The Adam Brothers

When five of the six living sons of Timothée and Marguerite (Chicoine) Adam gathered in the Midwest circa 1913, it was deemed an occasion worthy of a photograph.1 From left are pictured brothers Louis (1848-1927), Peter (1852-1936), Joseph (1850-1926), Prosper (1867-1943), and Timothy Adam (1846-1919). Although the twenty-one year span in age of these brothers is impressive, in fact, twenty-seven years passed between the births of their eldest sibling and the youngest, who arrived when his mother was fifty years old. At least fourteen children were born in total, with all but the youngest born in Quebec. All got their start in life in the cotton mills of Indian Orchard, Hampden County, Massachusetts, which had lured the Adam family from rural Quebec to America.2

Brothers Louis, Peter, Joseph, Prosper, and Timothy Adam(s), ca. 1913; digital image 2010, privately held by Melanie Frick, 2018. Image courtesy of Dorothy Bouchard.

Timothy, at right, likely resided in Jefferson, Union County, South Dakota at the time this picture was taken,3 not far from Peter, second from left, and Prosper, second from right, who had both settled in Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa.4 Joseph, at center, had apparently traveled from his home in Ponca City, Kay County, Oklahoma to reunite with his brothers, as well as, undoubtedly, his twin sister, who lived in Jefferson.5 Louis, the one brother to have remained in Hampden County, Massachusetts, traveled the greatest distance for this reunion.6 The only living Adam brother not pictured here was Euclid John (1856-1940), who spent his adult life in Southbridge, Worcester County, Massachusetts.7 Whether he lost touch with his brothers or was simply unable to make the trip to visit them at the time that this photograph was taken is not known.

The Adam brothers, some of whom adopted the surname Adams in addition to Anglicized versions of their given names, held a variety of trades between them. Census records indicate that after leaving the cotton mills, some went on to become carpenters, barbers, homesteaders, clerks, pool hall operators, and hotel-keepers, among other occupations. All married, and all but Joseph had children of their own.

This photograph is a photocopy of what was said to be a real photo postcard, a format designed to be easily sent by mail to friends or relatives. Like the only known (or suspected) photograph of the mother of the Adam brothers, the original is believed to have been lost.8 Despite the poor quality of this photocopy, it is apparent that the brothers have dressed sharply, with their hair neatly combed and several in ties, although this was apparently not such a formal occasion that they opted to wear jackets. It is also plausible that it was quite hot, if their reunion took place in the summer months, and the gentlemen may well have opted to be as comfortable as possible. Several appear to wear sleeve garters, arm bands that helped to adjust the length of one’s sleeves.9 While the men’s appearances are distinct from one another, particularly given their disparate ages, similarly prominent noses—and, when visible, even hands—help to link them convincingly as brothers.

Copyright © 2018 Melanie Frick. All Rights Reserved.


SOURCES

1 Dorothy Bouchard to Brian Adam, letter, 1987, stating that Louis Adams had visited his brothers in the Midwest on a vacation with his daughter Jennie Adams in 1913; Adam Family; privately held by Melanie Frick. Dorothy Bouchard was a great-granddaughter of Louis Adams and was personally acquainted with Jennie Adams.
2 “Public Member Trees,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 January 2018), “Melanie’s Family Tree” family tree by Melanie Frick, sourced profiles for the children of Timothée Jacques Adam (1816-1897) and Marguerite Chicoine (1816-1878) updated January 2018.
3 1910 U.S. census, Union County, South Dakota, population schedule, Jefferson, enumeration district (ED) 423, sheet 1B, p. 3701 (penned), dwelling 24, family 24, Timothy Adam; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 January 2018), citing National Archives microfilm publication T624, roll 1489.
4 1910 U.S. census, Woodbury County, Iowa, population schedule, Sioux City, enumeration district (ED) 175, sheet 13B, dwelling 265, family 363, Peter Adam; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 January 2018), citing National Archives microfilm publication T624, roll 429, and 1910 U.S. census, Woodbury County, Iowa, population schedule, Sioux City, enumeration district (ED) 176, sheet 11A, dwelling 128, family 245, Phillip P. Adam; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 January 2018), citing National Archives microfilm publication T624, roll 429.
5 1910 U.S. census, Ponca County, Oklahoma, population schedule, Kay, enumeration district (ED) 59, sheet 26A, p. 2277 (penned), dwelling 439, family 442, Joseph Addam; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 January 2018), citing National Archives microfilm publication T624, roll 1256, and 1910 U.S. census, Union County, South Dakota, population schedule, Jefferson, enumeration district (ED) 423, sheet 5A, p. 3701 (penned), dwelling 91, family 91, Vitaline Adam; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 January 2018), citing National Archives microfilm publication T624, roll 1489.
6 1910 U.S. census, Hampden County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Springfield, enumeration district (ED) 659, sheet 20A, p. 7448 (penned), dwelling 222, family 291, Louis Adams; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 January 2018), citing National Archives microfilm publication T624, roll 592.
7 1910 U.S. census, Worcester County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Southbridge, enumeration district (ED) 1811, sheet 2A, dwelling 27, family 34, Euclide Adams; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 January 2018), citing National Archives microfilm publication T624, roll 630.
8 L.D. to Melanie Frick, letter, 10 November 2012; Adam Family; privately held by Melanie Frick.
9 Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org), “Sleeve garters,” rev. 18:07, 26 November 2017.

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One thought on “The Adam Brothers

  1. Douglas Adam

    As you would expect we really enjoyed this post, as we have all of them. We’re looking forward to your visit.

    Grandpa & Grandma

    >

    Reply

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