The Pioneer Adair Family of Mariposa and Merced:

Contributed by; Carol Lackey



James C. Adair, born May 3, 1833, emigrated from Ireland, settling in Pennsylvania. He came to Mariposa County with John C. Fremont and as Superintendent of mines in Mariposa County for Fremont, until his death, May 9, 1895. He is buried in the Saint Joseph's Catholic Cemetery, Mariposa.

He married Mary Deegan in Philadelphia, before they came to California. She also had immigrated from Clare County, Ireland, the daughter of Michael and Julia Deegan. They came to California in 1860 in the company of her sister Bridgett. (Bridgett married James J. Dolan) They made their home in Bear Valley, where they raised a family of one girl and five boys.

Joseph A. Adair became a teacher and taught school in Bear Valley and Mariposa. He then bought and operated the Mariposa Gazette for several years. He studied law and was elected District Attorney in Mariposa about 1890, a position he held for eight years. During this time he married Annie Kerrins of Mariposa. Later they moved to Los Angeles, where he practiced law until his death. They had two sons.

Mary E. Adair became a teacher and taught school in Yosemite. She was also an artist and painted many pictures of Yosemite. She was the first woman to climb Half Dome. She was also a musician, composing songs to promote California. She joined David A. Curry in showing scenic films of Yosemite and the High Sierras, as boosters of California. She married Louis Aubury, State Mineralogist, and they had one daughter.

William Adair became a member of the Merced Police Department and was with them at the time of his death at a young age. He married Emelia Sanguinetti, and they had one son.

Charles F. Adair was a miner in California and Arizona until 1914, when he became a ranger in Yosemite National Park, remaining there until his retirement, Dec. 1, 1935. He married Gerda M. Tange of Los Angeles in 1925 and they made their home in the Valley until his retirement, moving to Los Angeles. Adair Lake in Yosemite National Park is named for him.

Fred M. Adair was a miner in Mariposa County until most of the mines closed. In 1920 he moved his family to Southern California where he worked in the oil industry, which was becoming a new business in California. He married Rose C. Solari of Indian Gulch. They had one son and one daughter. James S. Adair became a miner and was Superintendent of the Utica Mine in Angels Camp and with the Wild Goose mining Co. in Nome, Alaska before retiring in Los Angeles. He married Eleanor Lane and they had one son.

Three grandchildren of James and Mary Adair are living at the time of the 125th Centennial, Aubury Adair, son of Joseph Adair, and Fred M. Adair and Nathalie Adair Smith, son and daughter of Fred M. Adair.