Sticking with the theme of policemen, here’s a Big Wig of 1880 or so: Samuel Gibson Adams (1825-1886),
. Boston, Massachusetts
He was born in
Brighton in November of 1825 to Milton and Esther Gibson Adams; his sister Roxanna was my great-great grandmother. They were two of five children, their mother died when they were very young, and they were farmed out to relatives and neighbors – a common practice at the time. While all of the other Adams children scattered, Samuel and Roxanna stayed in touch throughout their lives.
Samuel grew up in Brighton and
, and as an adult lived on Boston Walnut Avenue in the city. He married twice (his first wife died) and had four children, one of whom – Samuel Gibson Adams, Jr. – died at 18 years of “inflammation of the lungs” (probably consumption).
He doesn’t look like a policeman in this photo – no brass buttons, no shield, no funny hat or billy club...but he wore a uniform when he started out as a Boston Police Department sergeant in 1861, a position that kept him out of the army – he managed to stay away from the battlegrounds of the Civil War. (He reminds me of Ulysses S. Grant in this photo, though!)
Sam was, apparently, pretty good at his job – appointed Captain of Station #7 in 1863 and, in 1878, became a Boston Police Superintendent, an office he held until 1885.
This photo was taken when he was a Suit, not a Uniform!
He was also good at keeping in touch with his sister. I have lots of old Christmas cards, Valentines, notes, etc., that he wrote to her over the years. I’ll post some of them later on. She notes in her diaries whenever “Sam” comes to call, usually with a basket of fruit (her favorite?
), a bag of hard candy (which she loved) or some flowers. Sam and his family came to the family house in Newton Upper Falls for dinner often, and it was clearly a relationship that both he and Roxanna valued highly. Oranges
Samuel Gibson Adams died May 16, 1886.