|Birth: ||Jun. 26, 1879|
Santa Clara County
|Death: ||Aug. 29, 1964|
William Zimry 'Bill'/'Will' Adam was the son of John and Mahalia Adam and the grandson of William Thom Adam and Margaret (Thomson) Adam. William Thom Adam was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland and was from the McDonald Clan.
William was born in Gilroy and moved to southern Monterey Co., Ca., near Hesperia when he was seven, on a ranch his father homesteaded in 1886.
"We came over the old San Juan grade, and we passed through the old village of Natividad where we joined the road south, now 101. A four horse wagon brought us to this land," he said. In addition to Bill, riding in that wagon were his father, mother, brother, uncle and grandmother.
He remembered Jolon, near the Hunter Liggett Military reservation as a thriving community of three stores, two saloons, a dance hall, livery stable and two hotels. This was the gateway to the Los Burros Mining District and the merchants were doing a thriving business with the miners. It also was a stage stop.
After marrying Rosetta 'Rosie' Doty on Christmas Day of 1899 when he was nineteen years old, 'Buckskin Bill' as he was called, settled down and had two children, Velma in 1901 and Donald in 1904.
It was a hard time to maintain a subsistance living as a vegetable farmer in the early 1900's. Bill and his dad, John, peddled their food, but their takings were meager. Velma can remember the first day they received a bean harvest from down south. The family stayed up cooking 'til midnight, they were so excited. Another residue of his early poverty was Bill's dislike of turkey. He wouldn't eat it, in fact. Too often in his younger days, he had to eat rabbit just to stay alive and turkey tasted too much like rabbit for Bill's palate and memory.
For many years, Bill served as a Justice of the Peace. He was well known for his sense of fairness and commitment to justice. He is remembered as having said that 'he didn't care whose toes he stepped on - he would do the right thing'. One sampling of this sort of innovative sentencing was when a man had to clean up a whole block for punishment. His sense of fairness and integrity made him very well thought of.
One event happened when Bill was recruiting men to work on a road crew. One man asked what he would get paid and on hearing the sum, answered, 'I can get more than that and stay home'. This sampling of the new 'welfare' system convinced Bill that it would be the ruination of the country.
At the age of 82, he was as alert as most men fifty years his junior. He had twinkling eyes and a full head of dark brown hair. Only his moustache was graying and his memory was sharp. He didn't plan on running for re-election when his term expired, because justices of the peace have to be too nosy to suit him. "I have lived on the same ranch for 75 years. In most of that time," he said, "I have stayed home and minded my own business. But since I have been Justice of the Peace, I have been sticking my nose into everybody's business, and I don't like it."
Bill Adam was a man who worked hard. He was not afraid of a rough life and was often found in situations which demonstrated his tough spirit and his liking of the outdoor life. He got his nickname when he was 19 or 20. He was sawing wood when his boss asked him if he was getting tired and wanted to eat lunch. 'I'm not tired and I'm not hungry', he said. The boss quipped, 'You are as tough as buckskin.' They called him Buckskin Bill ever since.
Bill Adam worked hard, both physically, for his livelihood and artistically. Both he and his cousin, Bill A., played their fiddles together at many a family gathering. Buckskin Bill and Fancy Bill would arrive together, then tune up their instruments in preparation for giving their audience what would be a delightful cultural experience.
Buckskin spent a good many years as a teamster, driving four, six and eight horse teams. For a time, he drove the stage coach from Pleyto to Bryson, a nine mile haul.
From 1902 to 1904, he drove a four horse wagon from the Pine Mountain Quicksilver Mine to San Simeon, a distance of some twenty miles. During WWI, the neighboring Oceanic mine produced 100 flasks of quicksilver a month, most of which was sold to the Chinese who converted it to vermilion, using it to paint vases and other objects of art.
Buckskin was also a construction boss for the county highway department for 10 years.
Bill Adam was a strong, civic-minded citizen and he was also a strong family man. This was clearly demonstrated by his devotion to his grandmother, Margaret. He spent a lot of his time visiting with her and helping her. It is a fact that one Sunday morning, he walked past the Baptist Church on his way to visiting Grandmother, carrying a shotgun. The Church ousted him from their rolls for this irregularity and from then on, Bill referred to this church group as 'Hard Shell Baptists'.
His visits with Margaret resulted in one very valuable result - She passed on many irreplaceable stories about her life. These stories he later passed on to his daughter, Velma, who remembered a few of them in her writings.
One great tragedy occured in 1916 when Bill and Rosie's son, Donald, died at age twelve. He had been sickly for some time, but still his loss was keenly felt. Twelve years later, Rosetta died of cancer and Bill eventually, in 1942, married a distant cousin who was also widowed, Ebeth Easton White. This marriage was very successful in many ways. Both Bill and Ebeth loved music. He played the violin and she played the piano. Ebeth once again was able to live in the country and often went horseback riding with Bill's daughter, Velma.
In the early 60's, when Bill was in his early 80's, his home burned down, destroying a lifetime's collection of objects and family papers. Of irreplaceable value was a book he was writing about his family.
When asked about his health, at age 82, he said, "I don't even know that I've got a body. I never have an ache or a pain." However, Bill developed a heart condition which deteriorated to the point that he was forced to leave his home in Hesperia, which was next to his daughter Velma's, and was placed in a rest home in King City. There, he died in 1964 and is buried in the Pleyto Cemetery.
In his Sept. 12, 1918 WWI Draft Registration card, William was described as tall and slender, with gray eyes and brown hair.
Rosetta Grace Doty Adam (1876 - 1928)
Velma A. Adam Dayton (1901 - 1987)*
Donald R. Adam (1904 - 1916)*
Maintained by: Chloe
Originally Created by: CJBiller
Record added: Sep 14, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21553478
Added: Aug. 16, 2011
Added: Feb. 20, 2011