Clark J. Adams Papers: 1920-1983
Summary Information
Title: Clark J. Adams Papers
Creator: Adams, Clark J., 1904-1981
Inclusive dates: 1920-1983
Extent: 1 linear foot
Abstract:
Attorney, Michigan State Representative, Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court; biographical information, topical files, and visual materials
Call number: 88372 Aa 2
Language: The materials are in English.
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid prepared by: Marian J. Matyn, July 1988 and Crystal Zeh, July 1999.

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was donated by Adeline Adams, wife of Clark J. Adams on October 8, 1987. (Donor No. 600). Additional materials came in 1998.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

item, folder title, box no., Clark J. Adams Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Biography

Clark J. Adams was born on Silver Lake in Waterford Township Michigan on June 24, 1904. He received both his bachelor and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Michigan in 1925 and 1927, respectively. Following graduation, Adams went into partnership with C. Bryan Kinney. This lasted until 1956 when he was appointed to the Circuit Court.

A long and fruitful interest in public legal service began in 1930 when Adams ran for the office of prosecuting attorney for Oakland County. From 1937 to 1945 he served Oakland County as State Representative, earning the respect of his colleagues and constituents alike. Adams was legal advisor to G. Mennen Williams from 1949 to 1952. During this time, their relationship developed into a close friendship. Governor Williams appointed Adams to the Michigan Supreme Court in August 1952 to fill out an unexpired term. Following a close and highly contested race, he left the Supreme Court in April 1953.

In 1954 Adams became Pontiac's Notary Public. During 1954 and 1955, he served on the Michigan Corrections Commission. Then in 1956, Governor Williams appointed Adams to the Sixth Judicial Circuit bench, a position to which he was reelected until his retirement seventeen years later in 1973. From 1958 to 1960 he also served on the Governor's Advisory Committees on Reorganization of State Government.

An active member and occasional officer of many legal associations, city clubs, and charity organizations, Adams was on the board of legal directors of the Oakland First Federal Savings Bank and Trust and on the advisory board of the Michigan State University-Oakland Foundation, which later became Oakland University.

While at the University of Michigan, Adams met his wife, Adeline Clark, a fellow student. The two were married on June 22, 1929. They had a son, Clark J. Adams, Jr. and two daughters, Dorothy and Janet. Adams died on September 26, 1981.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The papers of Clark J. Adams are arranged into three series: Biographical, Topical, and Visual Materials. The papers relate to his career as an attorney and public servant.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • Judges -- Michigan.
  • Lawyers -- Michigan.
  • Clothing and dress.
  • Courtrooms.
  • Government officials.
  • Politicians' wives.
  • Photographs.
  • Adams, Clark J., 1904-1981.
  • Michigan. Supreme Court.
  • Adams, Adeline B.
  • Adams, Clark J., 1904-1981.
  • Lawyers' Club (University of Michigan)
  • Pontiac Silverdome (Pontiac, Mich.)
  • Williams, G. Mennen, 1911-1988.
  • Williams, G. Mennen., Mrs.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Biographical [series]

The Biographical series located at the beginning of the collection offers a general overview of Adams' life.

Box   1  
Clark J. Adams 1920-1983
Box   1  
Family 1940-1982
 
Topical [series]

Topical Files are arranged by the position or responsibility performed by Adams. Adams' legal career is especially well represented in the Circuit Court and Supreme Court files with newspaper clipping providing more thorough coverage of his court life than his correspondence. Also of interest are the files titled Legal Advisor to Governor G.M. Williams and Miscellaneous Correspondence as they document the relationship, both personal and professional, between Adams and Williams. The Michigan State University-Oakland Foundation series traces the early development of Oakland University.

Box   1  
American Cancer Society, correspondence and clippings January-April 1958
Box   1  
Auditor General, clippings 1944
 
Circuit Court
Box   1  
Clippings 1953-1973
Box   1  
Correspondence June 1955-September 1963
Box   1  
Club Memberships 1940-1975
 
Constitutional Convention Citizens' Advisory Committee
Box   1  
Minutes April 1961-June 1961
Box   1  
Correspondence June-September 1961
 
Governor's Advisory Committee on Reorganization of State Government
Box   1  
Minutes 1958-1962
 
Correspondence
Box   1  
1958-1959
Box   1  
1960-1963
Box   1  
Reports and Recommendations 1958-1961
Box   1  
Greater Pontiac Area Advisory Council, correspondence June-December 1957, undated
 
Legal Advisor to Governor G.M. Williams
Box   1  
Clippings 1949-1973, undated
Box   1  
Correspondence February 1949-December 1955
Box   1  
Interviews July 1949-October 1951
Box   1  
Michigan Corrections Commission, correspondence and clippings April 1955-April 1959
Box   1  
Michigan Judges Association, correspondence and clippings April 1963-September 1967
Box   1  
Michigan State Bar Association, correspondence March 1962-September 1962
 
Michigan State Representative
Box   1  
Clippings 1936-1952
 
Correspondence
Box   1  
1941
Box   1  
1942
Box   1  
1943
Box   1  
1944-1946
Box   1  
Election Certificates 1936-1940
Box   1  
Michigan State University-Oakland Foundation January 1937-July 1963, undated
 
Michigan Supreme Court
Box   1  
Clippings 1952-1953
Box   1  
Correspondence July 1952-February 1964
Box   1  
Michigan Traffic Safety Federation, correspondence January 1952-March 1953
Box   1  
Miscellaneous Correspondence July 1938-September 1978
Box   1  
Notary Public, correspondence January 1954
Box   1  
Oakland County Bar Association, correspondence and clippings 1934-December 1970
Box   1  
Oakland County-Cauca Valley Alliance Committee, correspondence October 1963-February 1965
Box   1  
Oakland County Committee for Mental Health, correspondence February-June 1955
Box   1  
Oakland County Law Library, correspondence and clippings April-May 1976
Box   1  
Oakland First Federal Savings Bank and Trust, clippings January 1934-1973, undated
Box   1  
Pontiac Area Community Council, clippings 1957-1959
Box   1  
Pontiac Stadium Building Authority, correspondence January 1980-February 1981
Box   1  
Prosecuting Attorney 1930
Box   1  
Retirement, correspondence and clippings January 1973-May 1978
Box   1  
United Fund, correspondence and clippings August 1958-January 1959
 
Visual Materials [series]

The Visual Materials series includes photographs and a videotape of a ceremony honoring Adams.

Box   1  
Portraits 1920s-1970s

(photos of Adams with other public figures, including G. Mennen Williams)

Box   1  
Videotape entitled "An Evening Honoring Judge Clark J. Adams," April 19, 1973 (1/2 in. videotape)