A Tribute to W. A. Adams on his 90th Birthday
[While I was serving my mission in The Netherlands, I received a letter dated 17 Dec 1964 from my grandfather's niece (my cousin, Ardes Adams) which read: ". . . We expect a big day on your grandpa's birthday. . . . Your mother and I wrote a ditty about him which I will send to you. It really tells his history better than anything we could have written up in a biography. We did most of it in one sitting and then later I added five or six more verses here and there throughout the piece. . . He seems to feel pretty good lately. I think his birthday and all has made him quite chipper. . . ."]
Written by Ardes and Ruth Adams--
Many years have passed and gone since W. A. was born
Down in Fountain Green on a little rocky farm.
He's weathered through these 90 years and is here with us today.
We hope he will be glad to hear, the things we have to say.
He came from a large family, ten members there were in all.
Four sisters and five brothers, some short and some were tall.
W.A. Adams and siblings-
Back (l-R): Byron, Burton, Alice (Robertson), W.A., and Delos; Front (L-R): Melissa (Despain), Martha (Lund), Melissa Jane Caldwell Adams (mother), Vilate (West). John & Guy died young.
His youth was spent in herding sheep, and digging ditches too.
He never shirked from any work that he was asked to do.
He loved his parents dearly, and was a faithful son.
So off to college he did go when all fall work was done.
He studied well the textbooks, but music he loved best.
He could play, sing or direct, and never stopped to rest.
William Albert Adams, ca. 1899 while attending Snow College in Ephraim, Utah.
When two years of school were past, the third well on its way
A call for an L.D.S. Mission came, at school he could not stay.
He put things well in order and into the field went he.
And found his labors took him to sunny Tennessee.
The year was 1900--his age was twenty five.
And oh the Southern States Mission, with Will did surely thrive.
Elder Orson Hacking and Elder W. A. Adams - Missionaries in North Carolina ca 1901
He transferred to North Carolina, and met some folks one day
Who said they had a daughter, headed out Utah way.
Virginia Brann was a lovely girl. She loved the gospel plan.
She liked it here in Utah and hoped to find a man.
When the mission was over and he was home with pride
It didn't take Will very long to make Virginia his bride.
They were married on April Fools day, in the temple in Salt Lake
And then went back to Fountain Green to eat the wedding cake.
Then came to Bear River valley in the spring of Nineteen four;
With Joy, a black haired daughter, and very little more.
They bought a farm in East Garland, and sure were filled with glee
Upon LeMoyne's arrival, a bouncing boy was he.
LeMoyne (16 mos.) and Joy Adams (3yrs-4mos)
They were so very happy as they traveled near and far;
And were almost the first family to own a brand new car.
The family kept on growing as each child came along.
Next came Hugh, then Milton, and both were nice and strong.
And Will just went about his work and took things as they came.
He always said, "Oh well, this life is nothing but a game."
Will used to play the violin and piano quite a lot.
He could sing more than a hundred tunes, the words he's ne'er forgot.
"The Cat Came Back" and "After the Ball", were some he used to sing.
And on many programs everywhere much joy to all he'd bring.
His brother Delos used to cord, while the fiddle Will did play.
And they played for all the dances in that good old fashioned way.
The folks turned out for miles around to share in the great fun.
The musicians never charged a cent when their evening's work was done.
They must have played for 20 years. We know they did their best.
When a larger orchestra came to town they were glad to take a rest.
The years passed by. One April day, along came daughter Alice
And Will was happy as a King, a-reigning o'er his palace.
Two years later to the day, a birthday gift was sent;
A tiny baby sister, Maude. "Hurray!" was Will's comment.
Still later on came little Bill. He looked just like his dad.
So he got the name, William Lawrence. He didn't fare so bad.
Lloyd, a son, was next in line which made five boys in all.
"Now," said Will, "I have a team. We'll all play basket ball.
The oldest son, LeMoyne fell ill. They said it was his heart.
Oh how sad the family were, when from them he did depart.
Then in six weeks came Golden. A real fine child was he.
He helped to make them all forget that sad, sad tragedy.
Later on, came baby Ruth and number ten was she.
Will loved all his children as they sat upon his knee.
The years kept rolling swiftly by, and Will kept right on working.
For 38 years he run the farm, without a thought of shirking.
Then tragedy came once again, when Lloyd passed on so quick.
He had a ruptured appendix; No one realized he was so sick.
Lloyd George Adams (1919-1939)
Now Will and Virginia moved to town. It was hard to leave the farm.
They moved into a lovely home, where they were snug and warm.
But Will could not forget the farm, he went there every day--
To see how things were growing, and help in every way.
The war broke out in Forty-one. Three sons were called to serve.
Will and Virginia held up fine; it took a lot of nerve.
Two of the boys came back all right. But one did not return.
Milton gave his life for his country; his medals he did earn.
Virginia Brann Adams and William Albert Adams, ca. 1943 - Salt Lake City, Utah
A new home was now in order. A lot across the street
Was purchased for the home site, and the plans were all complete.
Most of the work Will did himself, he was handy as could be.
It took some time to finish it, but he worked on constantly.
It was such a joyful day, when everything was done.
The house Will built was large enough for every single one.
Their home was filled with love and cheer, and there was much elation
As the children came from far and near to join in the celebration.
The folks began to travel and went back to her home town.
They visited friends and relatives from all the country round.
Fifty years of wedded bliss, was celebrated with glee
When their Golden Wedding was held in Nineteen Fifty-three.
Will and wife were happy, as so many shook their hand.
They were the proudest couple, in all this goodly land.
The happy years just slipped along, and then one cold March day
The angel of death dropped in once more, and took his mate away.
His heart was filled with sadness, but friends helped ease the pain.
His family rallied round him, and the sun did shine again.
Will's grandchildren number Forty-three; help keep him young in mind
And folks, a greater grandpa, you will surely never find.
Will then went on a traveling spree, with the Utah Pioneers.
He saw so many places he'd wanted to see for years.
W.A. Adams next to a tobacco plant grown in his garden in Tremonton, Utah from seed he brought back from North Carolina
He visited Kansas, Arizona, and New York City too.
Florida and California, to mention just a few.
He attends the Lions Club, and is a faithful member.
Attending all the meetings from January through December.
His church jobs o'er these many years he's done with all his might.
Ward teaching, Mutual, Sunday School have been his great delight.
He never faltered when they called. He never questioned "Why?"
He served his God as he saw fit. On Him he did rely.
He has seen great changes in his time. Yet he's always been a sage
Since the horse and buggy days of old down through the atomic age.
His optimism has been great. We want you all to know
That he has never once complained of the row he's had to hoe.
Now he can sit in his easy chair, and see the time go by
Content with his happy memories, but still he likes to try--
To keep up on the happenings of everyone in town.
He's sure a good scout, this W.A., and deserves to wear a crown.
So Happy Birthday to you, Will. You've surely stood the test.
You've done the work you've been asked to do, and we know you've done your best.
Now sit in your chair in comfort, and let the world go by.
Your friends can all exclaim, "That Will. He surely is SOME GUY!"
About the author
This is a remarkable story Golden. You have a great treasure here. This photos are great and the poetry is priceless!
I love it Golden - the poem really tells the story and is so much fun to read!