Jackson County

Biography - Frank Hopkins

FRANK HOPKINS. A man who has ever been useful in his community, and an able assistant in promoting its material interests, Frank Hopkins, postamaster at Makanda, has been, a resident of the place for many years, and has well performed his part in sustaining the intellectual and moral status of this section of Jackson county. He was born April 13, 1851, near Bloomfield, Stoddard county, Missouri, and is of excellent New England stock.

His father, James Carroll Hopkins, a native of Rhode Island, studied surveying when young, and later, as a civil engineer in the employ of the United States Government, laid out the Pan Handle section of Texas. He was given a grant of a league and labore of land, and as a man and a citizen became so prominent and popular that when Hopkins county, Texas, was organized it was named in his honor. His death, which occurred in 1858, was the result of a fall. He was a stanch Republican in politics, and a strong supporter of John C. Fremont. He was a devout member of the Methodist church, in which he often preached. When about forty-five years of age he married Lovina Sifford, a native of North Carolina, and of the four children born of their union two are now living, as follows: Frank, the special subject of this brief personal record; and Mrs. M. J. McCullum, of Bloomfield, Missouri. A short time after the death of her husband she was accidentally shot, and her youngest child, then an infant, was killed.

Brought up in Missouri during his boyhood days, Frank Hopkins not only received an excellent training in the various branches of agriculture, but as a hunter became an expert in gunning and trapping. At the age of seventeen years he came to Illinois, locating in Williamson county, where he worked during the summer seasons as a farm hand, and for two winters attended the district schools. An industrious and intelligent student, he acquired an excellent education, and subsequently taught school in both Jackson and Williamson counties and in southeastern Missouri. When ready to settle permanently he accepted a position as clerk in the general store of Captain Bailey, who was postmaster, and in the summer seasons had charge of the post office, while during winter time he taught school, having been made postmaster on March 18, 1872. He subsequently completed the course of study at the State Normal School in Carbondale, after which he attended Valparaiso University, in Valparaiso, Indiana. He became well versed in law, and was admitted to the bar in Missouri, but his professional practice has since been confined to the justice courts. On May 30, 1889, Mr. Hopkins was appointed postmaster at Makanda, by President Harrison, and served four years, when, under President Cleveland's administration, he was relieved. In 1897 he was again appointed postmaster, and has served continuously since, being well qualified for the position, and popular with the patrons of the post office.

Mr. Hopkins married, May 24, 1885, Melissa J. Johnson, and into the household thus established two children have been born, namely: David Llewellyn, who is a bridgeman for the Free Bridge at Saint Louis; and John James, whose earthly life was of short duration, covering a period of twelve months and twelve days. Mrs. Hopkins is a capable and estimable woman, and is now serving as assistant postmistress. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins are valued members of the Congregational church.

Politically Mr. Hopkins is an ardent supporter of the principles promulgated by the Republican party, and has filled the various village and township offices with acceptance to all. Fraternally he belongs to Makanda Lodge, No. 434, Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons, of which he is worshipful past master.

Extracted from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 585-586.

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