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Honor John F Hopkins


Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/20/2009 at 01:08:38

Honor John F Hopkins, has enjoyed and merited the confidence of his fellow townsmen is recognized by the fact that he has frequently been called to public office and for one term he represented his district in the state legislature. He is a progressive and enterprising farmer, a valued citizen and a man of genuine worth of character and sterling integrity. He is now practically living retired upon his farm, enjoying the fruits which have been secured to him through is earnest labors in former years. On November 10, 1854, he arrived in Boone, casting his lots with the early settlers who were reclaiming the county for purposes of civilization.
He is a native of Marion county, Ohio born October 4, 1821. His father, the Honor Robert Hopkins, was born in Delaware in 1797, and the grandfather, John Hopkins, was also a native of that state and a soldier of the Revolution. The Hopkins family was founded in Delaware in colonial days. After the establishment of American independence John Hopkins made his way westward across the Alleghany mountains into Ohio and became on of the first settlers along the Scioto river in that state, but he was not bong permitted to enjoy his new home, his death occurring soon after his removal to that place.
Robert Hopkins, the father of our subject, afterward resided with his sister in Pickaway county, Ohio and was reared there. When about nineteen years of age he married Miss Nancy Bezey, a native of Delaware, who however was reared in the same neighborhood in which Mr Hopkins spent his youth. Prior to his marriage he had served his country as a soldier in the war of 1812 and was at Detroit at the time of Hullís surrender. He participated in a number of skirmishes and after the surrender was discharged. Subsequently he removed to Logan county, Ohio, where he gained his first start in life on the headwaters of the Miami river. There he followed farming for a few years but afterward sold that property and removed to Marion county, Ohio where he opened up a farm upon which he reared his family. He became one of the prominent and influential residents of that county and was elected and served for two terms in the lower house and one term in the state senate. Well fitted for leadership he gave to every question that came up for settlement his earnest, careful consideration, supported those measures which he believed would contribute to the general good and left the impress of his individuality upon the legislation enacted during the period of his connection with the Ohio assembly. He spent his last years in Mario county, dying in 1863. His wife survived him for several years but is also now deceased.
John F Hopkins is on e of a family of eight children and the fourth in order of birth. He as reared to manhood in Marion county upon the old home farm. His educational privileges were rather limited for he had the opportunity of attending school only during the winter months when his services upon the home farm were not needed. He has greatly broadened his knowledge, however, since attaining to manís estate, gaining information through reading, experience and observation. In 1849, attracted by the discovery of gold in California, he made the overland trip to that state and spent two years in the mines in search of the precious metal. He first stated a good ranch there but afterwards sold that and engaged in mining. He now has a piece of the first gold which he found upon the river bed. It is flat metal, about five inches in length and one inch in width at the widest part and is valued at twenty-eight dollars. Mr Hopkins still retains this as a souvenir of his mining experiences. Upon the return trip he made his way down the coast to Acapulco, where he secured horses, riding across Mexico and thence proceeding to New Orleans and up the Mississippi river to Cairo and then by means of the Ohio river he resumed his journey to Cincinnati. He was fairly successful in his mining and ranch business in the far west.
On April 22, 1852, soon after his arrival home, Mr Hopkins was united in marriage in Marion county to Miss Lydia Bates, a native of that county, born on a farm adjoining the Hopkins homestead. After his marriage he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits and raised two crops in the east. He then removed west to Iowa in 1854, coming direct to Boone county. The journey was made by team and was a long, hard trip, but was accomplished without accident. He took up his abode upon the place which is yet his home, having visited this country in the previous June and purchased land. He first became the owner of two half sections which he bought for four and one-fourth dollars per acres, on tract being located in Des Moines township and the other in the south half of Sec 36, Douglas township. With characteristic energy Mr Hopkins began to fence and break in his land. He also erected good outbuildings thereon, although his first home was a log cabin in which he lied in pioneer style while making the first improvements upon the farm. He has since erected a good and substantial residence and has added all modern equipments to his farm and has substantial barns and outbuildings, fruit and shade trees and richly cultivated fields. He was formerly engaged not only in general farming, but also in raising and feeding stock and was one of the most successful agriculturists of the community. Thereby he won a very desirable competence that now enables him to live a retired life.
Politically a pronounced Republican, Mr Hopkins has never wavered in his devotion to the party since casting his first presidential vote for John C Fremont in 1856. He has taken quite an active part in local political work and was elected and served for one term as a member of the thirteenth general assembly of Iowa, and during that time he voted for the first appropriation made for the building of the new state capital. He served on a number of important committees and was a valued member of the organization locally. H has also filled a number of offices of honor and trust including six yearsí service on the board of supervisors. He has likewise been a delegate of numerous county, congressional and state conventions and has always been true to the trust reposed in him when in public offices as well as in private life. He was reared in the faith of the Free Baptist church and yet adheres to that belief. Looking back over the past he realized that almost half a century has come and gone since he took up his abode in Boone county, and time and man have wrought many changes for the better. Pioneer conditions have given way to the improvements of civilization and the work of progress and development has been carried on until Boone county takes its place among the leading counties of this great commonwealth. Mr Hopkins has ever bore his part in the work of public progress and has been a reliable and straightforward man in business, loyal in friendship and true to every relation of life. He command uniform confidence and respect and is widely and favorably known throughout this portion of the state.

1902 Boone County History Book


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