Life of Jefferson Jerome Adams
Jefferson Jerome Adams was born February 7, 1835 or 1836 in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. He was the son of William J. Adams and Jane Eastwood. His father, William, was a trunk and comb maker by trade. He left home when William was a baby in arms to look for work, and was never heard from again. His wife supposed he had drowned. She was obliged to leave her baby with relatives so she could earn a living. When Jefferson was twelve years of age, he ran away from his relatives and started a life for himself. He was never afraid of anything in his life. One time he was in a corn crib while filling it. For some reason a man was angry at him and was going to come after him. Jefferson got a pick handle and waited for him, but the man didn’t come. At one time in his life he was running with a bunch of friends that formed a habit of going to town to get a drink of beer. William said “All at once he began to realize he wanted a drink of beer. Right then and there I didn’t go to town anymore with the gang, because I didn’t want to be a drunkard.” When he was a young man he worked for his future father-in-law, Samuel Frost, in Fremont County, Iowa as a farm hand. The first time he went into the house to eat, he saw his future wife, Mary, and said to him-self, “There is my wife.” When he finally asked her to marry him they had been snowed in for a week. He just sat there by the stove under her feet the whole time and never said a word, then abruptly asked her to marry him. When they went to be married the officer questioned Jefferson’s age. Jefferson had been away from relatives and didn’t know his correct age. His father-in-law went with them and pointed to Jefferson’s flaming red beard and said, “See that beard? That ought to be enough.” So they didn’t ask any more questions. Jefferson and Mary stayed in Fremont County, Iowa until they had four children. When they decided to come west he had the idea that if he could come to Utah and kill Brigham Young, he would be doing the most honorable thing that could be done. He bought a good stout rope to hang Brigham Young when he arrived in Utah. They were going to California in 1861, but it was so near winter when they arrived in Utah they decided to stay over and settled in Draper. A man he was working with invited him to a cottage meeting which he attended. When he returned home from the meeting his wife asked him what he had learned. He answered “Not anything new, but I just had not thought about it.” He was baptized July 3, 1862 at Draper, Utah and endowed in the endowment house February 23, 1867. After that time he was a faithful Latter-day Saint; lived strictly the teachings of the gospel; paid an honest tithe (the first and the best) all of his life. He was a man of few words, always thinking twice before he spoke. His children never heard him speak a word against anyone during his life. He was a great lover of music and was a member of a band when he died at 67 years. He was proud of his band, never missing a practice. He was very clean in person and dress. He took pride in being a gentleman. He was devoted to his family, and thought he had the best wife in the world. Although Jefferson was very poor, he obeyed every call given by the church. He was sent many different places to help pioneer new country which made it difficult to get ahead in life. He was first sent to settle Richmond in Cache County which was very cold. From there the church sent him to Muddy, Nevada. Next the family moved to Spring City which they enjoyed. In Spring City they lived in a one room adobe house built by Jefferson. In 1870, Jefferson took a small wagon, a single bed and a small team of horses and loaded the wagon with grapes from a vineyard he had planted. He told his family he would not come home until he could bring something back. He was gone for eighteen months and returned with teams and wagons and money. He brought with him beautiful clothes and furniture to make the family comfortable. He and his son, John, went into the freighting business for a while in Utah. In 1876, he was called to Northern Arizona to help establish the United Order. Later the order broke up and Jefferson and Mary took over the settlement trying to establish themselves, but could not. His last place of residence was in the Mexican colonies he had helped establish. He taught his children the principles of the gospel by example. His wife worked right along by his side giving him support in all his undertakings. She had a large family and taught her children to honor and respect their father. The children thought their father was perfect and never heard cross words between him and their mother. His humility and faith in God tempered his pride. Jefferson took an active part in the early days of Arizona. He was an older man in a community of younger men that looked up to him for advice and counsel. He was given the responsibility to assist in setting up the United Order and helped choose locations for settlements. When the call came for the people who were being persecuted for plural marriage to go to Mexico, it broke up the little settlement where they lived. Jefferson and two other men asked for the privilege to go to Mexico also even though they had not entered into plural marriage. He died there May 5, 1902. He had played in the band for a Mexican holiday then came home to do his chores. He ate his supper, said his prayers and went to bed and died. His wife, Mary A. Adams, lived seventeen years after him, but each minute of them was spent waiting to see her beloved husband again.