Charles Adkins

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Charles Adkins - Charles Adkins, Ex-Congressman, Dies Here at 78...
Charles Adkins, Ex-Congressman, Dies Here at 78 Former Speaker of State Legislature Long in Politics Charles Adkins. who served eight years as Republican congressman from the 19th district, three terms as a state legislator and one term as speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, died at 11:13 a. m. today in his home, 1229 West Ma con street, after a long illness. He was 78 years old. Death was attributed to a heart ailment Mr. Adkins first gained prominence as "the best farmer in Piatt county." Upon this foundation, he built his public career which started with election as township supervisor and grew to include service as Piatt county board chairman, state legislator, speaker of the Illinois House, state director of agriculture and member of Congress from the 19th congressional district Born and reared on a farm in Pickaway county, Ohio, Mr. Adkins was the eldest of a family of 13 children. He became head of the large family at the age of 19. through the death of his father. When his father died, Mr. Adkins was teaching school and helping with the family farm. With a boldness that characterized his entire life, he called a family council and decided to move to Illinois. The family came to Piatt county in 1835. Three years later, Mr. Adkins married Dora E. Farrow, a Piatt county young woman. Operated 500 Acres He applied himself to farming and within a few years was the tenant farmer - of more than 500 acres of good Piatt county land. In that period, seekers of political office recalled their privations of early life and pointed to their rise through adversity. In his early political speeches. Mr. Adkins once said that his family got its first adequate supply of bed clothing through use of $100 which he won as a prize for raising the best 100 acres of corn in Piatt county. After serving his township as supervisor and becoming chairman of the Piatt county board, and after long service as a school board member, Mr. Adkins was elected to the legislature from the 24th (Champaign, yiatt. Moultrie counties) district Through custom in that period, the Republicans elected two representatives and the Democrats elected one. In order to get his seat in the House, Mr. Adkins was forced to campaign against one of the incumbent Republican members. He made this fight against Representative Julius N. Rodman of Deland. a landowner. Mr. Adkins successfully campaigned on the issue that a tenant farmer is better fitted than a landowner to represent an agricultural district. First Tenant To Be Speaker After serving in the 45th and 46th general assemblies. Mr. Adkins became speaker in the 47th assembly in 1911, the first tenant farmer ever elected to that position. His election as speaker came after a minority faction in the Republican caucus threatened to throw their support to a Democrat. After the majority faction made an appeasement gesture, the rebellious minority group suggested three candidates, any of whom would be supported. Mr. Adkins was one of the three named, and the majority faction approved him. Throughout the 19th congressional district during the years Mr. Adkins served as a state representative, the late William B. McKin-le of Champaign, then 'the congressman, exercised a dominant influence in the Republican party. Mr. Adkins was a warm personal and political friend of Mr. McKin-ley. Probably through the belief that Mr. McKinley's traction system was of vital interest to Central Illinois. Mr. Adkins opposed early proposals for construction of a system of hard roads in the state. Appointed by Lowden After a lull of four years in his political career, due to the Democratic victory in 1912, Mr. Adkins returned to public life in 1916. He announced as a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, but withdrew. After the election of Governor Lowden, Mr. Adkins was appointed state director of agriculture, a position which gave him the direction of the Illinois state fair. During the period of Democratic control of the state government he had devoted much interest to agriculture, and in 1915 had been elected president of the Illinois Livestock Breeders association. In 1924, Mr. Adkins first was elected to Congress, as a sort of second heir to the position held so long by the late Mr. McKinley. Mr. McKinley represented the district in Congress from 1904 to 1920. with the exception of one term to.which C. M. Borchers. Democrat of Deca tur, was elected in the Bull Mnnce years cf 1912. Allen F. Moore of Monticello succeeded Mr. McKinley,! serving until 1924. Served 1924-1932 In Congress from 1924 until 1932, when he was defeated in the Roosevelt landslide. Mr. Arfkins was most prominent in study and promotion of agricultural legislation. Ha fought for th JIcNary-Haufen DIES IN HOME iMnrrrinyi 1 CHARLES ADKIXS farm bill, sought to place a 10 cents a pound tax on oleomargarine, and favored a proposal allowing processors of corn sugar to eliminate labels disclosing their sugar was a corn product. In the troubled times of the Hoover administration, Mr. Adkins received widespread prominence when he cast one of only two votes in the entire lower House in oppo sition to giving surplus wheat free to the' poor. There was a bit of prophesy in his explanation of this vote. "When the government goes in the direct relief work." he warned, "it is starting something it can never quit." To the last of his congressional career, Mr. Adkins declared his confidence that adequate tariff legislation would solve .the problems of distressed agriculture. Never Straddled Issues Throughout his public life, both in the Illinois legislature and in Congress, he was a staunch supporter of prohibition. When others straddled the prohibition question, he boldly declared, "I'm as dry as dust." Despite the rushing tide of unrest as the 1932 election approached. Congressman Adkins faced the issue squarely in his bid for reelection. His many years had shown their mark on his towering body, but with his hearty " laugh unchanged and displaying the same confidence that characterized pre vious campaigns, he' went to the defense of the Hoover administration. When defeat came, he took it in good spirit. Back in the Congress for the short session before his retirement he jested about his de feat, referring to himself as "just a lame-duck pig-slopper from Illinois." He was born in Mt. Sterling. Ohio, Feb. 7. 1863. and came to Illinois 55 years ago. He lived first in Monticello. later in Bement, and moved to Decatur in 1918. He married Dora Ellen Farrow here Jan. 8, 1889. Mr. Adkins was a tenant farmer when elected speaker of the state House of Representatives in 1908. Leaves Nine Children He leaves his wife, Dora; five daughters, Mrs. Ella Campbell of Ottawa, 111., Mrs. Claude Shirey and Mrs. Paul Mahoney. both of Decatur, Mrs. Conway Wallbaum of Ashland. III., and Grace E. Adkins of Oak Park; four sons. Ben F. and Otis, both of Monticello, F. Howard, of Decatur, and Roy S.. of Montclair, N. J.; four sisters, Clara Adkins and Mrs. Amanda Jones, both of Monticello, Mrs. Joyce Armsworth of Decatur and Mrs. Nancy Anderson of Cham paign; three brothers, Sampson A.. of Chicago. Ruben, of Bement, and William, of Monticello; nine grandchildren and four great-grandchil dren. Funeral arrangements are incomplete but burial will be in the Bement cemetery. The body was removed to the Dawson & Wikoff funeral home. Art in Average Home, Is Goal "My one great ambition is to see the work of living artists in the homes of people of average means," Dr. Benjamin Krohn said yesterday in a talk at the Decatur art institute. Dr. Krohn, a Chicago dentist who took up painting for fun and has become a collector as well as an artist whose work has been hung by the Chicago art institute and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, is the owner of a collection of French moderns on exhibit here. "It is my mission to convince Mr. and Mrs. Everyday American that fine pictures are within their means and aren't restricted to the homes of the rich," Dr. Krohn explained. "This is America's great opportunity, and the next creative movement in art should be in the United States, which has the youth and vigor and sense of justice the Old noria lacki.

Clipped from
  1. The Decatur Daily Review,
  2. 31 Mar 1941, Mon,
  3. Page 12

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  • Charles Adkins

    Trixy1 – 24 Jan 2016

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