Page 525-526-527 - Milton Pray Adams, the vital and efficient sanitary engineer of the city of Grand Rapids, is a young man who is ever to be found up and doing when there is work to be done. He was a worker while as a student at the University of Michigan, he was preparing himself for his chosen profession; along technical lines he was a constructive worker during the period of his service in the World war interval; and that in his present official capacity he has a broad field for work of enduring value and of great importance is manifest when it is stated that as sanitary engineer of his native city he is now (1925) in charge of the $5,000,000 development program, which involves and provides for the relief and enlargement of the present sewer system, in all parts of the city, and is "especially designed to serve the proposed sewage-treatment plan with the greatest economy of operation." This entire project was made possible by the voting of the $5,000,000 bond issue in November 1923, and it is expected that this fund will complete the major portion of the sewage-relief program and the municipal sewage-disposal plant. Milton P. Adams was born in Grand Rapids, June 2, 1894, a son of William Milton and Kate (Pray) Adams, the former of who died in 1914 and the latter of whom still resides in this city. In an article that appeared in the Grand Rapids Herald of April 12, 1925, was an appreciative estimate of the character and service of the engineer, and from this article are consistently made the following quotations, with minor changes, as they give a succinct outline of the career of Mr. Adams: "He was graduated in the Central high school of Grand Rapids in 1912, and attended Olivet College the following year. Between his college and university work Mr. Adams obtained valuable construction experience through being retained as timekeeper and foreman by C. Hoertz & Son, local building contractors, in connection with the erection of the Franklin Street school and the fine Masonic Temple. It was during this period that Mr. Adams became particularly interested in engineering and construction work, and he resumed his studies at the University of Michigan in the fall of 1915, specializing in sanitary and municipal engineering problems. His record at the university was marked by rapid progress and high standings. He was elected to both Tau Beta Pi honorary engineering fraternity, and Sigma Xi honorary scientific society. In his last year at the university he spent much time in special preparation for service overseas with the engineering division of the sanitary corps of the United States army. He was graduated, in absentia, with the class of 1918, having left the university early, with the majority of his class, to engage in military service. Mr. Adams was commissioned a second lieutenant in the engineering division of the sanitary corps, and was in service at various camps, including Camp Fremont, California, where he was assigned to what was known as the ‘sappers’ branch and received instruction in underground tunneling for the planting of bombs. Mr. Adams was stationed at Camp Fremont at the time when the signing of the armistice brought the great conflict to a close, and after receiving his honorable discharge, January 1, 1919, he returned to Grand Rapids, where he has since been in the service of the municipality. He had charge of the construction and later the operation of the experimental sewage-testing station, and when the work of the division of sewage disposal was broadened to include a solution of the basement flooding problem, Mr. Adams was made the municipal sanitary engineer, the responsible office of which he has since continued the incumbent and in which he has rendered a characteristically loyal and efficient service." Mr. Adams is in charge of a gigantic and important system of municipal improvements in his native city, and is making for himself a high reputation as a scientific and practical sanitary engineer. He is a valued and popular member of the Grand Rapids Engineering Society, is a Republican in politics, is affiliated with Doric Lodge, No. 342, A. F. & A. M., and is a member of the Masonic Country Club, American Legion and Army and Navy Club. He and his wife hold membership in the Park Congregational Church. In 1920 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Adams to Miss Marian Sharpe, daughter of Arthur C. Sharpe, treasurer of the Michigan Trust Company of Grand Rapids, and the fine little son of this union is William Milton, who is more familiarly know as "Bill."

Transcriber:  Nancy Myers
Created: 13 November 2002