Carrie was the daughter of David Wilson, a song writer and music teacher, and wife of Allyn G. Adams (married 1880).
Soon after marriage, she and Allyn moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, where he was a leading bass singer and involved in large commercial enterprises.
She became a leading figure in the musical life of Terre Haute, active in the Choral Club, Treble Clef Club, Rose Polytechnic Glee Club, and the First Congregational Church and Central Christian Church choirs, as director, chorister and organist. From 1887–95, she occupied the chair of music at the Indiana State Normal School.
The 1930 census shows Carrie and Allyn living in Portland, Oregon.