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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

ADAMS, Eugene

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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald
ADAMS, Eugene. (Dubuque, IA, Dec. 14, 1860--Dubuque, IA, Aug. 8, 1952). President, Adams Company Foundry and Machine Shop. Adams, the son of Austin ADAMS and Mary Newbury ADAMS, left school at the age of eighteen to work as a chairman on a survey crew laying out townsites and railroad right-of-ways in Minnesota. He returned to Dubuque after a year to study engineering in Dubuque. In 1880 he again left Dubuque to join another survey crew as the transit man. In this capacity in charge of twenty-two men, he laid out the course of the Milwaukee Ralroad through Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. For three months during the winter of 1881 he studied engineering at the University of Iowa as one of the first students in the department. (1)

In June, 1884 Adams purchased an interest in the Roberts and Langworthy Iron Works. He served as secretary and manager even after the company, in 1885, was re-named the Langworthy and Adams Iron Works when Roberts sold his interest. (2)

Herbert, Eugene's brother, bought Langworthy's interest in 1892, and the brothers became partners. Since 1892 the company was known as ADAMS COMPANY (Encyclopedia Dubuque), a foundry and machine shop. The plant was originally located on Main Street. When the company was destroyed by fire in 1893 it was relocated to E. 4th Street. Eugene Adams became president and general manager in October 1893. (3)

Under Adams' and Fay Oliver FARWELL supervision, ADAMS-FARWELL AUTOMOBILES were manufactured in Dubuque. The company made the first sedan in 1905 and for the next eleven years was one of the major automobile manufacturers in the United States. (4)

Active in civic affairs, Adams served fifty years, beginning in 1890, as director of the Dubuque Building and Loan Association. He was a charter member of the Rotary Club and served as second-vice president of the Allison-Henderson Memorial Committee. (5) Adams participated in the purchase and development of EAGLE POINT PARK, served on the park board, and solicited money for the development of the DUBUQUE ATHLETIC FIELD. He later served as chairman of the athletic field committee. He supported BASEBALL in Dubuque and had to deal in 1915 with the team's refusal to open the season unless money was raised to pay back salaries due to them. (6) In 1930 he participated in the planning of the "Made in Dubuque" event.



1. "Eugene Adams, 91, Head of Adams Co., Dies," The Telegraph-Herald, August 10, 1952, p. 1

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. "Session Memorial Committee Held," Telegraph-Herald, July 13, 1913, p. 9

6. "Players Demand Their Salaries," Telegraph-Herald, July 6, 1915, p. 19