Sunday, October 19, 2014

Vida Tyler Adams (1896-1976)

Author, Bookkeeper
Born February 4, 1896, California
Died October 2, 1976, Alameda County, California

I have one very tenuous piece evidence that the Vida Tyler Adams who wrote for Weird Tales was the same Vida T. Adams who was born in 1896, lived in Oakland, and died in 1976. First, what I know of Vida Tyler Adams comes from the online FictionMags Index and a list of her stories:
  • "Land of Hope" in American Needlewoman, March 1927
  • "Love Shy" in Love Story Magazine, February 28, 1931
  • "Women Are Funny" in Good Stories, May 1931
  • "Maid of Honor" in All-Story Love Stories, June 1, 1932
  • "The Blue-Spotted Daffodil" in Good Stories, June-July 1932
  • "Cloud High in Love" in Street and Smith’s Love Story Magazine, November 14, 1936
  • "Never Save a Man!" in Street and Smith’s Love Story Magazine, January 9, 1937
  • "Clothes Make the Woman" in Street and Smith’s Love Story Magazine, December 1945
Also in that database is the following by Tyler Adams:
  • "Villa" a serial in Overland Monthly, January 1927 and following issue or issues
If Tyler Adams and Vida Tyler Adams were the same person, and if a writer for Overland Monthly, published in San Francisco, was most likely to have been a Californian or even from the Bay Area, then maybe, just maybe, Vida T. Adams was Vida Tyler Adams. If that's the case, then Vida Tyler Adams was born on February 4, 1896, in California. She was married to Edward F. Adams, a salesman, then a manager and owner of a lumberyard. In the 1930 and 1940 censuses, the couple lived in Oakland. In 1930, Vida was also a bookkeeper for the lumber yard. She had one story in Weird Tales, "Whoso Diggeth a Pit," from the jumbo-sized first anniversary issue of May/June/July 1924. Vida T. Adams died on October 2, 1976, in Alameda County, California, at age eighty.

Update (November 13, 2018): Every day that goes by, more information is uploaded onto the Internet. Things that were uncertain even a year ago may become certain with the addition of new information to what is already available on line. Vida Tyler Adams is a case in point. Four years ago when I wrote this biography of her, I wasn't sure of the connection between Vida Tyler Adams, the teller of weird tales, and Vida T. Adams that I had found. Now I can say that I am sure, or at least as sure as I or anyone else is likely to be, and it's all because of a list of voters that I found just today. The list is from Alameda County, California, from 1940. And there is her name: Vida Tyler Adams, housewife, 1169 60th Avenue, Oakland, California. Above her name is that of her husband, Edward F. Adams, lumberman. So the connection is confirmed: Vida Tyler Adams, author, and my Vida T. Adams were one and the same person. I have also found an obituary for her husband, Edward Field Damas, who was born on April 27, 1893, in Connecticut and died on November 14, 1968, at Merritt Hospital in Oakland. He was president of the Economy Lumber Corporation of Oakland.

Vida Tyler Adams' Story in Weird Tales
"Whoso Diggeth a Pit" (May/June/July 1924)

Further Reading
You can read Vida Tyler Adams' story "Love Shy," from Love Story Magazine, February 28, 1931, pp. 110-119, at the following website:

Significantly or not, the byline is given as "Vida T. Adams."

Copyright 2014, 2018 Terence E. Hanley

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