Port Norris Legends

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Legends of Port Norris

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Daniel Jeffries Adams
b. December 14, 1891
d. January 26, 1969

Sheriff Dan Adams was born in Port Norris on December 14, 1891. He was the son of J. Wesley and Ella (Jeffries) Adams. After attending Banks Business College, he worked for Keystone Telephone Company, and later as a lineman for New York Telephone Co. in Jersey City. For a 18 months, he was yard master at the West Side Avenue freight yard. also in Jersey City. He returned to Port Norris and worked for the Deleware Bay Sanitary Association in Bivalve. He was in charge of the health and sanitation department. He would work there for twenty years.

On April 10, 1917, Sheriff Dan married Catherine Lore, with whom he had one daughter, Emily Ann Lore Adams.

In November of 1939, he was elected Sheriff of Cumberland County, replacing Legend William P. Riggin. They would trade off this position over the years Adams serving from 1939-41 and 1945-47. Sheriff Dan was legendary for his size - close to seven feet tall, strength, and bravery. He once stood in front of a runaway horse and wagon on Main Street, grabbing the stirrups as they approached and bringing them safely to a stop.

An industrious man, Sheriff Dan also had a 162 acre farm, growing corn, wheat, oats, potatoes, and beans.

In 1945, he co-founded the Port Norris Rotary Club with Isadore Goldblatt and Harry Barraclough. He was chief of the Port Norris Fire Company from 1940 to '46, and was County Fire Marshall for twenty years. He was on the Board of Managers of the Firemen's Home in Boonton, NJ. He was a member of the Port Norris Baptist Church, as well as many civic clubs: Neptune Lodge #75, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Richmond Chapter #22 Royal Arch Masons of Millville, he attained 32nd degree of the Scottish Rite in Camden Consistory. He also belonged to Crescent Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine at Trenton, the Loyal Order of Moose, the Fraternal Order of Eagles at Newark, the Elks Lodge at Millville, the Idaho Tribe of the Improved Order of Red Men at Port Norris.

After a brief illness, Sheriff Dan Adams died January 26, 1969 at his home on the corner of Brown and Church St, which is still known as "The Adams House" today. On November 22, 2009, Sheriff Dan Adams was recognized as a Legend of Port Norris.

Sources: "Prominent Families of New Jersey, Vol. I" (1945) by William Starr Myers, p.110.

"Dallas Ferry on the Wahatquenack" (1964) by Margaret Louise Mints, p.60.
Personal scrapbook of Robert L. Adams, brother of Daniel Adams.

Newspaper clipping about Dan Adams, date unknown.

Dan Adams' obituary