James Adams was elected as Councillor for the East Ward, Preston in 1921. He served for 14 years, including serving as Mayor in 1924-25, 1927-28 and 1934-35.
Amongst his achievements was his contribution to the development of parks and gardens in Preston. He donated a 2.5 acre claypit to the City, which subsequently was filled and became the Florence Adams Playground.
Adams began his working career as a pit boy in the Glen Iris Brick Company and subsequently rose to become General Manager.
As Chairman of the Building Committee of the Council, Adams supervised the building of the Preston City Hall. Adams wife also contributed to Preston by founding the Mayoress' Guild and the the Preston Younger Set, as well as serving as the Welfare Office for the Children's Welfare Department.
Adams died in 1955 in Camberwell.
Preston Historical Society. (1968). Brief biographies of prominent Preston People. Preston, Vic: Author.