Francis Porter Adams

Unit at enlistment: 
186th Battalion
Volunteered or conscripted: 
Greenwood Cemetery, Brantford, Ontario
Birth country: 
Birth county: 
Birth city: 
Brantford, Ontario
Address at enlistment: 
224 Victoria Avenue, Chatham, Ontario
Next of kin address: 
224 Victoria Avenue, Chatham, Ontario
Trade or calling: 
Civil Engineer
Religious denominations: 
Marital status: 
Age at enlistment: 

Letters and documents

BX December 13, 1924

F.P. Adams

Frank P. Adams, who has been Brantford’s city engineer since 1920, was the designer of the new Lorne Bridge which has come to be one of the show spots of the city.  Following the resignation of the chief city assessor recently, Mr. Adams was appointed chief assessor and assumed the duties of this post in addition to those of the city engineer, beginning the first of this month.

Mr. Adams was born in Brantford and has spent most of his life here.  He first joined the staff of the city hall in 1907, when T. Harry Jones was city engineer, serving as assistant city engineer from 1907 to 1910.  In 1910 he moved to Chatham to accept the appointment of city engineer for that municipality, retaining the post until 1920 when he was appointed city engineer to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Mr. Jones and returned to Brantford.  Mr. Adams had also had some previous experience as consulting engineer with Mr. Chipman of Toronto. With whom he was associated.

It was while he was stationed in Chatham that the war broke out and Mr. Adams signed up with the 186th Battalion recruited in that city and went overseas being transferred to the 10th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops, with which he served in France.

Mr. Adams is well known among the engineering men of the province, is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers for the Province of Ontario and an associate member of the Engineering Institute of Canada.

The city engineers’ department is one of the most important to the city.  All construction work for the city is designed by the city engineer.  All sewers, sidewalks, curbs and paving all new work and work under construction are under his supervision, the sewers sidewalks, curbs and paving being constructed by day labor.

Shortly after assuming his duties as city engineer, Mr. Adams recommended that the city put in an asphalt paving plant for use in repairing the bitulithic pavements in the city, which was done.  With this plant repairs have been made which are adding considerably to the lifetime of the old pavements and in addition, all new work has been taken care of.

Mr. Adams is responsible for the design and construction of the handsome new Lorne Bridge.  The plans for the structure were drawn up during the winter of 1922-1923, and work on the bridge commenced in the spring of 1923.  The work had progressed far enough by the end of 1923 for traffic to use the bridge during the winter.  In the spring of 1924 the approaches were completed and the railing built on the bridge, and the pavement laid.

Other important construction work undertaken by the city of which Mr. Adams was responsible, includes the building of a main outfall sewer along Mohawk street, in 1921, and also the putting in of a complete sewerage system, with pumps, for the new Bellview and Parkdale districts.

BX June 27, 1941

City Engineer Passes After a Short Illness – F.P. Adams Was Valued Civic Official Here for Last 21 Years

The City of Brantford lost a valued civic official who had given twenty-one years of efficient service as City Engineer, when Major Frank P. Adams, A.M.E.I.C., passed away in the Brantford General Hospital late Thursday afternoon, six days after he had undergone an operation for appendicitis.  He had been ill at his home, 264 Erie Avenue for only a few days before being admitted to the hospital a week ago.  He was sixty-three years of age.

Prominent for many years in Western Ontario professional engineering circles and in the American Water Works Association, Mr. Adams enjoyed the high esteem of many friends and business associates in other parts of the Province as well as in his home City, where news of his death came as a sudden shock.

Mr. Adams was Manager of Brantford’s Waterworks System and was also taking an active part in the City’s recently formed Civilian Defense Committee, being Controller of Utilities Services.  He was Secretary-Treasurer of the Grand River Conservation Commission from the time the Commission was formed.

Born in Brantford

A native of Brantford, the son of George Eastman Adams and Mary Hawley, he was educated in this City and at the School of Practical Science, University of Toronto.  He became assistant, engineer to the Grand Valley Railway Company here, later was a surveyor with Fairchild Brothers, and in 1908 was named Assistant City Engineer.

In 1911 he moved to Chatham as City Engineer, and from Chatham he went overseas for service in the First Great War enlisting in the 186th Battalion, he was later transferred to the 10th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops, returning with the rank of Major.

He was appointed City Engineer for Brantford in 1920, and held that position continuously up to the time of his death.

