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About Homer Martin Adkins
Homer Martin Adkins (October 15, 1890 – February 26, 1964) was the 32nd governor of the U.S. state of Arkansas. He was born near Jacksonville in Pulaski County. In 1908, he attended Draughon's Business College and graduated from the Little Rock College of Pharmacy in 1911 as a licensed pharmacist.
Adkins served in the United States Army during World War I as a captain in the Medical Corps. Adkins served one term as sheriff of Pulaski County and was the collector of internal revenue from 1933 to 1940, when he was first elected as governor. In the 1940 general election, Adkins defeated the Republican Harley C. Stump, the mayor of Stuttgart and a leader of the Arkansas Municipal League, 91.8 to 8.2 percent. In that campaign Stump claimed the employees of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration were underpaid. Adkins was unopposed in the 1942 general election for his second term.
Adkins sought to build a voting base based on his background as a Methodist Sunday school teacher and church employee. He campaigned on a platform of reform and ending the practice of bootlegging.
The Adkins administration presided over a doubling of the surplus in the state's treasury. His administration focused on highway construction and financing, electrification, and worker's compensation.
In his second term Adkins signed into law a bill that would prevent anyone of Japanese descent from owning land in Arkansas. Looking for a new challenge, he was defeated in 1944 in a bid for the U.S. Senate. He opposed Senator Hattie Caraway and the freshman U.S. Representative J. William Fulbright of Fayetteville. Mrs. Caraway finished third, with Fulbright later winning the Democratic runoff against Adkins. Fulbright then claimed the Senate seat when he defeated the Republican Victor Wade of Batesville, 85.1 to 14.9 percent.
In 1948, Adkins was appointed administrator of the Arkansas Employment Security Division, the agency responsible for worker's unemployment insurance.
In 1954, Adkins strongly supported the Democrat Orval Faubus in the gubernatorial general election against Pratt C. Remmel, the Republican mayor of Little Rock.
In 1956, he established a public relations firm in Little Rock.
Adkins died in 1964 in Malvern, Arkansas. He is interred at the Roselawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Little Rock.
On the edge of his hometown of Jacksonville, a neighborhood elementary school today is named for Adkins. The school is slated to convert to a pre-kindergarten format beginning in the 2006-2007 school year.