Merced Express, April 8, 1948


Merced county lost early Tuesday morning one of its best known and best liked citizens, Claude Harris Adams, former district attorney and prominent in statewide youth recreation activities.

Mr. Adams died of cancer at the age of 49.

The instigator of the current countywide recreation program, Mr. Adams received such fame through the starting of one of the first such countywide organizations that he was appointed a member of the California Recreation Commission last year.

In the 10 years he lived in Merced he became one of its most prominent citizens.

Not only was he a leader in city, county, and state recreation activities, but he also became a district attorney, a leader in the chamber of commerce, and a leader in the law business.

Mr. Adams was district attorney from 1942 to 1946. He did not seek reelection after his first term.

He was a former president of the Merced City Chamber of Commerce and has been active in it throughout his residence here.

He was a member of the Elks Lodge and the Lions Club in Merced.

Even before coming to Merced, Mr. Adams had attained a high degree of success in at least two fields.

A native of Thatcher, Utah, he became a principal of an elementary school at the age of 19. He later was graduated from Utah State College and taught in a Utah High school.

Following his marriage in Loga, Utah, to Miss Audene Merrill, he went to the Hawaiian Islands where he served as vice principal of the Hilo High School from 1924 to 1926.

He returned to the United States and enrolled in the Stanford University law school and was graduated from that in 1929.

Shortly thereafter he became chief counsel for the California Land Bank in Berkeley, a position he held until 1936. He then served for two years as executive secretary for the California Land Title Association.

Mr. Adams came to Merced in 1938 and entered into law partnership with High Griswold. The firm now is known as Adams. Griswold, Winton, and Mayes.

Surviving are his widow , Mrs. Audene Adams; a daughter, Judy Adams; two sons, Lee Merrill Adams and Claude H. Adams, Jr., and his mother,  Mrs. Priscilla Harris Adams, all of Merced; four sisters, Mrs. Ruby Wright and Mrs. Leon Dunn of Utah, and Mrs. Faun L. Hunsaker, and Mrs. Teresa Didaickson of Los Angeles, and five brothers, Basil, Earl, and Floyd Adams, of Utah, and Dr. Lyle Adams and Orval Adams of Los Angeles.

Funeral services were held today (Thursday) in the Ivers and Alcorn Mission Chapel.

Entombment was in the Evergreen Mausoleum.

The services were conducted by President Eldon J. Callister of the Merced Church of the Latter Day Saints and former President W. Aird McDonald of Stockton was the Speaker.

The pall bearers were Hugh Griswold of Merced, Dr. E. A. Jackson of Atwater, Dr. Homer Fornoff of Oakland, Reed Gardner of Berkeley, Milton Rygh of Berkeley, and Gordon Winton Jr., of Merced.

Contributed by; Thomas Hilk