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ADAMS, Hon. Hal Worthen
Transcribed from:  The History of Florida:  Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1923.

ADAMS, HAL WORTHEN, Hon. Perhaps no name is better known in the legal profession of Lafayette
County than that of Hon. HAL WORTHEN ADAMS, county judge of Lafayette County, who for over
sixteen years has held a commanding position at the bar of Mayo, and whose fame in connection
with the Woodmen of the World has given him a state-wide reputation. It is a circumstance
worthy of note that while Judge ADAMS' professional duties have brought him constantly into
the activities of trial work, his greatest admirers among his professional brethren have been
those who have had occasion to meet him at the bar and feel the force of his power as opposing
counsel in the case. Since his elevation to the bench he has justified the contention of
these admirers, who have held that his was the judicial temperament, and that he would, if
so honored, reflect credit upon himself and the profession as well.

Judge ADAMS is not a product of Florida, for he was born at Sikeston, Scott County, Missouri,
July 30, 1884, but he is none the less enthusiastic about it and its wonderful possibilities.
His father, WILLIAM HAWKINS ADAMS, was born in Meridian, Mississippi, in 1846, and died in
1895, and his mother, CARRIE TUCKER ADAMS, born at Tupelo, Mississippi, is also deceased.
WILLIAM HAWKINS ADAMS was a merchant, a member of the Adams-Tucker Mercantile Company, which
for years operated at Sikeston and Essex, Missouri.

The elder of the two children of his parents, Judge ADAMS spent his boyhood at Thayer, where
he completed his high-school course, and when he was only eighteen years of age he entered
Washington College, Washington, Tennessee, and worked his way through by means of the printer's
trade. While there he was active in the literary and debating societies. In 1906 he was
graduated from Cumberland University with the degree of Bachelor of Laws, having also worked
his way through this institution as librarian. He was also president of the law society,
and prominent in other ways.

In September, 1906 Judge ADAMS came to Mayo and established himself in practice, and until
1910, has had as his partner a boyhood chum, A. L. ANVIL, now practicing law at Dade City,
Florida, Judge ADAMS since that date continuing alone. In 1909 he was elected county judge,
and served until December 31, 1909. In 1917 he was again elected to this office, and once
more in 1921, his present term not expiring until 1925. During the late war he served as
chairman of the Labor Board and of the Legal Advisory Board, and participated in all of the
drives for all purposes. In addition to his judgeship he carries on a legal practice in the
Circuit and Supreme courts, and is one of the most astute practitioners at the bar of this
part of the state. Other political honors have been bestowed upon Judge ADAMS, and he has
served three times as mayor of Mayo, has been city clerk and tax collector, and discharged
these onerous responsibilities with dignified capability. He belongs to the county Board
of Trade, the Chamber of Commerce, and is active in all public matters. For several years
he has been a director of the Bank of Mayo. Judge ADAMS has made woodcraft his diversion
instead of sport, and in it has attained to an enviable reputation for expertness, and speaks
on the subject all over the state. In 1919 he was supreme delegate for Georgia-Florida, at
Atlanta, during the convention of the Columbian Woodmen. It is in connection with the
Woodmen of the World that he is best known, however. He is the oldest representative to
the Sovereign Camp in Florida, to which office he has been elected seven times in succession
for terms of two years each. Judge ADAMS also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America and
the Praetorians.

On October 29, 1906, Judge ADAMS married at Lebanon, Tennessee, Miss BESSIE ORGAN, a native
of that city, and a daughter of WILLIAM and MOLLY (SEAY) ORGAN, both of whom were born at
Lebanon, which still continues to be their home. Mr. ORGAN is a merchant and a manufacturer
of iron and steel tanks. At one time he was state oil inspector, and he is one of the
prominent men and active democrats of Lebanon. The Methodist Episcopal Church holds his
membership and receives his generous support. Mrs. ADAMS is a talented musician, and specialized
in music at the Middle Tennessee Young Ladies Seminary at Lebanon, Tennessee, from which
she was graduated, and she frequently affords great pleasure through her music to the
various clubs and Methodist Church societies to which she belongs. Judge and Mrs. ADAMS
have two daughters, CATHERINE and ELIZABETH. During his varied career Judge ADAMS has
developed great powers of oratory, and of late years has acquire a state-wide reputation as
an orator of great force and persuasive power, and his glowing periods and brilliancy of
wit meet with a ready response whether displayed in the court room or on the rostrum.
Presented by  Nancy Rayburn
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