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Adams, Lillian Kanet (1912-2009) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Adams, Lillian Kanet (1912-2009)

Historical Note: Lillian Kanet Adams was a political and social activist in Southern Illinois for more than fifty years.  She was born in Chicago in 1912 to immigrant Polish Jews.  With her first husband, E. Leonidis (Leo) Vernon she worked to organize migrant and tenant farm workers in the southern United States in the 1930s, meeting with Southern Tenant Farmers Union groups.  Leo was also teaching classes and workshops in a Socialist Party education program.  Working with Socialist Party leader Norman Thomas they helped defeat martial law in an Indiana labor strike in 1935.  After Leo's death in 1940, she married Ed Adams and moved with him to a farm near Ava, Illinois.  Adams was a founder of the Carbondale (Ill.) Women's Center and the Carbondale chapter of the ACLU.  She was a member of the Carbondale League of Women Voters.  She was active in the Unitarian of Fellowship of Carbondale, for many years editing its newsletter.  She had one son, James, with Leo, and a daughter, Jane, with Ed.  Lillian Adams died in 2009 at the age of 96.
Sources: Obituary at
Note Author: Walter D. Ray

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