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Chapter Five: The James Franklin & Mary Stella Adams House - 1900-1910 - 214 S. Molalla Ave.

By Gail McCormack

The James Franklin and Mary Stella Adams House is located at 214 South Molalla Avenue. The architectural style is 20th Century Classic Box form.

It has the typical truncated pyramidal roof form and full length front porch.

However, this front porch was added. The original front porch was smaller and two stories which included a balcony.

The house is well preserved for its age and is privately owned.

MOLALLA AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY - In this old photo (above), the James Franklin and Mary Adams House is third from the right. The architectural style is the Classic Box form. You can see the original front porch which is smaller than today's and was two stories including a balcony. The two houses to the right are still there today and were most likely also built by Frank Adams.

James Franklin Adams was known as "Frank" throughout his life in Molalla. Frank and Mary Adams purchased the land for this home in 1898.

It may have been built as a house that he intended to resell. Frank was an excellent carpenter, having learned the trade from his father who was a master carpenter. Frank described himself as a "house carpenter". Frank's granddaughter, Pat Lantz of Molalla, related to me that Frank did not live in one house for very long.

Next door to this house, toward's town, are two houses where Mary's sisters, Ellen Kayler and Florence Kayler, lived. These two houses may also have been built by Frank Adams.

Frank was the son of Oregon Trail pioneers, William D. Adams and his wife, Lucina. William and Lucina traveled the Oregon Trail in 1865.

They settled in Molalla and lived the rest of their lives here, as did most of Frank's siblings.

Frank was born on the old Adams homestead, about a mile south of Molalla, on June 21, 1868. Frank's siblings were: Mary E., born 1858, who married Thomas Hammond, a farmer; George V., born 1862, a carpenter and farmer, who married Kate Robbins; Albert A., born 1863, who died young; Lucy E., born 1865, who married Whitcomb F. Briggs, a logger and farmer; Etta E, born 1873, who married Joseph Harless, a farmer and gold miner and Effie B., born in 1877, who married Dee Engle, a farmer.

William D. Adams with his children:  From the left, the gentlemen are George V. Adams, William D. Adams and Frank Adams. The ladies are:  Etta Adams Harless, Effie Adams Engle and Mary Adams Hammond. Photo courtesy of Blair Holman of Coos Bay, Oregon.

Frank and Mary were married on June 15, 1889, at her parent's home. Mary's parents were Oregon Trail pioneers, Henry F. and Catherine Herman Kayler.

They traversed the Oregon Trail in 1852 and 1866, respectively. Mary was born June 1, 1870, on her parent's donation land claim two miles south of Molalla, on Herman Road.

Frank and Mary's children were: Gertrude, born in 1890, who married Harvey Everhart, the undertaker; Zella Grace, born in 1892, who married Clyde Engle, a salesman; Lee Mason, a carpenter, born in 1896, who married Nell Bland, a school teacher; Merle Maude, born in 1900, who married Fritz "Fred" Sandgren, a restauranteur and hotel operator; Lois Katherine, born in 1902, who married Gilbert Meyers, a farmer, and Frances P., born in 1908, who married Orville Klinger, a steel foundry worker.

Frank and Mary's daughter, Merle and her husband, Fred Sandgren had the Hungate Hotel in Molalla, where they rented out rooms. It was torn down when the current Chevron Station was built.

Their son, Lee, also took up the trade of carpentry. Lee is credited with building the Dickey Prairie and Maple Grove Schools. They are two of the outstanding Clackamas County Landmarks in our area.

Lee also built Hebo School, on the coast. The whole family camped out at the coast while Lee built Hebo School.

Frank Adams died at the Silverton Hospital in 1950. Mary died in 1933.

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