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John H. Adams papers

Identifier: MSS-0009

Scope and Contents note

The collection consists of John H. Adams's and his son, John R. Adams's, business correspondence. For the most part the correspondence is typewritten and covers primarily the decade of the 1920s. The elder Adams's outgoing correspondence is about half the size of his incoming correspondence, with much of the latter from J. A. Curtis and C. H. Judkins, businessmen and attorneys at law in Cleveland, Ohio. His son's outgoing business correspondence is about three times the size of his incoming correspondence. The correspondence pertains primarily to their mining interests and their company, O'Neals Lime Works Inc. There is a prominent and unexplained gap in both father and son's business correspondence between 1914 and 1922-23. The collection also includes mineral deposit maps of the Tuscaloosa - Birmingham area and material about the Vulcan statue and Vulcan Park in Birmingham. Miscellaneous items include a limited number of various personal and business bills and receipts, unidentified correspondence, credit and financial reports, abstracts, undated mining notes, and mimeographed reports.


  • 1889 - 1943
  • Majority of material found within 1911 - 1936


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are responsible for using the materials in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright claimants in collection materials. Copyright for official University records is held by The University of Alabama. The library claims only physical ownership of many manuscript collections. Anyone wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. Please contact Special Collections ( with questions regarding specific manuscript collections. For more information about copyright policy, please visit: Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal implications, for which the University of Alabama assumes no responsibility.

Biographical/Historical note

John H. Adams (1857-1949) was a mining engineer, businessman, poet, and Birmingham public servant. His son, John R. Adams, known also as Jack Adams and J. Reese Adams, was an attorney, realtor, and businessman. The elder Adams was elected Director from Alabama of the Engineering Association of the Southwest in 1889, and also appointed member of the Standing Committee on Rooms and Library of the same organization. That year he also became superintendent of the Sloss Iron & Steel Company. In 1906 he was chosen as Vice-president, Sayre Mining & Manufacturing Co., and his prominence in the Birmingham business community led to his selection as chairman of the city’s Chamber of Commerce. He was also associated with numerous other firms and civic organizations, among them the Birmingham Farm Garden (1913), the Northern Kentucky Coal Mining Company (Treasurer, 1913), the Birmingham Trussville Iron Company (General Manager, 1918), Alales Construction Company (1923), O’Neal’s Lime Works (President & General Manager, 1923), the Birmingham Zoning Board of Adjustment (Chairman, 1929), Birmingham College (Trustee, 1939), the Masons, Cleveland-Alabama Mining Company, and Republic Iron & Steel Company (General Manager). John R. Adams was an attorney for the Tioga Company, 1909-14, an Assistant Manager of O’Neals Lime Works (1923), Manager of the Shelby County Abstract Company (1924), a realtor in Calera, Alabama (1924), Alabama agent for Schaffer Engineering Co. of Pittsburgh (1925), and member of the law firm of Cooper, Knight, Adair, Cooper & Osborn of Jacksonville, Fla., (1926).


1.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The correspondence of a Birmingham, Alabama, mining engineer, businessman, poet, and public servant. The collection also includes a small group of papers of Adams' son, John R. Adams, an attorney and realtor.


Gift of Mrs. J. B. Cooper and Mrs. Richard Petty, 1949
Guide to the John H. Adams papers
May 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266