairbury, Nebraska. Leland married Mabel Sholes of Valparaiso. I (Florence) married Henry J. Geiger of Hammond in 1924. I was born in Morgan Township in the house where my father was born and attended a little country school, walking three quarters of a mile to school over dirt roads. I went to church in the old Adams Church and also Kouts Christian.

In Hammond I attend the Southside Christian Church and participate in many of the civic organizations of the city: Y.W.C.A., Y.M.C.A., Historical Society, and Senior Citizen groups. I have two step-children, Herbert Geiger of Hammond and Dolores Seaton of Porter County. Many descendants of the Henry Adams family still reside in Porter County. Information for this story was gleaned from Family Records, 1882 History of Porter County, and stories handed down by our forefathers.

Source: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County. 1976. A Biographical History of Porter County, Indiana. Valparaiso, Indiana: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County, Inc. 180 p.
Page(s) in Source: 71

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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