Joshua Edwin Adams was born near Perth, Ontario, in 1851. He moved to Moorhead, Minnesota in 1881. In Moorhead, he worked as a clerk at the Moorhead general store of H.G. Finkle. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1884. Mr. Adams practiced law until 1944 and continued his insurance agency and business from his home for several more years. He was co-author of the original Moorhead city charter and held many governmental offices.
The papers in this collection are papers from Mr. Adam's law practice. They include estate cases, land abstracts for land located in the city of Moorhead, and suits. Newspaper clippings which give accounts of Mr. Adam's life are also included.