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Erle Wilbert Adams

1 Prologue
2 Biography
2.01 Early life
2.01.01 The Grinder of Cocoa
2.03 Teenage Years
2.03.01 The Adams General Store
2.03.02 The Bloody knife and the Gypsies
2.03.03 The Shop Boy and the Sisters
2.04 World War II
2.04.01 In the Footsteps of Patton
2.04.02 Everything in View
2.01.03 The Lightning Scar
2.05 Marriage and Family
2.05.01 Homestead and the Baby Boom
2.04.02 The Miracle Child
2.01.03 Grandchildren
2.06 Career
2.07 The Golden Years
3 Wit and Wisdom
This page is under construction and I am in the middle of updating it as I hear more stories. If have any stories you would like to add to this page please email me here.


Erle Wilbert Adams
Portrait 2003 by Tim Benjamin

November 7, 1920 Enid, Oklahoma USA

Occupation 1st Lieutenant, military instructor, Flint Steel Employee
Parents Robert Erle Adams, and his wife Stella Marie Patton (Adams)
Spouse Mary Margaret Adams
Siblings John Quince Adams, Roberta Leigh (Davis) Adams and Charles Adams.


Early Life

                        In the busy life of Robert Erle Adams, he did find time to find love and marry Stella Marie Patton.   The couple raised children with high values and good morals.   Of the children of Stella Marie Patton and Robert Erle Adams there were: Erle Wilbert Adams, John Quince Adams, Roberta Leigh (Davis) Adams and Charles Adams.

Robert Erle Adams, and his wife Stella Marie Patton (Adams)

The Grinder of Cocoa

As told by Erle W. Adams

young Erle Adams

            In the childhood of my Grandfather, Erle W. Adams, when asked about whether he was able to have a cup of hot cocoa on those cold nights in Lamont Oklahoma.   Growing up with a father that was a general store owner, young Erle had the advantage of a father that had raw cocoa, sugar and a grinder at his disposal.   This grinder may have been meant for coffee beans but Erle's father, Robert Erle, was a man that was not frightened of trying new things.   The grinding of cocoa as well as the smell of hot cocoa being made the Adams Store an even more frequent stop on the streets of Lamont.

            Another question was put to my grandfather in that whether his father wanted to or liked to make hot cocoa at home for his family.   The answer was yes, however it was revealed that the main reasoning behind Robert Erle going through the effort of making the cocoa from scratch was that it was he himself that would have it.

Adams Family
Teenage Years
The Adams General Store

As told by Erle W. Adams, Ann (Adams) Lewis, Mary Lynne Adams

The Adams Store

Located in Enid Oklahoma, The Adams General Store was a family store run by Robert Erle Adams and his sons: Erle Wilbert Adams, John Quincy Adams and Charles Adams.   His wife Stella Marie Patton also contributed on occasion as well.

The Bloody knife and the Gypsies

As told by Erle W. Adams

While working behind the counter of the Adams store, Robert Erle would sell candy, bread, pop and do all that is expected of a general store including carve meat in the back room.   Gypsies would travel through the town and would have a tendency to take items without paying.   Wearing aprons these gypsies would simply walk into the Adams store and put items in their aprons as they browsed then buy something small and inexpensive.   Wearing a butcher's apron, Robert Erle watched these strangers from the back of the store as he chopped meat.   Not wanting to get his long black hair in the way he would tie it back and resemble his Cherokee background.   His apron would be covered in a bit of blood from the meat Robert was cutting and would walk out looking like a head hunting Cherokee worrier and coolly said to the gypsies, "You can either pay for what is in your aprons or leave now."   In the end, they left in a hurry.

The Shop Boy and the Sisters

As told by Erle W. Adams, Ann (Adams) Lewis, Mary Lynne 0=[]
Erle W. Adams (Senior Year)

          While Mary Margaret Santee was walking the sidewalks in the town side of Enid, Oklahoma, her sister, Nell Santee, noticed a young good-looking man sweeping a porch area outside the Adams General Store.    Older sister Nell pointed the young man out as a fine looking catch to younger sister Mary Margaret.  

     Later Mary Margaret was properly introduced to the young general store shop boy who revealed his name as Erle W. Adams. After a few successful dates young Erle went off to College A.N.M. an Agricultural college that later changed its name to O.S.U. (Oklahoma State University) one the biggest state Universities in the country.    While attending A.N.M., Erle had begun to realize that his thoughts were of no one other subject than Mary Margaret Santee and decided that on March 8, 1942 in Stillwater Oklahoma, he would marry Mary Margaret Santee.    This marriage lasted sixty-seven years.

Mary Margaret Santee
World War II
In the Footsteps of Patton
As told by Erle W. Adams
            Just shy of graduating A.N.M. (later to be called Tulsa University); young Erle Wilbert joined the military services.   Achieving the rank of Second Lieutenant in the Army, Lt. Adams was assigned the bleak duty of training soldiers to be sent off to fight in the war.   Patrolling in the tank tracks of four stars General George S. Patton, Lt. Adams was assigned troops to be trained in the United States and in Canada.
            Ulcers were the downfall of Lt. Adams' military career as he suffered tremendously from bleeding ulcers and kept him out of active duty.   In the end, lying in bed for an extended amount of time, Lt. Adams decided that he felt it was unfair to the brave young men that he was training that he himself did not face the battlefield; he should not train men to do so.   As a result, he resigned as an honorable discharge from the military.

            His brother in-law, Ben Davis that married his sister Roberta, seemed to always look down upon First Lieutenant Erle Adams as he, Ben Davis, outranked him by a small margin as a Captain.

