Grave marker for Frederick L. Adams
A grave marker shows the final resting place for Fred Adams, a 24-year-old farm hand who met his death as the result of a heavy timber falling on him while it was being unloaded from a wagon. The inscription on his tombstone reads, “2nd Son of Albert R. Adams, Late Capt. 24th Regt., Died July 5, 1895. Aged 24 Years. For so we blesseth his beloved sleep” (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Published as it appeared on July 8, 1895, in the Corvallis Times, Page 3, Column 5.


Fred Adams, Struck by a Bridge Timber, and His Life Crushed Out.

A sudden and violent death, a reminder that it is but a step from the prime of life to the charbel house, is the fate that claimed Fred Adams Friday afternoon. Adams was a young Englishman, not more than 23 years of age, whose arrival in Corvallis from London, England, was noted in these columns about two years ago. A few days after his arrival he was employed as a farm hand by William Castle, who lives on the St. Clair homestead, half a mile north of Philomath, and there he remained, a trusted and valued farm assistant until the day of his death. The day of his death, Adams and Mr. Castle with a wagon and team went to the woods after binding poles for his hay rack and some stringers for a bridge. The timbers were procured, and at four o’clock, they had arrived home and were unloading. One of the stringers had been safely landed on the ground, and a second was in process. It was a fir stick, sixteen feet long and one foot thick, and green and heavy. One end had been laid on the ground, and the other was being lifted off. Castle had hold of the end, and Adams stood beside the wheel, each lifting on the timber as they raised it to the wheel, where it was to rest a moment for a new hold to be taken on it. At the wrong moment it slipped from the wheel and knocked Adams backwards. He fell on his back, and the heavy timber fell across his breast. The shock was so great that Castle says the end of the log bounded up at least a foot and fell again, the last time striking the victim in the face. Then it rolled off down an incline. For a moment, the injured man laid motionless, and then asked his companion if he thought the injury would prove fatal. A reassuring answer was given, and after a minute the injured man was assisted to his feet. “Hold my hand,” he said to his friend, and these were his last words, for after walking a dozen feet he fell, never more to rise. He was carried into the house, and twenty minutes later expired.

On reaching the house, Drs. Loggan and Akin of Philomath were summoned, but they could do nothing. After Adams had breathed his last, Justice Boles was notified and an inquest was held. William Castle was the only witness, and his testimony was of the same purport as the foregoing. The jury was A.B. Newton, foreman, J.H. Merriman, H.P. McCullough, Marshall Allen, P. Bressler, and Alvin Bowman, and the verdict was as follows: “We the jury summoned to hear the evidence relating to the death of Frederick Adams, find from the evidence that he came to his death from an injury received from a heavy timber falling on him while unloading it from a wagon, that it was purely accidental, and that no one was to blame for the accident.”

Adams was a native of London, England. He was in Corvallis on the Fourth, and along with the rest, spent the day in pleasure. His parents are both dead, but he has five brothers and one sister living. Of these, one brother is in Alaska and the rest in England. From the first, and from one of the brothers in England he received shortly before his death a letter that neither of which had been opened when the fated hour arrived. The funeral occurred at two o’clock Saturday, and the interment was made in the Newton cemetery. All who knew the dead man intimately agree that his was a kind disposition and a generous heart.