ADAMS, RICHARD. -The career of this well-known and recognized man of Harrisburg was not long in years, but in spirit and character it was such as to leave an abiding impress in the community. He was born in county Down, Ireland, August 15, 1850. His parents, James and Margerie Adams, were people of intelligence and of good social standing, and realized the importance of careful training and competent instruction in preparing their son for the duties of life. Both at home and in the best schools his intellectual faculties were developed and trained, and his mind was stored with information which gave him a clear view of life, its opportunities and its responsibilities. He was active and mature, and was ready and anxious to enter the paths of business early in life. He first engaged in business at Bainbridge, Ireland, with Mr. James Dodds, and before he reached his majority continued with him for six years. He longed for the broader fields and larger opportunities which a newer country with its vast resources undeveloped affords the ambitious young man, and hence in 1869 he came to the United States and located at Harrisburg. His choice of locality was perhaps determined by the fact that his elder brother, William J., was already established in business in this city. He very soon became associated with his brother in business, and his entire business career was occupied with the firm thus formed. The brothers were partners for over twenty years, and were always in accord in their views and plans, and were eminently successful. Richard re tired from the firm only a few months previous to his death with a comfortable competence for his family, or with ample capital for other business or investments, as inclination and opportunity might invite.
Mr. Adams was interested and active in developing the general resources and enterprises of the city. He was one of the original stock holders of the East Harrisburg Traction Company, and was identified with many other important industries of a public nature, among which were the People's Bridge Company and Kelker Street Market Company, of which he was one of the promoters as well as stockholder. His life was suddenly terminated by the collision of trains on the Pennsylvania railroad. He had been to Philadelphia with his wife to place her under the care of an eminent physician, and had nearly reached the termination of his return journey when by an unexplained confusion of signals one section of an express train dashed into another, and Mr. Adams was instantly killed, June 24, 1892. Although his life was cut off when he was just entering his prime, in his forty-second year, he had in this brief time accomplished the great ends of living. His family were left with property sufficient to meet all their needs, and he had attained that completeness and maturity of character and preparation of heart which mad him ready for the future and spiritual existence into which death introduced him. Mr. Adams was a sincere and devout Christian, with unassuming piety and unostentatious charity adorning his religious profession.
His church membership was first with the Vine Street Methodist Episcopal church, but afterwards he became one of the leading spirits in the Grace Methodist Episcopal church and the material and spiritual prosperity of this important religious enterprise were always near his heart.
Mr. Adams was married, September 23, 1875, to Miss Susan A., daughter of George and Susan (Ford) Welker, of Harrisburg, who survives him. They had five children: Susan Welker, born August 15, 1876, died December 27, 1881; James Laird, born April 21, 1878; Margarie Jane, born April 15, 1880; John Ford born December 19, 1881; and Charlotte, born July 30, 1891.
for the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project – http://maley.net/transcriptions.