Oregonian/1915/February/28/Miss Hobbs' place goes to C. Abrams

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The Oregonian, February 28, 1915  (1915) 
Miss Hobbs' place goes to C. Abrams


Appointee for Industrial Accident Commissioner Editor and Guard Officer.


Resignation of Democrat Regarded as Plan to Embarrass Administration, but Subsequent Law Gives Power of Dismissal.

Fern Hobbs achievements, from the Oregonian 1915.png

SALEM, Or., Feb. 27.—(Special.)—Governor Withycombe announced today that he had accepted the resignation of Miss Fern Hobbs as Industrial Accident Commissioner and would appoint Major Carle Abrams, of this city, in her stead. He will assume the duties of the office when Miss Hobbs' resignation becomes effective May 21.

Major Abrams was born January 26, 1879, on a farm in Polk County, and was graduated from the Oregon Agricultural College in 1900. He served in Company K, Second Oregon Volunteers, during the Spanish-American War, and is now major of the Third Battalion, National Guard, having been a commissioned officer in the guard for 12 years. Major Abrams is part owner of the Statesman Publishing Company, and manager of the Pacific Homestead. He served as reporter and city editor of the Statesman for several years. While a member of the lower House of the Legislature in 1911 he was instrumental in having legislation enacted of benefit to the farming and dairying interests. He was author of a bill empowering the Corporation Department to tax foreign corporations, which has increased the state's revenue thousands of dollars annually.

Letter Causes Sensation.

During the recent deadlock between the Senate and the House over the Schuebel workmen's compensation bill Miss Hobbs wrote a letter to the Senate, offering to resign her position if it would pass the House bill. Senator Garland read the letter, and insisted that it be made part of the record. Subsequently, however, at the request of other Senators he asked that it be expunged, which was done. Several Senators openly declared that the letter was inspired by ex-Governor West, who desired to make it appear the Senate was directing its political warfare upon a woman. When it was found the House would not recede from its position the Senate passed the bill, but not until the House had passed one giving the power of recall of appointive officers to the appointive heads.

Miss Hobbs tendered her resignation to Governor Withycombe after the Legislature adjourned, the act being regarded as another attempt of ex-Governor West to embarrass the new administration. It was predicted by her friends that she would be dismissed from the service, but the executive simply accepted her resignation, which retains her in office until May 21.

Miss Hobbs' Career Spectacular.

The career of Miss Hobbs in public service was scarcely less spectacular than that of her chief. She achieved a National reputation when she declared Copperfield under martial law under instructions of Governor West. She also obtained evidence for the executive for use in prosecutions of alleged law violations in various towns. She came here from Portland to become stenographer in the Governor's office and when Ralph Watson, his private secretary, was made corporation commissioner Miss Hobbs became the private secretary, the salary having been increased to $3000 a year. She was appointed Industrial Accident Commissioner to succeed C. D. Babcock early this year. The salary is $3600 a year.

Miss Hobbs said she had not determined what she would do when her resignation became effective May 21, but thought she would locate in Portland.

"I have two or three things in mind," she added, "but really do not know what my work will be. In fact I may have to put a want ad in the newspapers to find something. When appointed I expected to remain an Industrial Accident Commisioner four years, the law at that time providing that a Commissioner could be removed only for cause. I suppose I shall decide on something definite to do before my resignation takes effect, but that is a matter for the future."

Carle Abrams and Fern Hobbs from 1915 Oregonian story.png

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).