The Pioneer Adair Family of Mariposa
Surnames: Deegan, Dolan, Kerrins, Aubury, Tange, Solari, Lane, Smith
James C. Adair, born May 3, 1833, imigrated 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 had imigrated 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
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 Natalie Adair Smith, son and daughter of Fred M. Adair.
Submitted by Carol Lackey- with permission of Heather Adair
More Biographical Notes on the Family-
submitted by Carolyn Feroben-
A wonderful article in the Mariposa Gazette Feb 26, 2003=I have not
copied verbatim, but include the pertinent information.
Fred Adair Turns 99
On Thursday, Feb 27, Fred C. "Freddie" ADAIR will celebrate his 99th
ADAIR was born in Coulterville, went to school in Mt Bullion and Mt King
and served as an altar boy in Merced. He has lived in Santa Maria since
His father Fred ADAIR, Sr , left hardrock mining to leave for the then
booming oil fields. His mother, Rose SOLARI ADAIR, left her large
family at Indian Gulch and moved with her husband, Freddie and daughter
In Santa Maria, ADAIR worked in the oil fields for Southern County Gas
CO for many years. He met Nellie Clarke in Pismo Beach at a dance.
They were married for 64 years. She died in 1998 at the age of 93.
ADAIR is chipper and friendly, enjoys good food, visitors and talking
about California History. He loves Yosemite and has collected many
books on the subject. His uncle, Charles ADAIR, was a ranger on
horseback in the 1920's and 30's. Hiss Aunt Mary ADAIR, taught school
in Yosemite in the 1880's and was the first woman to climb Half Dome
and also a well-known artist. He speaks of the forgotten towns of his
family's past: Hornitos, Indian Gulch and Coulterville, and did visit
the area some years ago. He subscribes to the Mariposa Gazette and
reads it from cover to cover.
Freddie's niece Sandy Berry and two friends came to Mariposa to gather
history that could be presented to Freddie for his birthday, in the form
of a scrap book. They searched the huge ledger books at the County
Recorders office, the "Gazette articles since 1851" (??) at the
library. After several other stops they had gathered documents, deeds,
births, deaths, marriages, as well as naturalization papers and photos
of the SOLARIs.
This is the history that was revealed by their search:
The SOLARI's came from Zoaglia, Italy, arriving at Mt Ophir in 1849.
Father Angelo SOLARI was joined by his son Nicola in 1859. Nicola later
married Louisa GHELANE of Ohio in 1876. Records indicate that Nicola
was successful and seemed to own most of Indian Gulch. The couple had
six children. A favorite aunt of Freddies was Angie. She never
married, and was an independent woman, owning and running cattle in
Hornitos and a gold mine in the mountains.
The ADAIRs came from Ireland. James CONNEGAL ADAIR was born in 1833 and
came west with John C FREMONT. He settled in Bear Valley with his
wife. They raised six children*; Joseph ADIAR, Mariposa County district
atrorney in 1890, teacher and judge; Mary, Charles, William and Fred
(father of Freddie).
(note* the article lists only five children)
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