Adams was born in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. In 1878, when he was 17, Adams moved to Alamosa, Colorado. He was later elected to City Treasurer, then Mayor of Alamosa, and later as Conejos County commissioner. In 1886, he was elected to the Colorado General Assembly as a member of the Colorado House of Representatives. In 1888, he was elected to the Colorado Senate where he served until 1926, when he was elected as Governor of Colorado.
In 1921, during his term as Colorado Senate Senator, Adams received approval on a bill that formed Alamosa State Normal School in Alamosa, Colorado. The college’s name was later changed to Adams State Teachers College in honor of its founder and finally to its present name Adams State University. Adams died on February 4, 1954, in Alamosa, Colorado, at the age of ninety-two where he is buried.
Billy’s older brother, Alva Adams, was also governor of Colorado from 1887 to 1889, from 1897 to 1899, and 1905. Billy's nephew, Alva Blanchard Adams, was a United States Senator from Colorado from 1923 until 1925 and from 1933 to 1941.
See also 
- The Governor William H. Adams Collection at the Colorado State Archives
- William Adams at Find-A-Grave
|Governor of Colorado
Edwin C. Johnson