Lillie and Willie Adam
Happy Birthday, Grandpa!
While catching up on some genealogy reading, I discovered Amy Johnson Crow’s blog No Story Too Small: Life is Made of Stories. In January she challenged everyone to take the 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks challenge. I’m a little late but have taken the challenge!
In 1911 at the age of 18, Willie purchased 240 acres from his father, Julius Adam. He bought the land for $3000.00 with $500.00 down and a balance of $2500.00 to be paid in fifteen years with 6 percent interest. The land was just “across the field” from his parents on the San Antonio-Fredericksburg Road, old Highway Number 9. The back side of the property ended at the Balcones Creek. According to family stories, the property included a two-story house which needed repairs. Julius purchased this property from George N. Lytle and his wife in 1909.
Willie raised on his parent’s farm was a hard worker. My guess is he wanted his own place but that’s a lot of land and debt for an 18-year-old. His experience working on his parent’s farm to market farm must have helped him. Willie pursued farming until he was drafted in 1918 and was sent to France. Upon his return, he married Lillie Katherine Schuetz from Kendalia on 7 June 1919. Willie repaired the house, removed the top story and made it ready for his new bride. Together Willie and Lillie operated a farm-to-market and dairy farm until 1955. Kendall County, Texas, Deed Book 27 p: 48-49, Willie Adam and Julius Adam, 21 December 1911; County Clerk’s Office, Boerne.
Kendall County, Texas. Deed Book 27: 48-49, Julius Adam and Willie Adam, 11 December 1918; County Clerk’s Office, Boerne.
“All those certain two tracts of land on Balcones Creek, in Kendall County, Texas, being parts of the San Antonio Cruz League and Labor of land. Original Survey No. 170. And described as follows: First, Seventy (70) acres of land of said survey sold by Geo. N. Lytle and wife to Julius Adam by deed dated 12 February 1909 and recorded in Vol. 25, page 5 of the Kendall County Deed records and which Deed contains the field notes…Second, One hundred and seventy (170) acres of said Survey comprising lots and parts of lots numbered Twenty three (23) Twenty six (26) Twenty Seven (27) Thirty (30) Thirty one (31 thirty four (34) and Thirty Five (35) according to plat made by James S. Trueheart and being the same land sold to Julius Adam by Geo. N. Lytle and his wife by deed dated 2nd April 1909. Total 240 acres of land.”
World War I Draft Registration Cards are on file at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington DC. If a trip to Washington DC is out of the question, you can subscribe to Ancestry.com and read them any time. The copies are not the best but still readable. I searched for my great-uncle Eugene Conrad Adam and my grandfather Willie Eugene Adam.
I have transcribed as much of the hazy blur as I could.
Eugene Conradt [sic] Adam; from Boerne, Texas; age 20; born June 1, 1898; white; farmer; employed by Julius Adam, Boerne, Texas; next of kin Julius Adam, RFD #1, Boerne, TX, he signed his name as Eugene Conrad Adams; medium height; build ?; eyes blue; hair brown; Registered by Elmer Watts on Sept 12, 1918
Willie Eugene Adam; age 24; Boerne, Texas; Born March 23, 1893; natural-born citizen; place Boerne, Texas; Farmer; next of kin, Julius Adam, Boerne, TX; no children; single; caucasian; signed Willie E. Adam; Tall; Medium build; light blue eyes; Med. Brown Hair; H. O. Adler; Precinct #1, Kendall Co, Texas, June 5, 1917; Aug. Langbein
This is one of my all time favorite photographs. On the left side of the picture Adalbertha Bergmann Adam is gazing adoringly at her grandchildren, Willie, Eugene (standing on the chair), and Hildegarde. Eugene was born in June of 1898 so I’m estimating the picture was taken in 1900. They are the children of Julius and Ida Haufler Adam. We even get a peek into one of the rooms in the house that Adalbertha and Conrad built. It’s a fabulous picture for a sentimental Sunday!
Adam Kids. Photograph of the original held by Jimmie Adam. Digital copy privately held by Kathryn Adam-Hurst. Boerne.
I don’t remember Grandpa looking this young, but he looks so handsome in this picture I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to post it for his birthday, number 129 to be exact. I have very few memories of him, but there are a couple that really stand out. Every Sunday afternoon, my parents and I would go visit Grandpa and Grandma. Grandpa always gave me a big hug and his whiskers were really scratchy and then sometime during the visit he would make me a paper hat by folding a page from the Sunday newspaper. I remember thinking that was pretty cool but I can’t remember if I ever wore one of those hats.
