ADAMS, Neb. – A three-year venture to collect history on a small Gage County community is nearly complete for four women.
Beverly Buss, Janie Oltman, Karen Page and Elvera Seeley, all longtime residents of Adams, have spent years collecting stories, photos and anything else they can find related to their town to put into a book.
The group is currently taking orders for “Hometown–Adams” with plans to have the books available this spring.
Oltman said Adams had a newspaper, the Adams Gazette, dating back to 1886, which became the Adams Weekly Globe in 1907 and was published until 1981.
Stories from these old papers can still be found at the local library and were a key source for the book.
Another came around three years ago, when efforts to catalog the history were put into place.
“Probably three years ago, they tore down the old fire hall to build the new one, and there was a safe in there that had a lot of historical information,” Oltman said.
Also in the safe was a 100-year-old flag, now displayed in a case at the Adams community building, that recognized those who served in World War I.
“The stars are for all the men from this area that went to service," Oltman said. "There are two gold ones in the middle for two who didn’t come home.”
Page said there was a large celebration in Adams around 100 years ago to recognize the historic flag, and that the event is just one example of many pieces of Adams’s history featured in the book.
“There was a big celebration of it here in town,” she said. “There were like 2,000 people here to celebrate and it’s now framed in the community building.
“You don’t want that history to get lost. Someone needs to write it and get it out there, because you don’t want to lose it. That’s our biggest concern. You get to our age and you get more interested.”
Many tales came from Adams historian Byrleta Pittamm, while Seely added that some of the best stories about Adams came from people who initially thought their own experiences weren’t that interesting.
The group met regularly to collect stories about Adams, which has more history than some may realize.
“I think as we began to hunt for things we would find things that happened in Adams and that kind of sparked our interest to do more research,” she said. “We would all do research, and with Bev’s prompting and urging, we would help her.”
The book has an entire chapter dedicated to fires in Adams throughout the years. The women said nearly all of the old buildings experienced a fire at some point.
Information about the book can be found on Facebook by searching for “Hometown – Adams, Nebraska.”
The 212-page book costs $30, and anyone interested in buying the book can contact Buss at 402-440-3409 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.