John C. McAdams was a member of the firm of McGruder, McAdams & Co., wagon and carriage manufacturers of Bentonville, Arkansas. He was born in Meigs County, Tennessee, in 1844, and was the son of James and Mary (Neal) McAdams. The father was born in East Tennessee in 1825, and was a blacksmith by trade. In 1851, he immigrated to Polk County, Mo., and located at Bolivar. He was a soldier in the Black Hawk War, and while in service was run over by a wagon, which so crippled him that he had to return home. In 1877, he moved to Berryville, Arkansas, and there died in July, 1883. His wife, Mary (neal) McAdams , was born in Virginia in 1924, and was of Irish extraction. She was the mother of fourteen children. He was seven when his parents moved to Missouri.
John was in his father’s shop a great deal, but did not commence work until the age of 17 years old, when he worked with his father for about 7 years. In 1872 he married Miss Mary S. Wood, who was born in Polk County, Mo., in 1855. She was the mother of three children and died in 1879. In March of 1885, he married Mrs. Rachel (Wood) Gilmore and from this union one child was born. He remain in Polk County, Mo., until 1872, when he moved to Monroe County, of the same state, there resided four years. He next located in Polk County, Ark., and worked at his trade a portion of the time, but for a few months clerked in a store.
In 1878, he came to Bentonville, Arkansas. He and John K. Putman became partners, and he carried on his trade for 4 years. He then sold out and for two years he was in the hardware business with the same partner, but soon after bought out his partner and took B. F. Allison into the business, to whom he sold out four months later. In 1884, Mr. McAdams purchased an interest in the carriage and wagon manufactory with Samuel McGruder and George W. Garrett. They manufactured spring wagons, buggies, and did all kinds of wood work and also had a general repair shop. Mr. Mc Adams was a Democrat, a Mason and an Odd Fellow. Mrs. McAdams was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Adapted from Goodspeed History of Benton County 1889