Adams State College
Shortly after its creation in 1921, Adams State Normal School got caught in a political crossfire and received no state funding for construction. But Alamosa residents, quick studies when it came to higher education, raised the money to keep the school afloat. Named for state senator Billy Adams (who wrote the legislation that chartered it), the institution brought professional career opportunities to a region long deprived of them. By 1950 it had evolved from a teachers' college into a four-year campus with a new name (Adams State College) and a full range of academic and vocational programs.
[Top three photo captions, clockwise from top left, read]
• Laying the cornerstone for Adams State College's first building, 1923. Despite growth in size and degrees offered, the college's teacher education program is still the most popular.
• Named after Ira Richardson, Adams State College's first president, Richardson Hall was completed in 1924. When the college first opened, all classes and administrative activities were held in this—the school's only building.
• For nearly thirty years (1965-93), Adams State's
"God picked up his servant, Billy Adams, and put him in training against the day when there should come upon the earth dragons seeking to drag popular government into the mire"
—Alamosa Journal, April 23, 1925
Admirers said William "Billy" Adams kept more bad laws off the books than any politician in Colorado history. His opponents in the state senate were less fond of his parliamentary talent but no less respectful. During forty years in the legislature (1886-1926), the Alamosa rancher tirelessly defended the interests of his constituents (predominantly farmers and railroad workers) against those of richer, more powerful forces. Though Adams secured wage supports, agricultural loans, and other benefits for working Coloradans, he rendered his greatest service in the 1920s, leading statewide opposition to the Ku Klux Klan—backed regime that dominated Colorado's government at that time. After helping to drive that administration from power, Adams served three terms as governor, then retired in 1933 without ever having lost an election.
[Lower left photo caption reads]
Although Billy Adams's formal education stopped after the eighth grade, in 1953 he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities and Public Service by the college named after him. Here Governor Adams visits with the Alamosa delegation at a Denver convention about 1930.
Erected 2001 by CO DOT, CO Division of Wildlife, and Federal Highway Administration.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work • Education.
Location. 37° 28.178′ N, 105° 51.752′ W. Marker is in Alamosa, Colorado, in Alamosa County. Marker is on the Alamosa Municipal Complex grounds, about 150 feet NW of the intersection of Broadway/Denver Avenue (US Hwy 160) and 4th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 300 Hunt Avenue, Alamosa CO 81101, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Alamosa (here, next to this marker); Alamosa County (here, next to this marker); Denver & Rio Grande Western Locomotive No. 169 (within shouting distance of this marker); All Aboard for Alamosa! (within shouting distance of this marker); First Baptist Church (approx. 0.2
More about this marker. The marker is heavily deteriorated.
Also see . . .
1. History of Adams State University. (Submitted on November 25, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Governor William H. Adams Bio. (Submitted on November 25, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. William Herbert "Billy" Adams at Find A Grave. (Submitted on November 25, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 25, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 25, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 42 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 25, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.