Engineering Projects

During his twenty-one years’ tenure of that office, numerous civic engineering projects were successfully undertaken, notable among them being the erection of the new Lorne Bridge over the Grand River, a structure which he designed and the erection of a large modern municipal waterworks and filtration plant.  He also gave valuable assistance at the time of the erection of the new Cockshutt Bridge crossing the river south of the City.

As a member of the Grand Valley Group of Professional Engineers and a Registered Professional Engineer of Ontario, Mr. Adams was active in that organization particularly with regard to its promotion of a plan of county reforestation and conservation.

His active interest in the Grand River conservation plan dated back years before the scheme came to fruition.  Once the project was launched and a Commission had been set up by the Government he became a Commander and its first and only Secretary-Treasurer in this capacity he maintained a leading interest in the construction of the big Shand Dam on the Grand River three miles upstream from Fergus.

He as an Associate Member of the Engineering Institute of Canada, and was the author of numerous paper and articles on the subjects of flood control and water conservation.  He was also prominent in the Canadian section of the American Water Works Association having been Chairman of that section.

Mr. Adams was a member of Zion United Church and a member of Brant Lodge A.F. and A.M.

Left to mourn his loss are his widow; three sons, Reginald Adams, Paris, F. Porter Adams, Guelph and Bombardier Gordon H. Adams, now at Woodstock, Ont. With the 69th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, R.C.A., C.A., two sisters, Mrs. W.T. Hays, Petaluma, California and Mrs. T.E. Cottier, Hollywood, California and three brothers, William B. Adams and Charles P. Adams, both of Chatham and J. Whitney Adams, Detroit.

Mayors Tribute

Mayor J.P. Ryan, commenting upon the City’s loss in the passing of a valued official, said today “Frank Adams was the type of civic employee who simplified the work of the elected representatives.  He had a faculty of creating good will with every class of citizen with whom he came in contact.

He was efficient in his work accommodating, and I believe he was gifted with perhaps one virtue which few of us possess – patience.

His position is going to be extremely hard to fill, it will be difficult to find an individual just as versatile as Frank was, with the practical qualifications.

“He has been a tower of strength in his connection with the Grand River conservation scheme.  Being a practical man, he gave unstintingly of his time and ability, and he was one of the most interested persons in the early stages of organization of the conservation project.  It is regrettable that he did not live to see its completion.

“The Grand River Conservation Commission, too, will miss him very much.  It will be hard to find a man possessing the same practical qualifications as an engineer and the ability to do secretarial and detailed work.”

P.U.C. Chairman

Ross T. Beckett, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission, also voiced regret at the sudden passing of Mr. Adams, and spoke of his valued service to the City and to the P.U.C.

“As long as the Public Utilities Commission knew that F.P. Adams was in charge of the waterworks, we realized full well that we had nothing to worry about,” Mr. Beckett said.

“His efficiently and his close touch with every detail along with his many other duties were things which stood out above all others.  The whole staff and the P.U.C. were shocked beyond words to learn of the untimely end of a useful life.

Funeral Saturday

Funeral services for Mr. Adams will be conducted Saturday afternoon.  The body is resting at the Beckett Funeral home, and service will be conducted there with interment at Greenwood Cemetery.

BX June 30, 1941

F.P. Adams is Laid to Rest – Many in Attendance at Funeral of Brantford’s City Engineer

Business and professional associates from many points in Ontario, as well as relatives and local friends, paid final tribute to Frank P. Adams Brantford’s City Engineer, when funeral service were conducted Saturday afternoon.

The service at the Beckett Funeral Home was conducted by Rev. Walter B. Craw, Minister of Zion Untied Church, and Rev. Dr. J.Y. Mackinnon, formerly of Zion Church and now of London, Ont. Interment was in Greenwood Cemetery.

The pallbearers were E.L. Gothard, E.F. Roberts, Malcolm Robertson, Alderman John Noble and Fred I. Grobb, Members of the Brantford Branch of the Canadian Legion acted as flower bearers, these members being E.R. Edwards, F. Balson, J. Willets, B. Cross, G. Ramsey and W. Cross.

Among the large number attending the funeral were members of the Brantford City Council and City Hall staff.  Public Utilities Commission and staff, members off the Board of Works staff and Brantford Fire Department and members of the Session of Zion Church (of which Mr. Adams was a member) the Grand River Conservation Commission, the Grand Valley Group of Professional Engineers, the Canadian Legion and the I.O.D.E.