The hat memory really stuck with me and when I was an elementary school librarian I liked to read aloud the classic story, Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys, and their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina. Each student would make the same hat my Grandpa used to make for me and then I would read the book and the students would act out the story. We had such fun and to think the idea started on a Sunday afternoon with my Grandpa.
Adam, Willie. Photograph of the original held by Jimmie Adam. Digital copy privately held by Kathryn Adam-Hurst. Boerne.
He was 25 when he enlisted on 8 August 1918. He had blue eyes, brown hair, fair complexion and was 5 feet 10 in height. He was single with excellent character. On 15 August 1918 he was assigned to the 133 Infantry. He left the United States 17 September 1918 for France and returned 26 February 1919. Willie was paid $111.80 for his service which included a $60.00 bonus as “per the Act Congress approved 24 February 1919.”
Willie was the grandson of Conrad and Adalbertha Bergmann Adam and the son of Julius and Ida Haufler Adam and my grandfather.
Thank you Grandpa for defending our freedom.
Adam, Willie. World War I, 1919. Photograph of the original held by Jimmie Adam. Digital copy privately held by Kathryn Adam-Hurst. Boerne.
Celebration? Relatives visiting on Sunday afternoon? I don’t know, but I love the picture! The family is posed in front of the Julius Adam home on a sunny day in 1912. Adalbertha Bergmann Adam is front row center. On her left is Bertha Adam Froebel Haby, her daughter, Erna Adam, her granddaughter, has her hand on her chair, on her right is Kathinka Adam Toepperwein, her oldest daughter.
Left to right:
Eugene Adam, grandson; Paul Toepperwein, son-in-law; Emma Herms, daughter; Wally Toepperwein, granddaughter; Gus Herms, grandson; Clara Toepperwein, niece; Ida Haufler Adam, daughter-in-law and my great-grandmother; Hilda Adam, granddaughter; Bertha ?; there is a man standing behind Bertha I can’t see his face clearly; Edna Herms, granddaughter; Julius Adam, son; Mousie Goerges, niece; Chris Herms, son-in-law; Willie Adam, grandson and my grandfather.
Adam, Adalbertha. Adam Descendants at the Julius Adam Home 1912. Photograph of the original. 2000. By Gunner Froebel. Digital copy privately held by Regina Adam and Kathryn Adam-Hurst. Boerne, Texas. 2011.
For most of the 20th century the school bells did not start ringing until the day after Labor Day. The last day was usually around Memorial Day. In the early part of the 1900s, school sometimes didn’t start until October and ended in March, as was the case in 1900-1901, when my grandfather, Willie Adam, was seven years old. The school year began October 15, 1900, and ended March 16, 1901. He attended the Balcones School located on the Boerne Stage Road or at that time it was the main road from Boerne to San Antonio. (Highway 9). The school building is located next to the Balcones Creek which is the boundary line between Kendall and Bexar Counties. Most residents in Kendall County call this school the Lower Balcones School.
In 1900-1901 school year, the Balcones School was a one room wooden school house with 20 double desks. During the 1908-1909 school year, Willie was the oldest boy in the school and his younger brother Eugene and his sister Hilda also attended school with him. The building had not changed from the 1901 assessment but in 1910 a new one was built. My father always understood the one room school burned down and in its place a two room school was built.
My father, his brother and many of his cousins attended the Balcones School. His grandfather, Julius Adam, was on the school board for a number of years and later his son, Willie Adam, served on the board. Sometimes during a school year, the school teacher lived with Julius and Ida Adam . It was about a mile walk to school from the Adam farm.
A couple of memories from attending school there in the 1930s.
One time, the wooden shingle roof on the Julius Adam home caught fire and someone came and got the school kids so they could form a bucket brigade. They put the fire out. Don’t you know that was exciting but hard work!
In 1936, Texas was celebrating its Centennial. The school teacher took a number of the Balcones students on the train to Dallas to experience the State Celebration and Fair. Daddy, his brother, his cousins Jack, Wallace, Julian, Doris and a number of others went. They stayed for three days. While on the train, it seems the older boys in the group (brother and cousins) convinced my father that he could fit in the luggage compartment. They assisted in squeezing him into the compartment but he got stuck and couldn’t get out! They had to call a conductor to help him. While at the fair, the kids rode the carnival rides, looked at the exhibits and had a great time. It was “lots of fun.“
What I want to know is, did the teacher have as good a time as the kids? What were all of there parents doing while practically all the kids in the neighborhood were gone? Were they dancing in the street?