Adams, Franklin George, one of the most earnest and energetic men of Kansas in the great work of perpetuating Kansas history, was born at Rodman, Jefferson county, N. Y., May 13, 1824, and was reared upon his father’s farm. He attended the common schools and at the age of nineteen went to Cincinnati, [Ohio] where he received private instruction from an elder brother. He taught in the public schools of Cincinnati, and in 1852 graduated from the law department of what is now the University of Cincinnati. He became profoundly interested in the debate on the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and determined to settle in Kansas. To this end he joined a party from Kentucky which reached Kansas in March, 1855, and settled in what is now Riley county, where they founded the Ashland colony. Before long Mr. Adams returned to Cincinnati, where he taught school again, but in April, 1856, he returned to Kansas and settled on a farm near Pilot Knob, Leavenworth county. He was forced to flee to Lawrence for protection during the border war, and bore arms in defense of that place against the invasion of the pro-slavery men. He was a member of the Leavenworth constitutional convention; was active in the organization of the free-state party in Atchison county, of which he was elected the first probate judge in the spring of 1858. In 1861 he was appointed register of the land office at Lecompton. In September he moved the office to Topeka and held the position until 1864. He was also identified at different times with various publications of the state among them the Squatter Sovereign, Topeka State Record, Kansas Farmer, Atchison Free Press and Waterville Telegraph. He was active in the formation of the State Agricultural Society and drafted the law under which it was organized. He became secretary of the state fair association which held the first state fair at Atchison in 1863. The next year he gave up his various enterprises in Topeka, returned to Atchison, was appointed United States agent to the Kickapoos, and removed to Kennekuk, in the northwest corner of Atchison county. He resigned this agency in 1869, and in the fall of 1870 located at Waterville, Marshall county, where in 1873, he published “The Homestead Guide,” giving the history and resources of northwest Kansas. In the spring of 1875 he returned to Topeka, and the following February the directors of the newly formed State Historical Society elected him secretary. It was in this position that Mr. Adams did his greatest and best work for Kansas. He at once started the work of organization and pursued with steady effort every avenue which he thought capable of adding to the growth and resourcefulness of the society. During his residence in Topeka Mr. Adams was instrumental in establishing the kindergarten work among the poor. He was long a member of the Kansas State Grange and took special interest in the education of children on farms. As editor, author and publisher Mr. Adams was enabled to make his ideas known and to turn public opinion in the right direction. The great collection in the rooms of the Historical Society may be said to be the development and flower of a great life work. Mr. Adams was married on Sept. 29, 1855, to Harriet F. Clark, of Cincinnati. The whole state mourned when Mr. Adams passed away on Dec. 2, 1899.
Source: Frank W. Blackmar, editor. Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. … with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Vol. 1, Page 25. Chicago: Standard Pub. Co. 1912.