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 Elias Adams, Sr

Elias Adams, Sr

Windham County, Vermont, USA
Death 17 Feb 1886 (aged 93)
Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, USA
Burial Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, USA
Plot 1-9-B-7
Memorial ID 124471 · View Source
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Frontier's man who is featured in publications, "Elias Adams the Pioneer", Harris, Frank D., Inland Printing Co, Utah, 1929 and "Elias Adams, A Pioneer Profile", Adams, Elias Harris, Layton Utah, 2007.

Son of Sabra (Saborah) Whitmore and Job Sr. Adams. He was the youngest of three sons born to them; Job Jr., 28 April 1787; George, 29 March 1790, and Elias.

The winter before his birth, it is not certain if his mother stayed at Wildersburgh Township, where they resided, or if they had traveled back to Marlborough Township to be attended by her mother, who was the midwife, having delivered hundreds of babies (over two thousand of record, never losing one).

Some records show his birth at "Barre", a name change from "Wildersburgh", which would have been Orange County (now Washington County) in Vermont and others reference the county of Windham, where his grandmother was midwife.

Elias served in the War of 1812, enlisting 17 September 1812 in the United States Army at Sacketts Harbor, New York. He served in Captain Benjamin Forsythe's Rifle Company. Elias also served with Lieutenant Hamilton's, Captain Smith's, Captain Joseph Selden's Companies and in the First United States Rifle Regiment.

Serving past the peace treaty of 1814, Elias was wounded three times in the battles of Ogdensburg, Little York, Fort George, Stony Creek and Odelltown, under the command of then Colonel Forsythe; Elias being known as one of the Colonel's top riflemen.

During many encounters with Indians, who had been armed by the British, hand to hand combat was frequent. In one such skirmish against savage agents of British Colonel Proctor, Elias had a bullet cut a slight nick in the division on the bottom part of his nose.

That evening his commanding officer, upon observing the wound remarked, "Well my boy, if it had been an inch closer, it would have spoiled your face." To which Elias replied, "Yes Sir, and if it had been an inch further away, it never would have touched me!" Such fearlessness served him well on his pioneer adventure west.

Serving for five years, he was honorably discharged 28 September 1817 at New Madrid, Missouri. He set out for "the west", intent upon taking up land for a homestead. Upon reaching Illinois, he located in a place to his liking and founded the town which would be named Quincy and the county, Adams, was named to honor an ancestor, John Adams. Elias became engaged in the manufacture of brick and also owned a prosperous flour mill.

Elias married Almira (Elmira) Cadwell, daughter of Elizabeth "Betsy" Barker and Abijah Cadwell. They married shortly after obtaining a marriage license from the Madison County Clerk, Illinois, 22 March 1822.

They settled near Six-Mile Prairie in Madison County where their first daughter, Mary Ann, was born 25 February 1824. The following spring they built a cabin east of the Mississippi in Adams County on Elias' one hundred sixty acre land grant he had owned since 1818, a soldiers' warranty, due him for his war service.

In 1826, they returned to Madison County for the birth of their second daughter, Selecta, 12 September. Selecta died that winter.

The following spring they returned to their home and their first son, Rufus was born March, 1928 followed by Lizetta, 15 January 1830. His next son, John Quincy (15 May 1832) and daughter, Anna Maria (9 April 1834) were born at their second home about four miles west of his original farm. It was called Payson Township, nearer to Columbus.

Their next child, George Washington Adams was born 20 February 1836 in Hancock County, Illinois, where Almira was at the home of her brother, Curtis Cadwell. The distance from her home, in winter, was too great to consider this a casual visit. She had also left the children with Elias.

The next spring Elias filed for divorce naming Almira's severe treatment of the children as grounds. Court documents show she had moved back with him, but then left, leaving all the children with Elias, including the babe.

Her refusal to answer several summons resulted in the custody of the children remaining with Elias. While living with her father at Fall Creek Township, Adams County, she gave birth to Sylvester Cadwell Adams several months (about 1837) after the divorce was final. This son died 31 December 1842. There was a formal inquest into his death, but no published findings.

Perhaps the emotional stress of losing two children to death and the harshness of frontier life was too great for her to bear. Her father died in 1845 and she died sometime after 1850, as the U.S. Census shows she was residing in the Honey Creek Township Poor House, Adams County Illinois. She was buried near her father at Craigtown Cemetery, Adams County, Illinois.

Elias had assumed care of his living children and married (2) Malinda "Belinda" Railey 1 June 1837 at Quincy, Adams County Illinois. It is not known if Elias knew Almira was pregnant again, at the time she left him. Since Almira's father and brother, who were very close with Elias, were still alive and in the area, Elias certainly had to know that Sylvester had been born early that year. He would have also heard of Sylvester's death, as he and Malinda did not head west until 1845.

The children of Elias and Malinda were:

Catherine, 9 May 1838 - 1903 (md. Richard Pilling).

[In 1840, Elias and Malinda joined the LDS Church]

Joseph Samuel, 1841 - 1901 (md. Isabella Smith).

Elias Jr., 1843 - 1912 (md. 1. - Elizabeth R. Harris 2. - Lettie Mae Bennett).

[In 1845, the family moved to Hancock County, Illinois]

Caroline, 1845 - 1923 (md. George P. Stoddard).

[Before 1848 they moved to Mount Pisgah, , Iowa]

Joshua, 1848 - 1873 (md 1. - Sarah Criddle 2. - Emma Gilbert).

[In 1850 the entire family made the pioneer trek to Utah]

Malinda Jane, 1852 - 1922 (md. John W. Burton]

Hyrum Railey, 1855 - 1943 (md. 1. - Rose Higgs 2. - Annie L. Penrod)

Kaysville Cemetery Map

DAR Line Cont. thru George Washington Adams

Family Members





  • Maintained by: history4sure
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 124471
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Elias Adams, Sr (18 Feb 1792–17 Feb 1886), Find A Grave Memorial no. 124471, citing Kaysville City Cemetery, Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by history4sure (contributor 46997739) .