James N. Adam

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James N. Adam
Portrait of James N. Adam.jpg
Portrait of James N. Adam
45th Mayor of Buffalo
In office
Preceded by Erastus C. Knight
Succeeded by Louis P. Fuhrmann
Personal details
Born James Noble Adam
March 1, 1842
Peebles, Scotland
Died February 9, 1912(1912-02-09) (aged 69)
Buffalo, New York
Resting place St. Cuthbert's Cemetery, Edinburgh, Scotland
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Margaret Linton Paterson

James Noble Adam (March 1, 1842 – February 9, 1912) was a businessman and founder of the J. N. Adam & Co. as well as the 45th Mayor of Buffalo, New York, serving 1906–1909.[1]

Early life[edit]

James Noble Adam was born in Peebles, Scotland on March 1, 1842, a son of Reverend Thomas Adam,[1] a Presbyterian minister.[2]


He began his business career in Scotland, where he lived until about 1872, when he moved to the United States upon the advice of his brother, Robert B. Adam, co-founder of Adam, Meldrum & Anderson.[2] He initially settled at New Haven, Connecticut, where he began a successful retail operation. In 1881, he moved back to Buffalo and started a full-scale department store at Main and Eagle Streets, the J. N. Adam & Co. In 1905, he retired from the company.[3]

In 1901, he was elected alderman of the 24th ward. He was elected mayor on November 7, 1905, as the Democratic candidate, serving from 1906 until 1909. He did not run for another term.[3]

Personal life[edit]

On January 9, 1872, he married Margaret Linton Paterson of Edinburgh, she died in 1894. They did not have children.[1]

He died at Buffalo on February 9, 1912, and was buried in St. Cuthbert's Cemetery in Edinburgh, Scotland, next to his wife.[3]


Some time between 1910 and 1915, he purchased almost 300 acres (1.2 km2) of land adjacent to the village of Perrysburg, New York using proceeds from his own personal fortune to establish a tuberculosis asylum.[4] A hospital was opened known as the J. N. Adam Memorial Hospital for Tuberculosis; it later became the J. N. Adam State School for Severely Mentally Retarded.


  1. ^ a b c Rizzo, Michael (2005). Through The Mayors' Eyes. Lulu. p. 424. ISBN 978-1-4116-3757-3. 
  2. ^ a b LaChiusa, Chuck. "AM&A's". buffaloah.com. Buffalo Architecture and History. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "James N. Adam". Through The Mayor's Eyes, The Only Complete History of the Mayor's of Buffalo, New York, Compiled by Michael Rizzo. The Buffalonian is produced by The Peoples History Union. 2009-05-27. 
  4. ^ Buffalo's Tuberculosis Sanatorium at Perrysburg, Larry Behan, July, 2005
Political offices
Preceded by
Erastus C. Knight
Mayor of Buffalo, NY
Succeeded by
Louis P. Fuhrmann