Fern Hobbs Takes on Wide-Open Copperfield

Governor West sent Fern Hobbs, his personal secretary, with a detachment of five National Guard troops to Copperfield to demand the resignation of city officials. The mayor and the majority of the city council were involved in the saloon business. The city officials refused to resign and were arrested by the National Guard.

Cartoon of Hobbs


Photo of Hobbs

The diminutive Miss Hobbs, who was only 5'4" tall and weighed less than 100 pounds managed to subdue wide-open Copperfield in a matter of hours. Her effectiveness amazed one local observer.Although she left town by train the same day she arrived, the National Guard remained in Copperfield for several months bolstered by an additional attachment of twenty men. A morning report of the Copperfield Detachment displays early troop movements. A later report shows a routine setting in as the occupation continued. In March the National Guard commander turned over the keys of the city to a civilian acting mayor. More than a year later on January 21, 1915, Governor James Withycombe officially revoked the declaration of martial law.

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