Mary Holden Adams

Adams, Mary

Time Period


Subject Categories

Government / Politics, Law

Notable Facts

Early woman attorney. First woman in Vermont to serve as judge of probate (1928-1949)

Personal Information

Date of Birth


Date of Death


Primary Residence




Historical Significance

Mary Holden Adams was born in Manchester April 7, 1872. She attended Burr and Burton Seminary in Arlington and Manchester. She married Clarence E. Adams of Arlington on Oct 23, 1895. After he died in the early 1900's, she moved to Bennington and worked at the Bennington County Court. Adams eventually began the study of law, though it was uncommon for women to study law at that time. In 1926, she took the bar exam, and began her life as an attorney. Two years later, she became the first woman probate judge in Vermont, and served until 1949. She was an active public servant in other areas as well. She served as a presidential elector from Vermont in 1924, town clerk in Arlington from 1902-1907, and served as clerk and director of the Arlington Water Company. Mary Holden Adams died on December 15th, 1957.

Organizations or Movements

  • Vermont Bar Association
  • Bennington County Bar Association
  • Women's Republican Club
  • Bennington Historical Association
  • Vermont Historical Society
  • Daughters of the American Revolution
  • Vermont Society of Colonial Dames
  • Charter member of Bennington Girls Club (where she had held many offices)
  • Honorary member of Daughters of Vermont in Massachusetts
  • Bennington Public Welfare Association (director and treasurer)
  • St. Mary's Guild and St. Peter's Episcopal Church.


  • Attorney
  • Judge


  • studied to become an attorney

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • Mary Holden Adams Link