William Adams was born in 1844 in Quebec, Canada, to an English father and a Scottish mother. He enlisted in the 42nd Missouri Infantry in September of 1864 for 6 months. He was 20 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, with blue eyes, brown hair, and a fair complexion.
From September to December of 1864 Private Adams and the 42nd Missouri guarded the St. Joseph railroad in Missouri. On January 3rd, 1865, the 42nd Missouri moved to Tullahoma, Tennessee, and spent their time there engaged in guard duty and operations against Confederate bushwhackers and sympathizers in the region. A Confederate prisoner in the town jail had this to say about the 42nd Missouri- “ I have seen a great many Yankees, but that’s the hardest looking gang I ever saw.” In March of 1864, Private Adams and the 42nd Missouri were mustered out of service in Tullahoma.
After the war, Private Adams returned to Missouri and became a carpenter and a farmer. He married Miss Elizabeth Smith in 1873. They adopted a daughter, Mamie, in 1881. Mr. Adams also lived in Iowa and Kansas before moving to Garden Grove in 1894. Here he grew barley. Mr. Smith died on August 9th, 1914, from Hodgkin’s Disease at age 70. He is buried in Magnolia Memorial Park.