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Margaret Queen Phillips Adams
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Birth: Jul. 26, 1874
Dover
Mason County
Kentucky, USA
Death: Jan. 7, 1974
Costa Mesa
Orange County
California, USA

First female deputy sheriff in the United States. Served the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) from 1912-1947.

Margaret Queen Phillips Adams was born in Kentucky and moved to California from Indiana with her family at age 9. The Phillips family settled in downtown Los Angeles at Second and San Pedro Streets. Her father was a prominent attorney named Oliver Barr Phillips, Esq. Margaret was the second of five children and her older sister Lillian would go on to marry William A. Hammel who was sheriff of Los Angeles County twice (1899-1902, 1907-14) and chief of the Los Angeles Police Department once (1904-05).

Margaret Q. Adams married husband Elmer on January 1, 1899 in Santa Ana, California. They had two children, Wilbur Vernon Adams and Anna Margretta Adams Bowdish. In 1912, Margaret Adams and her husband Elmer separated. Needing to support her two children, she took a position offered by her brother-in-law Sheriff William A. Hammel. She accepted the offer, but only on the condition that she would be deputized. Accordingly, she became the first female deputy sheriff in the United States and was sworn in on February 16, 1912. She often said that she could "enforce the law before she could vote on the law." Not surprisingly, Adams was a supporter of female suffrage in the United States.

She served the LASD for 35 years until her retirement in 1947. By that time, she coordinated all of the evidence being processed through the Los Angeles County Courthouse. Because of the importance of her work, she became close to several of the sheriffs succeding Bill Hammel. She was even godmother to Superior Court Judge Warren Biscailuz, son of Sheriff Eugene W. Biscailuz.

Adams often began work before sunrise and did not leave until after sunset. She was known to run an extremely tight ship and when she retired the LASD hired three deputies to replace her.

She was buried next to her daughter at Inglewood Park Cemetery wearing her Los Angeles County Sheriff's badge. She was fond of saying that the Sheriffs Dept gave her "everything in life."

She was a direct descendant of Rev. George Phillips, who came to America in 1630 aboard the Arbella with Gov. John Winthrop. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Oliver Barr Phillips (1849 - 1896)
  Anna Columbia Murray Phillips (1849 - 1906)
 
 Spouse:
  Elmer Marshall Adams (1873 - 1924)*
 
 Children:
  Wilbur Vernon Adams (1900 - 1979)*
  Anna Margaretta Adams Bowdish (1906 - 1951)*
 
 Siblings:
  Lillian Mary Phillips Hammel (1872 - 1909)*
  Margaret Queen Phillips Adams (1874 - 1974)
  Wilbur Murray Phillips (1876 - 1898)*
  Myrtle Espey Phillips Schirm (1879 - 1957)*
  Oliver Roy Phillips (1891 - 1940)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Inglewood Park Cemetery
Inglewood
Los Angeles County
California, USA
 
Maintained by: MSB
Originally Created by: Joe Walker
Record added: Sep 10, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 15683350
Margaret Queen <i>Phillips</i> Adams
Added by: MSB
 
Margaret Queen <i>Phillips</i> Adams
Added by: MSB
 
Margaret Queen <i>Phillips</i> Adams
Added by: MSB
 
 
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It's been forty years since you died Great-Grandma. We think about you all of the time and miss you. Your sacrifices for your family will always be remembered. And your service will always be cherished both as a testament to your professionalism as wel...(Read more)
- MSB
 Added: Jan. 7, 2014

- Broken~★~Heart
 Added: Jun. 6, 2011
Deputy Sheriff Adams - Thank you for your service to LA County and law enforcement at large. May God bless and keep you eternally safe in His loving arms until you and your loved ones are gloriously reunited in Heaven. Rest in peace.
- Laura Virgil
 Added: May. 19, 2011
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