|Birth: ||Jul. 6, 1838|
North Lanarkshire, Scotland
'Aleck' was the youngest of William Thom of Lanarkshire, Scotland and first wife Isobel (Laird) Adam's children. He was only about eleven years old when he left Scotland, the same age as his nephew, John W. Grant, traveling with his family to the American lands. He worked a great deal alongside his brother, William, while the family was in Salt Lake City, Utah, and left with them in 1854 when he was fifteen. After his stepmother, Margaret, reconsidered and decided to stay with the Adam family, it was Aleck who went back to Fillmore City, Millard Co., Utah to fetch her.
Eventually, Aleck settled in Monterey County, Ca. He traveled about quite a bit throughout his life, but Bryson Valley was his most permanent residence. During the years 1881-1888, he raised cows and made cheese. He then took this cheese, traveling weekly up to Moss Landing and sold it.
When Aleck married a woman named Esther Bradley sometime prior to 1877, he lived in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara Co., Ca. Two sons were born there, one of whom was William Alexander in 1877. William A. was also known as 'Fancy Bill' in reference to his dapper way of dressing. William A. never married and it was he who cared for his dad in his old age. He claimed that his father didn't want him to marry and blamed him for 'ruining his life'.
Aleck's younger son was named Ronald McDonald Adam (in honor of his Scottish ancestors who were of the McDonald clan).
Aleck and Esther separated while the boys were still living at home. William A. stayed with his father and Ronald went to live with his mother, who moved to Lompoc, Santa Barbara Co., Ca. Ronald married Malinda Jane Hardenbrook in Nov., 1905 and had three children, Kathryn, John Donald and Kenneth Laird. Ronald owned and published the Lompoc Record and was quite well known and respected in newspaper circles. When he got older, he gave the newspaper to his two sons. Donald sold out his share and moved to the Sacramento area and Kenneth remained in Lompoc while Kathryn settled in Palo Alto, Santa Clara Xo., Ca.
Somewhat of a hermit, Alexander lived a hard, poor life, a struggle which left him somewhat embittered. Although he once worked as a comrade with his brother, William Laird Adam, Aleck ended up a bit envious of his brother's properity and family life. The story goes that when William lay dying, he sent for his younger brother and wanted to leave him some money, but Aleck refused to go see him.
When he was in his eighties, Aleck was placed in a Salinas rest home. His son, Bill, worried about his dad's care, went there with Clyde Dayton and brought him home. Bill then cared for him in his little cabin until Alexander's death in 1928 at age 90.
The following poem. written by Alexander Adam in 1914, demonstrates the romantic side of his personality and his strong love for the wildnerness and its freedom:
Some call me Willie, some call me Joe
I now leave the valley to the mountains
Where the clear streamlets flow
Away up the Salinas where the
Sweet laurel grow,
I build me a castle in some dark ravine
Where the footprints of man there never was seen
I will tame the wild grizzly
With the lions I will play
And the wildcat shall be my fire all the day
The scream of the eagle and the owl
Will solace my slumber in dreams of delight
Yea, garden of roses and lilacs so fair
With the flowers on the mountains can't compare
Hurry, give the wild horse the wind
Keeping time to spur hell as he
Bounds on the plains to the mountains
And away goes Wild Joe.
Maintained by: Chloé
Originally Created by: CJBiller
Record added: Sep 14, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21553520