This collection consists of photocopied pages concerning the life of James Barton Adams and his poetry.
“Loyalty to his country and a desire to do his part in spite of his advanced years were the direct cause of the death of James Barton Adams, one of the earliest and best known newspaper men Denver has known and a Western poet whose work has been read from coast to coast, who died in Vancouver, Wash., last night. Mr. Adams celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday on April 17. A widow and a son survive.”
“At the beginning of the present war Mr. Adams, who was a veteran of the Civil War, offered his services as a telegrapher to the government. He was assigned to an army post at Vancouver, where he served for nearly a year, having been relieved from this duty a short time ago when a member of the signal corps was substituted. The strain of the work proved too great and, following a cold, pneumonia developed.
“Altho Mr. Adams had written many verses which had won many admirers, a complete volume of his works had not been published. Arrangements to bring out such a book made by the Oregon Historical Society were abandoned because of lack of funds.
“Among the best known of his verses is “A Cowboy Dance,” which has been published often in newspapers and magazines and not infrequently credited to other writers. Another well-known poem is “Bill’s in the Legislature, but He Doesn’t Say What For,” humorous lines that have had a wide appeal.
“Mr. Adams was one of the early newspaper men of Denver. His entrance into the newspaper field was brought about thru his contributions of verse to Western newspapers while he was working as a telegraph operator in Wyoming. He was on the staff of the Denver Post, the Denver Times, and the Rocky Mountain News, and his columns of snappy verse were read daily by thousands and were liberally quoted by other newspapers.
“During the last few months while employed as telegraph operator he contributed verses for several newspapers. His last poem, one of stirring patriotism, appeared in a Portland paper yesterday. He had been a contributor to Puck, Judge, and Life during his newspaper career.
“Mr. Adams was a member of the Denver Lodge of the B.P.O.E. He joined the lodge in 1907 and had kept close touch with the secretary and members since his removal from the city two years ago to take up his residence on the Pacific coast.
“Altho Mr. Adams was at an advanced age he had maintained a lively interest in the things about him and always kept track of the happenings in Denver thru the daily newspapers. ‘Am in fairly good health and frisky on my feet’ he wrote recently in a latter to William Wheadon, secretary of the local lodge of Elks, and went on to tell of his plans for a war garden which he thought would occupy the most of his time during the coming summer.”
“Former Denver Humorist and Poet is Dead: James Barton Adams, Well-Known Thruout Country, Had Been Giving War Services to Nation.” The Denver Times, April 23, 1918, p.3. (Photocopy located in collection)
Note: Gloria Adams Lusby, the great-granddaugter of the poet James Barton Adams, was so engaged by his poetry that she passionately pursued writing a book about the poet and his life’s work with words. She collected original manuscripts, newspaper clippings, and photographs concerning Adams. Unfortunately, her work was cut short when her life ended too soon. Her son Scott Lusby plans to honor and continue his mother’s passion to make known the work of Western poet James Barton Adams.
Scope & Content Note
This collection consists of one folder, James Barton Adams: 102 Photocopied Pages of Poetry & Ephemera. Most of these photocopies come from the Denver Public Library in Colorado, while others are photocopied lists and typewritten articles from Jeffrey Barton Adams, great-great grandson of James Barton James, according to the notes written at the bottom of these photocopied pages. Collections consists of photocopied typewritten articles and poems, photocopied poems printed in newspapers, and photocopied books in their entirety.
Adams, James Barton
Adams, Jeffrey Barton
This collection was accessioned in 2003 and is filed along with the small cowboy poetry collections. Archivist Laura Anne Heller created the current finding aid on August 27, 2009.
The Margo Metegrano Collection of James Barton Adams Poetry & Ephemera is the property of the Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Literary right, including copyright, belongs to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, with the exception of copyrighted artwork images and published literary works, which are the property of the respective copyright holders. It is the responsibility of the researcher, and his/her publisher, to obtain publishing permission from individuals pictured, relevant copyright holders, and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
Restrictions on Access
The collection is open for research. It is advisable for researchers to discuss their proposed research with staff prior to visiting the Center.
Margo Metegrano Collection of James Barton Adams Poetry & Ephemera, Box ##, Folder ##, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.