Charles Adkins

Charles Adkins

Birth
Pickaway County, Ohio, USA
Death 31 Mar 1941 (aged 78)
Decatur, Macon County, Illinois, USA
Burial Bement, Piatt County, Illinois, USA
Plot SW-23-3
Memorial ID 7737929 · View Source
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US Congressman. He was elected to represent Illinois' 19th District in the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1925 to 1933. Charles Adkins was born on a farm near Circleville, Pickaway County, Ohio on Saturday, Feb 7, 1863, son of Sampson and Eliza Anna (Mintun) Adkins. He was the eldest of a family of 13 children which included; Charles, Mary E. Adkins, Benjamin Franklin Adkins, Elizabeth F. Adkins, Reuben Adkins, Ida Martha Adkins, Henry Harrison Adkins, Amanda Adkins, Nancy Ann Adkins, William M. Adkins, Clarissa Claracy “Clara” Adkins, Joyce Belle Adkins, and Sampson Adkins. Charles attended the common schools in Ohio, and took over the family affairs at the age of 19 upon the death of his father. During this period of time, he also taught school and worked on the family farm. In December of 1885 he left Ohio with his mother and siblings to settle near his mother’s family, the Mintuns. The Adkins family chose to continue their farming lifestyle by renting one of the Hale, 240 acre farms in the southwest corner of Monticello Township, Piatt County, Illinois. His mother remained on the Hale farm for twenty years until all the other children were raised. On January 8, 1888 Mr. Adkins married Dora E. Farrow in Monticello, IL, and to them 10 children were born; Dora Ella Adkins, Charles Otis Adkins, Benjamin Franklin Adkins, Reuben Adkins, Roy S. Adkins, Ruth Adkins, Grace Adkins, Frederick Howard Adkins, Martha Adkins, and Mary Adkins. After his marriage in 1888, Charles moved his new bride, Dora, to the W.F. Stevenson 160 acre farm in Willow Branch Township outside of Monticello and became a laborer for Mr. Stevenson earning $30 a month. In 1893 he and Dora moved their family to the W.F. Stevenson, 560-acre farm located one mile southeast of Bement, IL. At this time, he and Mr. Stevenson formed the Adkins-Stevenson partnership which lasted for 25 years. In 1918 he moved his family off the Stevenson Bement farm and into Decatur, Illinois. While living on the Stevenson farm outside of Bement, Mr. Adkins began his political career. He was elected to the Piatt County Illinois Board of Supervisors from 1902 thru 1906, serving as township supervisor and Piatt County board chairman. In 1903 thru 1904, at the time of his term as chairman, the Piatt County courthouse was built. He also served as a Bement Board of Education member from 1900-1920. From 1907 thru 1913, he was a member of the Illinois State House of Representatives for the 24th district (Champaign, Piatt and Moultrie counties), and was elected Speaker of the House 47th general assembly from 1911 thru 1913. From 1914 thru 1915 he served as President of the Livestock Breeder’s Association. In 1916, Charles announced his Republican candidacy for governor, but soon withdrew his nomination. Later in 1916 Charles was appointed as the first Illinois State Director of Agriculture. Also with this appointment came the responsibility of being Director of the Illinois State Fair. This position was held until 1920. In 1924, he was elected to Congress for the 19th District (Piatt, Champaign, Macon, Dewitt, Shelby, Coles, Douglas and Moultrie Counties) serving from March 4, 1925 thru March 3, 1933. Charles was also known as a well-known, highly respected agriculture farming expert of Piatt County. His farming expertise led him to be an organizer and highly sought after lecturer for the Farmer’s Co-operative Elevator Co. for 21 years. Charles was especially helpful with the organization of the Bement Grain Company located in Bement, Illinois. He never served on the board of directors, but was instrumental in its creation by chairing the first organizational meetings and serving on various committees. His strong belief in the farmers’ grain elevator movement and later in the cooperative marketing system gained him much respect in the farming community. Charles was also President and Vice President of the Piatt County Farmers’ Institute for four years. In 1889 he was one of the first to produce 100 bushels of corn per acre on 100 acres of land in Piatt County. Charles was known to have the best herd of Shorthorn cattle ever developed in the area. His herd won more prizes at the county, state fair, and international show levels than any other herd around. His cattle sold for more money than any cattle ever produced in the area. The Adkins and Stevenson livestock sales always attracted the largest crowds of any sales in Central Illinois. During his life, Charles was also an active member of the Bement United Methodist Church, serving as chairman of the building committee when the present church was built, and later a trustee member when the parsonage was built. He was also an active member of the Freemasons, Elks, Knights of Pythias, Woodmen of the World, Modern Woodmen of America and the Tribe of Ben Hur. After a long illness, Charles died on Monday, March 31, 1941 at his home. Death was attributed to a heart ailment. He was 78 years old.

Bio by: Trixy Adkins Corley



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Teresa L. Watson
  • Added: 5 Aug 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7737929
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Adkins (7 Feb 1863–31 Mar 1941), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7737929, citing Bement Cemetery, Bement, Piatt County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .