The Adams Family made their mark on Narrandera

Florence Evelyn Adams may well have been among this group of tennis players in 1896-97 as she was a keen tennis enthusiast and a member of the first tennis club formed in the town.

The Adams family was one of the earliest pioneer families of Narrandera.

Henry Daniel Adams came to Riverina with his father in the year 1850 and spent his early days on the land in the Little Billabong district, where his father was one of the pioneer settlers. In 1870 he came to Narrandera, where he resided until the time of his death. For some years he was in business and in 1883 he relinquished business and resided privately at Narrandera and at the some time interested himself in pastoral pursuits and contracting.

He justly claimed to be one of the pioneers of these parts and perhaps no one in these districts had more varied experiences nor a wider knowledge of the early settlement of the district than did the late Mr Adams. Not only did he come here before the establishment of the railways, but also before there were properly defined roads. Amongst his experiences in those far off days was that of taking a team of wool from Lake Midgeon to Sydney. On that occasion he was 10 weeks on the roads.

He was associated with the early history of the Narrandera Municipal  Council, being one of the first aldermen and at one time occupied the position of Mayor. He was one of the founders of the Pastoral and Agricultural Association and was considered to  be the father of that association and retained a position on the committee. The Narrandera Race Club was another body which received his patronage at the time  of its inception, as did the Hospital. He was also at one time a director of the Pastures Protection Board and a director of the Public Hall Company until the time of his death.

There was no public or charitable movement that did not have his  support and he gave both his time and his money towards furthering their interests. Mr Adams was gifted with a most remarkable memory and could sit for hours recounting the experiences of his early life as if they happened yesterday.

In 1865 Mr Adams married the only child of Benjamin Bradley, one of the first aldermen of Wagga. He had a family of five sons and two daughters, the sons being Messrs Henry B Adams (Hillside, Narrandera), Jas W (Narrandera), J C Adams (Junee), A V Adams (Grong Grong) and Ernest A (Ivanhoe). The daughters were Miss Adams (Narrandera) and Mrs G H Devlin (Euroley). Amongst his descendants were 20 grandchildren and three great grandchildren. The children of Mr G R Hopwood, of Rose Vale, were his great grandchildren. When the end came the whole of his family were at his bedside, except Ernest, who was unable to arrive home until an hour after his death.

His last illness lasted only a few days. The funeral was attended by an exceptionally large number of old friends and  representatives of the public bodies with which the late Mr Adams was connected during his long residence in the town. The Rev Canon Rawling officiated at the graveside.


Miss Florence Evelyn Adams died at the age of 83 years. She was the eldest daughter of the late Mr and Mrs Henry Adams and was born at Wagga on November 16 1869 and came to Narrandera at an early age.

She attended the first public school in Narrandera and also attended other academies for pianoforte lessons, singing, art and fancy work. Her activities in the public and social life were numerous, as were her interests which extended to church work, sport, Red Cross and other charitable work.

For years Miss Adams was a member of St Thomas’ choir. She was also a member of the old Narrandera Musical Society, taking part in many Gilbert and Sullivan operas.

In sport Miss Adams was a keen tennis enthusiast, being a member of the first Narrandera Tennis Club, and was one of the leading players.

During the First World War she was a member of the local Red Cross and held a certificate from the head body in appreciation of her services. Miss Adams was an accomplished horsewoman, riding sidesaddle, in the days before women adopted the present riding breeches. She was also a very capable needlewoman.

In later years she lived in retirement at her home West End. She was survived by two brothers, Henry Bradley Adams (Twynam Street) and Ernest A (West End, Larmer Street, Narrandera).

The services at the church and cemetery were conducted by the Rev Kerdel, Rector of Leeton, in the absence of the Rev A J Withers, who was absent from the town.


One of the oldest natives of the town Mrs Geo H Devlin of Euroley was the younger daughter of the late Mr and Mrs H D Adams. Her father was one of the most prominent of the early residents and there was no local body of importance with which he was not connected.

Mrs Devlin was educated at the Narrandera Public School. While attending school she displayed remarkable intelligence and was awarded the first gold medal ever presented at the school. She entered the service of the Education Department as a pupil teacher, but after a time resigned from the service.

As a young woman she was one of the leaders in many of the movements in which the women were interested. She was a member of the old Tennis Club and one of its best players for a number of years.

She interested herself in church work and was for many years a teacher and also superintendent of St Thomas’ Sunday School as well as a member of the choir.

On her marriage Mrs Devlin left town to reside at Euroley and although the scope for participation in public movements in the country was very restricted until later years, she always interested herself in local activities and when the CWA was formed at Euroley she became an active member.

She was remarkably well informed on most current subjects, as well as the early history of Narrandera. She had been in indifferent health for some time, but her last illness lasted only four days. She was survived by her husband, but they had no family. She was also survived by three brothers and one sister. The brothers were Messrs H B and E A Adams (Narrandera) and A V Adams (Newcastle), while her sister was Miss F E Adams (Narrandera).

A choral service was held at St Thomas Church after which the cortege moved to the Narrandera cemetery, where interment took place. The Rev K J Clements conducted the funeral service and was assisted by Emeritus Archdeacon Rawling, an old friend of deceased’s family. A requiem service was also held and the funeral was largely attended – among those at the graveside were many school friends and friends from Narandera, Euroley and the neighbourhood. The bearers were Messrs G Hopwood, F and J Adams and Alby Adams (Sydney). Mrs F Lindley had charge of the funeral arrangements.


James William Adams died in his 50th year at Stockton, Newcastle and was also a native of Narrandera.

After attending school at Narrandera, he joined the local post office staff and served in almost every capacity. Although on various occasions he was offered transfers which carried substantial promotions, his love for his native town prompted him to return them before he accepted a transfer to Newcastle.

Jim Adams was a member of the committee of the local Imperial Football Club and in his younger days interested himself in foot running. He left a widow, four sons and two daughters to mourn his loss.

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