My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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HENRY H. HOPKINS. Descended from two old New England families, this gentleman has in his personal affairs manifested the frugality, industry and prudence that are prominent traits in the Yankee character, acquiring thereby a fortune that has enabled him to bestow upon his children thorough educations and to surround his family with every comfort. He has likewise manifested a deep interest in the public welfare, identifying himself with various movements, which tend to the higher civilization and prosperity of the community, and gaining a reputation second to none as a public-spirited citizen.

The ancestry in the paternal line is traced back to Stephen Hopkins. The parents of our subject were Allan and Rachael (Saulsbury) Hopkins, the latter having been a daughter of Joseph Saulsbury, a mariner. Rhode Island was their native State, and there they grew to maturity, married, and continued to reside. The father, who was a farmer and cooper, died in 1851, at the age of sixty-four years. The mother survived until 1877, reaching the advanced age of eighty-nine years. They were the parents of six children, two of whom are now living.

The gentleman of whom we write was born June 2, 1812, at Scituate, R. I., being the third on the family roll. He received an excellent common-school education, after which he took a thorough academic course, fitting himself for the profession of teaching, in which he was engaged for about twelve years in his native State. He had also occupied himself to some extent in farming, and continued the two employments until the spring of 1839.

In March of that year Mr. Hopkins was united in marriage with Miss Maria, daughter of Asaph and Mary (Mowry) Wilder. She was also born at Scituate, R. I., and was about four years younger than her husband, her natal day having been the 11th of March, 1816. She received a good common-school education and became a teacher, having a fine record as an instructress and winning the friendship of her patrons by her intelligence and true ladyhood. Her qualities of mind and character were well known to her husband, who has never had cause to regret his choice. The home over which she has presided has ever been a model of neatness and order, and while looking well to the ways of her household, she has not neglected her personal appearance or failed to keep herself well-informed and fitted for usefulness.

The father of Mrs. Hopkins was educated for a physician, but his health failing, he embarked in mercantile pursuits, finally becoming a farmer in Rhode Island, his native State. He and his wife were born of old New England families, their mothers being second cousins and of Irish extraction; one of them married Mr. Mowry, a Frenchman, and the other Mr. Wilder, an English physician. The Mowry family held the faith of the Quakers. Mrs. Hopkins was the eldest of six children.

After their marriage, our subject and his wife lived upon a farm in Rhode Island until 1856, when they became residents of Yellow Springs, Ohio, where they have since remained. Their object in coming here was to give their sons good educational advantages, as they owned a scholarship in Antioch College. Mr. Hopkins became a merchant, but after two years spent in trade abandoned it and took up the fruit tree business, which he carried on for a dozen years, after which he retired from active business life. He did not, however, abandon the fields of usefulness which were open to him in other directions, but is still active in municipal affairs, and particularly in those pertaining to the cause of education.

Mr. Hopkins helped to organize the schools of Yellow Springs into the graded system, serving on the School Board for sixteen years and being Superintendent of Schools for a time. He was President of the Board when the Union Schoolhouse was erected. Eight years ago he was chosen on the Educational Board of Antioch College, which is a life appointment. He is also a member of the Executive Board of that institution, and has been chosen Treasurer, now serving in that capacity, he is a member of the City Council of Yellow Springs, in which he has served for twenty-four years, and some thirty-three years since he occupied the Mayor’s Chair. He represents the Council in the Building Committee of the new Town Hall, said committee having been appointed by the Joint Board, which consists of the City Council and the Township Trustees. He has also served as Trustee in Miami Township, by appointment, and at one time was Justice of the Peace in Rhode Island. In politics he has always been interested, as all good citizens should be, and his sympathy and support has ever been with the Republican party. Both he and his wife belong to the Christian Church, of which he is a Trustee. Both have taken an active interest in the Sunday-school department, Mr. Hopkins having been Superintendent and Mrs. Hopkins having been a Sunday-school teacher, both in Rhode Island and here, during a period of over twelve years.

The family of Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins comprises three sons, fine men, in whose character and lives their parents can take a just pride. Wilson A., who was born in 1841, is a wholesale grocer at Greenville, Darke County; he married Miss Alice Dawson, and their family consists of two children. Elmer B., born in 1845, lives in Yellow Springs, owning a wholesale grocery store in Springfield; his family comprises a wife, formerly Miss Angie McCoy, and three children. A. F., who was born in 1846, is still single, making his home with his parents and following the occupation of a commercial salesman. The three sons were students at Antioch College when the Civil War broke out and diminished the attendance at the institution, many of whose students took up arms in defence of the Union. The Hopkins boys enlisted in the One Hundred and Fifty-fourth Ohio Infantry, and after serving their time, again enlisted in another regiment and each served until the close of the war. Elmer was Orderly Sergeant and Wilson was secretary of the company. All are now identified with the Grand Army of the Republic.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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