About Alva Blanchard Adams
Alva Blanchard Adams (October 29, 1875 – December 1, 1941) was a Democratic politician who represented Colorado in the United States Senate from 1923 until 1924 and again from 1933 to 1941.
Adams was born in Del Norte, Colorado and graduated from Phillips Academy in 1893, Yale University in 1896, and Columbia Law School in 1899. He became a county attorney in Pueblo County, Colorado in 1909, a regent of the State University of Colorado in 1911, and Pueblo city attorney in 1911.
During World War I, Adams served as a major in the Judge Advocate General's department in 1918 and 1919. In 1923, he was appointed to fill the vacancy in the United States Senate caused by the death of Samuel D. Nicholson. He served until a special election in November 1924 (in which he did not run). He ran, but did not win, in the regular election in 1924 for Colorado's other U.S. Senate seat. He ran successfully in 1932 with Oscar L. Chapman managing his campaign, and again in 1938. He died in office from a myocardial infarction in Washington, D.C. in 1941.
The Alva B. Adams Tunnel under Rocky Mountain National Park is named for him. The Alva B. Adams tunnel is the key component of the largest transmountain water diversion in the state of Colorado--the Colorado-Big Thompson Project (C-BT). The tunnel is 13.1 miles (21.1 km) long and has a concrete lined diameter of 9.75 feet (2.97 m). The tunnel runs in a straight line under the Continental Divide from west to east and passing under Rocky Mountain National Park. Senator Adams' father, Alva Adams, served as the Governor of the State of Colorado 1887-1889, 1897–1899, and 1905. Senator Adams' uncle, William Herbert "Billy" Adams, served as the Governor of Colorado 1927-1933.
Alva Adams was first appointed to the U.S. Senate to vill a vacancy during the first session of the 68th Congress. Even though he had been appointed in May 1923, Congress did not convene its first session until December of that year. A first edition of the Official Congressional Directory indicates he did not serve on any committees that session.
After Adams was elected in 1932 to the 73rd Congress, he was appointed to several standing committees. Overall, he served on 5 standing committees and 3 select or special committees. Adams also served as chairman of the Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation during the 73rd and 74th Congresses and chaired the Committee on Public Lands and Surveys from the 75th through 77th Congresses.