1st Lieutenant Adams
Everything in View
As told by Erle W. Adams
            In my life, my grandfather has not wished to talk too much about his war career and I have respected his wishes.   There has only been one story he has enjoyed telling and I have enjoyed his telling of it at any time.   Just recently there has been a different version of the same story.   Version A is the same story I have heard all of my life and version B has been a recent dictation as of October 2009.
Version A:
                While Training troops for the U.S. Army, Lt. Erle Adams had some of the best of the newly recruits and some of the less than stellar.   In his own words, Erle W. Adams said, "that they just checked your teeth and let you in."
                As a result, one of his recruits that Adams was instructing on standing and patrolling duty was either rebellious or less than intelligent.   Stationed just outside of View Texas, Adams instructed his men to watch everything in view all through the night.   Every hour Lt. Adams would walk the outer wall of his post to check on his men and one of them was missing.   Each additional hour passed in the night and the same soldier in training was missing.
                When mourning broke, Lt. Adams noticed his missing man had returned and immediately instructed him to explain his absence.   The young soldier simply stated, "I was in View guarding everything."
Version B:
While in training, Erle Adams was stationed in a bas just outside View Texas where his superior was getting on his nerves with his constant criticism.   One night, Adams was told to watch everything in his line of view, well Adams did follow his orders to the "T".  
                He spent the evening in the nearby town of View guarding the bank, city hall and a couple other places he felt needed a guard.   In an afterthought and reflection, my grandfather said it might have been as a result of wanting to do the right thing or maybe it was his rebellious streak showing.
The Lightning Scar
As told by Erle W. Adams
            While patrolling the Tank paths of General Patton, my grandfather was marching through farmland of the mid-west.   His soldiers were marching along and eventually though a cattle farm.   The farmer stated that the bulls were loose and may be a threat although they were usually passive.   The men marched on however a bull did head their way.
            Sighting the nearest fence, my grandfather Erle Adams, quickly moved to the fence.   The fence was in his option short and easily crossable by climbing over it.   It was a short fence with some wire that lined the top.   As he climbed the fence, he noticed that the wire was barbed wire and was caught on his arm.   The result was a deep laceration that zigzagged down his arm.   The scar from the injury in his youth is still very prevalent at age ninety-one.
            When I asked about how the military took care of him in the query and idea that the U.S. military would have been very efficient in sewing him up, my grandfather said with a scoff, "... well they just sew you up and send you on your way."

Homestead and the Baby Boom

           When the war had settled down and the world seemed less dangerous, Mary Margaret and Erle W. Adams had their first son Michael Kent Adams at Wesling Hospital, Wichita Kansas.   To equal out the equation the new parents had a second child in December 8, 1946, Mary Lynne Adams. At St. Johns Hospital in Tulsa Oklahoma.   The young family spent many car trips visiting aunts, uncles, cousins and grand parents on holidays and special occasions.   Family was important to Mary Margaret and she stressed this to her children to be kind and in touch with your family.   Having both Mary Margaret's parents and Erle W's parents alive meant a headache when it came to holidays like Christmas when you either swap years for who you wanted to visit.   The other option was you drove to one parent's home in the mourning and then drove to other parents' home in the afternoon.

Mary Lynne and her father Erle W.

The Miracle Child

On the eleventh Birthday of daughter Mary Lynne, her mother Mary Margaret had some surprising news for her.   It was not a present but an unexpected baby sister.   There had been some surgical work done to Mary Margaret in the past that made it unlikely that she would have any more children.   Despite the medical miracle of Mary Margaret and Erle W's third child, Ann Meredith (Adams) Lewis was born in Hillsent Hospital in Tulsa Oklahoma on August 10, 1957.

            It has been said that Ann Meredith Adams was the only child to be aloud on the family's car being a cherished 1957 sky blue Chevrolet.

Mary Lynne and Ann on the '57 Chevy
Dianne and Mike Adams


            The first grandchild to Erle W. Adams and Mary Margaret was Michael Todd Adams born on August 13, 1966 to Michael Adams and his wife Diane Marie (Box) Adams.   Later Grandchildren came as Jeffery John Benjamin born on April 29, 1976 and later than that was Timothy John Erle Benjamin both to parents Mary Lynne Adams and Michael John Benjamin.   Youngest daughter Ann and husband Bob Lewis had the only granddaughter, Jessica Lewis, on July 23, 1985 and the last grandson was not born until 1990 when Adam Keith Adams was born.

Ann (Lewis) Adams and sister Mary Lynne Adams
As told by Erle Adams and Mary Lynne Adams:
Erle W. Adams worked for decades for Flint Steel in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He did it not for his love of steel but he did it for it for his family.

Golden Years

            Retirement seemed a natural for Erle and Mary Margaret as they bought a small camper than later a larger camper trailer that with their legendary Suburban they traveled all over the United States as they embarked on their dreams of seeing the county side.   Occasionally taking their grand kids around with them and for a while their home of 566 was a staple of summer vacations for the grandchildren.

            Family was important to Mary Margaret as she took care of her brother George who suffered from shell shock from WWII and took care of her older sister Nell after the death of Nell's second husband Harold.

Erle and Mary Margaret's daughter Mary Lynne's son Jeff had the only great-grandchildren in Mary Margaret's lifetime and they were three girls.   These great-grandchildren are the following: Vivian Ashley, born in 2000 in Hawaii, Sedona Nell born in 2002 in Oregon and Hannah Ann in 2007 in California.

Erle W. and M. M. in France