TRIBUTE TO BUD ADAMS — 1926-2017
Bud and Dot at a football game around the time they
The young couple enjoy a date night. Honeymooners stop in Longwood
His father, Alto Lee Adams Sr., rose to become a justice
of the Florida Supreme Court when Bud was just 13. And
later his daddy ran for governor. By the time he was 22, the
younger Adams had enough powerful connections to have
harvested a bigtime legal and political career. But he missed
the ranch his father had purchased before moving the family
“Politics was never my cup of tea,” he explained. “I told
my father, ‘I’d like to go home and run the ranch.’ ”
The Navy had given him an education in science when
it sent him to Emory University to study nuclear physics.
Military officials had been astute enough to see that Adams
had the kind of mind the country needed.
“I was completely educated in hydraulics, thermodynamics
— the whole engineering mix,” he said. “I couldn’t have
gotten a better education anywhere in the world.”
World War II ended before the military got the chance
to see the oldest cypress.
Bud had been a primary caregiver at home for Dot, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 12 years ago. Their
68-year marriage produced three sons, 14 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Dot survives him.
Dot and Bud show off their catches
after fishing in the Indian River.
to use Adams’ amazing education, but in years to come
his scientific training came in handy. So did the degree in
economics he earned at the University of Florida.
Adams could have seized his opportunities anywhere, but
he loved the land in western St. Lucie County. In 1948, when
he began making Adams Ranch take hold, the place seemed
as remote as when Seminoles were South Florida’s only
inhabitants. In fact, some of the Native Americans still lived
nearby in chickees. He hired them to help him herd his cattle.
From early on, he proved he was the type of man America
has always admired the most: the rugged individualist.
Adams was the best kind of family man, too, the kind who
wants his children with him and his children’s children down
through generations. He made the ranch a family business. He
married “the best-looking girl at FSU,” Dorothy “Dot” Snively,
a former Cypress Gardens belle from Winter Haven. In 1949,
Bud built an unassuming cypress house for his new bride at
BUD AND DOT