William “Bill” Adams (1927-2013) grew up in a family which participated in the Turner organization in Bloomington. In the early 1980s, Margaret Scholz Anderson recommended that Adams write a book on the local Turners. Adams interviewed both Anderson and his own mother about the topic, but only returned to the project in the mid-1990s. He finally published The Turners in Bloomington: Bloomington, Illinois Turnverein, 1855-1948 in 1998.
Adams’ career included a variety of newspaper assignments, such as reporter and night editor at the Pantagraph and service at the Illinois State University News and Publications office.
The local Turner organization was established in 1855 for German-born residents, their spouses and children. It continued to be active through the 1940s.
The collection includes materials for Adams’ book such as oral history interviews, newspaper and internet articles, etc. A sizable portion of the collection consists of materials his mother Velda Rouff Adams collected during her years in various roles with the women’s auxiliary (Damen Sektion) to the Bloomington Turnverein. These materials include correspondence, constitutions, dues records, treasury records, etc.