Ohio Biographies

Eli Purchas Adams

Rev. Eli Purchas Adams, born June 24, 1814, in Washington County, is a son of Isaac and Dorcas Adams. He graduated at Marietta College in 1842. For two years after this he engaged in teaching school. In 1844, he entered Lane Seminary, then under the presidency of Rev. Lyman Beecher. He studied here two years, but was unable to complete his course on account of poor health. In 1846, he went to Helena, Kentucky, fifteen miles from Maysville, and taught a school there until 1859. On July 2, 1846, he was married to Martha Slack, daughter of Col. Jacob Slack, of Mason County, Ky. He had two children of this marriage, one died August 20, 1853, and its mother ten days later. The remaining child died January 15, 1858. He was ordained by Harmony Presbytery in Kentucky in 1853. On March 19, 1856, he was married to Miss Lucy A. Bartlett, of Marietta, Ohio, the daughter of a prominent Congregational minister, a lady eminently fitted for the difficult position of a minister's wife. Of this marriage there were eight children, six sons and two daughters. One son, William N., died in childhood. The others are living. Francis Bartlett Adams is a druggist in Perry, Rolls County, Mo., and Isaac Watts Adams is a farmer in the same place. Gilbert Purchas Adams is a fanner near Vanceburg, Ky., and Charles Baird Adams, a physician at the same place. Elizabeth Loughry Adams, a daughter, was a teacher at Vanceburg, Ky. She was married November 5, 1896, to Scott McGovney Foster, of Sandy Springs, Adams County. Alfred Hamilton Adams, a son, lost both his feet alighting from a freight train. Rev. Adams' daughter, Margaret Alice, lived until June 6, 1886, when she was drowned in the Ohio River by falling from a steamboat. She was then in her twenty-eighth year. She had a lovely Christian character and was her father's right hand in church and Sabbath school work. She had been a teacher of music for several years and was most highly esteemed by all who knew her.

In May, 1859, Rev. Adams was called to the churches of Rome and Sandy Springs. Here his life work was done. He was pastor of these churches until 1873, when he was called to Hanging Rock for two years, and for three years he resided on his farm below Vanceburg, Ky. He returned to Sandy Springs in 1878 and continued his work there until 1895 when the infirmities of age compelled him to retire. In January, 1899, he was taken with what proved to be his last illness. He survived till March 15, 1899, when he passed away in peace. He realized that this sickness was his last. He said his work was done and only regretted that it was not better done. His faith was firm and his hope assured. He was beyond all troubles and his last hours were in the Peace of God. His life had been one of trial and privation, of many disappointments, and of much affliction and sorrow, but in the midst of all of them, his Christian virtues shone out with a resplendence which called forth the admiration of all who knew him. The memory of his labors should be preserved to all who follow him, and while remembered, will be a Beacon Light pointing to the Savior of Men as his Guide and Master.

One who was his pupil for two and a half years, and who is a man well advanced in life, says of him that he had a fine tact for instructing others, occupied the first rank as an educator, and as the principal of an academy of Kentucky, did much to fit young persons for a college course and impress his own well rounded Christian character upon their minds.

A clergyman who knew him, says he was of a quiet and retiring disposition, but under pressure of duty and in behalf of right, was persistent and unflinching. He was a Christian man, well versed in the Bible. His piety was scriptural, enlightened and stable. His life was pure and honest, characterized by uniform gentleness and kindness. As a preacher, he was thoroughly orthodox and his sermons were instructive.

From "A history of Adams County, Ohio: from its earliest settlement to the present time" By Nelson Wiley Evans, Emmons B. Stivers, 1900