Every once in a while, a community is blessed with an outstanding member who cherishes the values and embodies the rich history of the town. Such is the case with Mary Adams. Adams has not always called Glen Rose home, but she “would not choose to live anywhere else.”

Adams has lived a life worthy of novels, but her family spurred on a whole community and educational field with her uncle’s discovery of the now famous dinosaur tracks in the Paluxy riverbed. Adams was recently named grand marshal of the Glen Rose Fourth of July parade, which is themed “Dinosaurs and Patriotism,” to honor those men and women who have served the country and to honor the centennial year of the discovery of the dinosaur tracks.

“Being selected to be grand marshal of the July 4th Independence Day parade is a totally unexpected gift. The selection is based on nothing I am or have done, but on what those who preceded me did,” said Adams.

While many in Glen Rose would disagree about the selection having nothing to do with her, her family has lived a life full of acclaim. Adams weaves a tale of education, love, disease and recovery when asked about her family history.

Her family began their trek to Glen Rose in 1873, after the Civil War, when Adams’ grandfather, Joseph Godfrey Adams or J.G., packed up his things and headed west to Texas. Upon arrival in Rock Creek, he became a teacher and married his prettiest pupil, Mary Ellen (Mollie) Shipley, who was 12 years younger than he was. J.G. was a teacher in both Somervell County and the city of Glen Rose, operated Adams Drugstore, served as the Somervell County Judge and was a deacon and Sunday school teacher in the Baptist church. J.G. and Mollie had six children, but only three of them lived into adulthood.

The eldest brothers in the family, Ernest and Yancy, both attended Baylor University. Ernest was recognized as one of Baylor University’s outstanding graduates of the century, due to his work as Baylor’s first Rhodes Scholar. He served as Somervell’s county attorney from 1925-1928 and from 1945-1954. After developing Tuberculosis, a Dallas doctor told him to “get out of an office if you want to live,” so he did, traveling to Glen Rose, where he practiced law under the shade of an oak tree.

Yancy and his wife were both heavily involved in welfare work. The couple moved to California in 1913 and he became the assistant chief of the San Diego Police Department.

The youngest of the Adams brothers, George Barclay Adams, otherwise known as Mary’s uncle, was the one to discover the dinosaur tracks while attending high school in Glen Rose. George was also a mail carrier for Glen Rose and Somervell County.

Mary moved to Glen Rose in 1980 to be closer to her family and to care for her then 90 year old mother. Mary worked for the Department of the Treasury in Austin, but was able to move to Fort Worth with the Federal Aviation Administration in 1980. She retired in 1991 to care for her mother full-time. Her mother passed away at the age of 109, but always loved the “caring people” of Glen Rose.

The fourth of July holds a special place in Mary’s heart and she sums up the idea behind the holiday best.

“The fourth of July recognizes and shows our appreciation for all those who have fought and died for the freedom which we enjoy today in the United States of America. But we can never take for granted the freedom which we enjoy today without also accepting the responsibility to fight and die for that freedom to be passed along, with the cost involved, to those who will come after us.”

The parade will start in the Glen Rose High School parking lot, with floats gathering from 8:30-8:45 a.m., but should wind through downtown beginning around 9 a.m.