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Jacob Adams Obituaries

The Indianapolis News

Indianapolis, Indiana
14 May 1934
Page 5

Jake Adams, Witness of Scenes of Massacre of Custer's
Army by the Indians, Dies Here Sunday

"Uncle Jake" Adams, Indian fighter, 82 years old, a courier for the regular army in the Custer massacre, and a witness of the scenes on the field of that battle, died at his home, 123 West Eberwine avenue at 8:15 p.m., Sunday.

"Uncle Jake" was widely known in Vincennes. Besides being a war veteran, he had written a booklet about his experiences in the Indian wars during his period of service, 1873 to 1878, when he served on the western plains.

Funeral arrangements have not been completed. As a member of Uncle Sam's regular army who served during the war, "Uncle Jake" will be buried with the flag draped about his body.

Hundreds of Vincennes residents have heard the sturdy old Indian fighter tell of his experiences in the days when "the only good Indian was a dead Indian," and the feeling of the early settlers ran high against the depredations of the red man.

Five Years in Field

His book tells of enlisting at Yankton, Dakota in April of 1873. He spent five years with a field regiment, which served under General Custer. It was the first expedition ever sent into the Black Hills, the wild and unknown territory.

Illustrative of the tales he tells is the story of his getting water, under fire, for the wounded of his expedition.

Burial in City

Burial will be in the Mt. Cavalry cemetery. Survivors are: two sons, Joseph, of Kalamazoo, Mich. and Francis Adams of Vincennes; and two daughters, Maggie Miller of Kalamazoo.

Two brothers are George and Edward, both of this city.

Two sisters, Martha Murphy of St. Francisville and Lula Hoffman of St. Marie, Ill., also survive. Other survivors include 32 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Vincennes Sun-Commercial

Vincennes, Indiana
14 May 1934
Contributed by Jeff Veach

The cemetery caretaker gave Jeff Veach additional information:

In the water party with Michael Madden. Pension and death records list birthdate as July 12, 1851. Enlisted on April 13, 1873, at age 21, in Yankton, D.T., by Captain Frederick Benteen. Previous occupation was farmer in Ohio and Indiana. Treated for frostbite at Fort Rice December 12, 1873, and for conjuctivitis of the eye, April 21, 1874. In Captain George Yates' detachment that arrested Rain In The Face at Standing Rock Agency in 1875. The unexecuted part of the sentence of military convict, J. Adams, formerly private, Company H, 7th Cavalry, was remitted on June 21, 1876, and he was restored to duty, per SO 116, Dept. of the Gulf, New Orleons, 1876. Discharged on April 13, 1878, at Fort Rice, D.T., on expiration of service, as a private of excellent character. He had brown eyes, brown hair, fair complexion, was 5'8" tall and was illiterate. Received a pension after May 7, 1885. Resided on Rural Route 12, Kalamazoo, MI, in 1927, and Rural Route 8 and 123 West Ebervine, Vincennes, IN. Died at age 82 at 8:15 p.m. on May 13, 1934, at his home. Causes of death were cardiac asthma and arteriosclerosis. Buried in Mt. Cavalry Catholic Cemetery, Vincennes. Survived by two sons, two daughters, two brothers and two sisters. (His account is in Horace Ellis, A "Survivors Story...," Journal of American History, III, 2:1909; George R. McCormack, "Man Who Fought With Custer," The National Republic, 21:12, March 1934, and Kenneth Hammer, Custer on '76, pp. 121-22. See "Taps For Jacob Adams...," Winners of the West, XII:3, February 1935. Obituary in the Vincennes Sun-Commercial, May 14, 1934.)

See also Article and Gravestone.