The C. A. McAdams Family

The C. A. McAdams Family

Our American Roots

by Charles G. Petersen
Charles and Lillian's Son

                       Charles        Lillian 
                       Andrew          May
                       McAdams       Whitcomb
                          |             |
Alden Samuel McAdams
Family Group
Watch Maker
The Watch Maker title is a bit of a misnomer. There is no doubt that he could make a watch but in actuality he was a watch repair person, a profession he followed all of his working life. Exactly where he learned his trade I do not know. The first mention of him as a watch maker was in the 1928 City Directory for Ceder Rapids, Iowa. Shortly thereafter, by 1930, he moved to Rockford, Illinois.
First Marriage
It was in Rockford that he met a young girl named Bessie, aka Betty, Dorrance. Betty was born in Iowa in 1914, but the family moved to Genoa, Illinois about 1916. It was there that her mother died in 1918. Four years later in 1922, her father married again and the family moved to Rockford, Illinois. Just after her 18th birthday in January of 1932, Betty and Alden were married (picture).
Their first child, a son Kenneth, was born nearly two years later in Anderson, Indiana. From there they moved to La Salle, Illinois where they lived for several years and where their daughter, Lillian, was born in 1936.
Sometime around 1942, Betty fell in love with another man and she ran off to Florida with him. That romance didn't last and they did not marry, but she remained in Florida the rest of her life and was married twice more. Alden was left with two small children. He took the children back to Iowa to his parents home while he found work in Des Moines. The children lived with their grandparents, Charles and Lillian, for the next 4 years. The divorce was not finalized until 1944.
Second Marriage
Alden married again in Des Moines in 1947 to a divorcee by the name of Bliss Winslow with a child of her own. They lived in Des Moines for a couple more years then moved to Algona, Iowa where he and Bliss lived the rest of their lives. Alden owned and operated a small, actually tiny, jewelry and watch repair shop next the movie theater in downtown Algona. The shop was called Dean's, a name he had gone by professionally for many years. Alden died of cancer at age 73, Bliss lived alone in Allgona for the next 15 years until she died in 1994.
Children of Alden Samuel McAdams and Bessie Ardalane Dorrance

Kenneth Eugene born November 30, 1934 in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana.

Lillian May born September 23, 1936 in La Salle, La Salle County, Illinois.

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