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Public Service

Updated: 22 July 2014


The Adams-Mckain Reunion staff has been compiling information on family members’ military service for several years. We are now compiling information on family members’ public service (primarily elected or appointed public office). In the paragraph below is information on early public service in Massachusetts/Connecticut, Vermont, Ohio, and through the first Michigan generation). We would like to add information to this (through the current generations).


Please contact Jim Adams  to add your public service to this page!


In Massachusetts, Vermont, and Ohio:


 Jacob Adams (1651-1717) was born in Newbury, Massachusetts, on Sept. 13, 1651, the son of Robert and Eleanor (Wilmot) Adams. In 1677, Jacob married Anna, daughter of Nicholas Allen of Dorchester, Mass. About 1681-82, they left Newbury for Suffield (now in Connecticut, then part of Massachusetts). In Suffield, “he was one of the most prominent and influential of the early settlers. He was often chosen to important offices, was a member of the General Court of the colony, then held in Boston, 1711 to 1714, and again in 1717. He died in Boston, suddenly, in Nov. 1717, while in attendance upon his duties as a member of the General Court from Suffield.” (The quotation is from Andrew Adams’ book on Robert Adams and His Descendants.)

Joan Wheaton and her daughter, Amy Keaton, identified data to show that descendants of Jacob Adams are eligible to belong to the “The Colonial Dames of America.” See page 2 of the 2007 Reunion Newsletter (vol. 2 No. 3).


Bildad Adams (1765-1826), great-grandson of Jacob, was born in Suffield on April 3, 1765, and moved with his parents to Marlboro, Vermont, about 1786. In Marlboro, Bildad served as constable and collector in 1796 and 1801, selectman in 1804 and 1811; and served as justice of the peace.After serving in the War of 1812, he settled near Milan, Huron Co., Ohio in 1815. He was a member of the first board of County Commissioners, helping to organize Huron Co. (1815). On the 1815 tax rolls, Bildad is in Wheatsborough Twp. (now Groton Twp.), but in the 1820 census he is in Greenfield Twp. (which was transferred to Erie Co. when it was formed in 1838).

Matthew McKelvey (1794-1853) husband of Nancy Adams (daughter of Bildad and Mary Adams) was elected one of the County Commissioners of Huron County, Ohio, in 1829 to 1831, although a member of the minority party (Whig).


In Michigan and Other States:


Horace Hale Adams (1805-1847) son of Bildad and Mary (Haynes) Adams, left Ohio and came to Michigan in the spring of 1837 with his wife, Lorania Gates (Kinney) Adams and three children—the other two children were born in Michigan. They settled in Porter Twp. (then part of Decatur Twp.) in Van Buren Co. The first Porter Township-meeting was held on April 7, 1845, and Horace Hale Adams was chosen as one of the Justices-of-the-Peace, and also as one of the members of the Township Board. In 1846 and 1847, he was selected as Township Clerk. In 1865, Horace and Lorania’s son, Franklin B. Adams, was selected as Township Supervisor. [ref. Ensign (1880)]


Emory Brown (1881-1954) served as under-Sheriff (including in 1910) and ran for Cass County Sheriff. He was elected Marcellus Village President in March 1931, and President of the Marcellus School Board in July 1933. He later served on the Cass County Road Commission (including Chairman).


Charles Welcher served on the Marcellus School Board (1923)


Horace Chester Adams served as a school commissioner.


Dr. Uriah M. Adams served on the Marcellus School Board for 12 years from July 1962 to July 1974. The Marcellus School System grew from 836 students to 1,188 students; 31 teachers to 63 teachers, a new high school was built, the middle school was renovated, a new maintenance building was built, a new elementary wing added and a new careers building added.


Howard McKenzie (1897-1992) served as a Volinia Twp. supervisor for 16 years and as a member of the Marcellus School Board for 45 years. He also served three terms on the Michigan State Agricultural Stabilization Conservation Board.


Mary Christine Adams served on the South Bend (Indiana) Common Council, 1971-1975. She ran for Mayor in 1975.


Floyd Hurt has served as Mayor of South Heart, South Dakota.


Jim Adams, son of Dr. Uriah Mason & Clarice A. (Nemmers) Adams, served on the Sturgeon Bay, Door County, WI City Council for 8 years in the 1980's serving on the Utility Commission, Finance Committee, Historic Preservation Committee, County Library Board, and Park and Recreation Board. He was a candidate for Mayor in 1988. He was President of the Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies (WCSS) and served on the board of Door County Habitat for Humanity.


Robert Wetherell