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Legacy Home > Directors > Biographies

Homer Adkins

Homer Martin Adkins, the fifth director to head the state's Employment Security Division, was appointed by Governor Sid McMath. Adkins's political career is distinguishable for two reasons: 1) He was one of two directors in the history of the Agency to serve part of two separate terms, from January 17, 1949 until June 15, 1950; and from September 1, 1950 until July 2, 1952; and, 2) he was the only governor of Arkansas to ever serve as director of the Employment Security Division.

Adkins, a pharmacist at the age of 20, also served as the Pulaski County Sheriff's candidate, and later led Franklin Roosevelt's presidential campaign efforts in Arkansas. He was elected as the governor of Arkansas in 1941, and served until 1945.

His work to help get Franklin Roosevelt elected, netted him an appointment as Internal Revenue Commissioner. Adkins used this political leverage to help him wrest the governorship from his political nemesis Carl Bailey, who he succeeded as governor in 1941.

Mr. Adkins was considered a genius at the nuts and bolts of campaigns, and crafting political machines. During his leadership, Arkansas became the site of $300 million in WWII defense plants. This, alone, doubled the state's depression-era treasury surplus.

When he stepped down as governor in 1944, Adkins ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate against Hattie Caraway, who lost to J. William Fulbright. Five years later, in 1949, Governor Sid McMath appointed him as Director of the Employment Security Division. Director Adkins served parts of two terms under the Governor. Mr. C.K. Call was director of the Arkansas Department of Labor during Adkins' tenure.