William Charles Adamson, for whom Carrollton’s downtown square was named, was a lawyer, judge and a Congressman. He was born in 1854 in Bowdon, Georgia where he graduated valedictorian of his class at Bowdon College. He excelled in oratory skills and was admitted to the Georgia State Bar in 1876. Adamson served as an attorney and judge in Carrollton for twenty years and a Congressman from 1896 to 1917.
During his time in Congress, Adamson was instrumental in the construction of the Panama Canal and was Chairman of the Committee on Labor. He participated in the creation of the United States Labor Department and authored the Adamson Act, which created an eight-hour workday for railroad workers. This benchmark became the standard for the duration of the modern workday. Adamson was also instrumental in broadening the exploration of waterpower in the South. In 1917 President Woodrow Wilson appointed Adamson to a United States Customs judgeship, where he served ten years. Judge William Charles Adamson died in New York City on January 3, 1929 and is buried in Carrollton City Cemetery.
Judge Adamson remained faithful to his Bowdon roots and attended every opening and closing ceremony at Bowdon College. During his last address to the students Adamson advised, “Never lose any time. Read, talk with intelligent people, form no habits but to work, pray, save money and to respect and love your fellow men.”