History of Taylor County, Iowa: from the earliest historic times to 1910 by  Frank E. Crosson. Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910
(transcribed by Linda Kestner: lfkestner3@msn.com)
Page 649
About four years ago S. J. Hopson, who enjoys the reputation of being the best photographer in Taylor county, established himself in business in Bedford.  His studio, located on the corner of Main and Court streets, exhibits some fine examples of his art, evincing the fact that he is more than an artisan, being in truth a real artist.  A native of this county he was born February 7, 1878, his parents being James Elliott and Lydia S. (Honneysett) Hopson.  The former was born in Chautauqua county, New York, December 4, 1831, and spent the years of his boyhood and young manhood in the place of his birth.  For a considerable period he was employed on railroads in the east, in the capacities of brakeman and engineer, and then, in 1875, came to Iowa, locating upon an unimproved farm in Ross township, Taylor county.  He still makes his home there, but while he has for so many years been engaged in agricultural pursuits, he is better known as an insurance man, for during the past thirty-four years he has been the agent of the Farmer's Insurance Company, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
James Hopson has been twice married.  Of his first union there were two children, namely: Albert, who is a farmer in this county; and Edna, who is the wife of Ellsworth Foreman, of Bedford.  His present wife is also a native of Chautauqua county, New York, where her birth occurred March 22, 1833.  By her previous marriage she had two children but only one, Virtue A. Gates, is living.  By her union with Mr. Hopson two children have also been born: S. J., the subject of this sketch; and John who has a family and lives with his father on the farm in Ross township.
(Page 650) The reputation of being the leading photographer of the county is not one which has been hastily conferred upon S. J. Hopson but one to which he has proved his right by the character of the work he has been able to turn out.  Many years' experience has given him a skill in the posing of his subjects and in the developments of his plates and pictures, and while part of this cleverness may have been gained through apprenticeship to some of the prominent men in his line throughout the United States, the artistic touches which make his products distinguished among many others are the outgrowth of his own abilities, of his sensitiveness to line and form.  In short it is the combination of those qualities which make him more than a mere manipulator of an instrument.  It is for those characteristics of his, recognizable wherever his pictures are on exhibition, that he has been accorded a title of which he may in all modesty be justifiably proud.