Arthur Howard Hopkins was born on September 18, 1871 in Pennville, Jay County, Indiana, the son of Barclay Brown Hopkins and Mary Ann Dailey. He was the fourth child and the third son of that family. He spent his early years in Jay and Wells Counties, working on the family farm or for other farmers in the area. He also began working in the oil fields that were developed in that area, but preferred farming. He wanted to buy his own farm, something that he was only able to do late in his life.
He received his schooling in Jay and Wells counties, but never went beyond grade school. He was a self-educated man, who wrote clearly and lucidly, read widely, and spoke slowly but thoughtfully. He knew the value of education, even though his schooling was limited, and made sure that all his children went to college.
Arthur married Belle Boone Green on January 21, 1905. She was the daughter of James Thomas Boone and Margaret J. Mock. When her mother died, she was adopted by Joel Green, a Baptist minister, and his wife. Arthur and Belle were married by Rev. Green at his church in Wells County.
Arthur, Belle, and Helen, their first child, moved to Buffalo County, Nebraska about 1906, where Arthur found work as a farm hand. He hoped to save enough money to buy his own farm. Belle's illness made it necessary for them to move into Kearney, where medical attention was more available. Arthur began working as a teamster, using his wagon and two horses and doing whatever hauling he could find to do. They had a hard time making ends meet. Arthur said he was the most discouraged then of any time in his life.
In 1916, Arthur was told by his younger brother Charley that work was available in the new oil fields around El Dorado, Kansas. He made the trip down there in his wagon during the winter, and found a job and a place for his family to live. Three of his brothers, his sisters Alice and Emma, and his mother were already there. Belle and the children came down by train in the spring.
Arthur continued to work in the oil fields until he retired (see these pages for details: nebraska.htm and oilfield.htm). He then bought a small farm in Wells County, near Montpelier, Indiana, where he lived and farmed for several years. As he got older, he lived with his daughter Ruth in Montpelier and in Hamilton, Ohio. He died in Hamilton on November 6, 1967 at the age of 96, and was buried in Darrtown Cemetery.
In a letter to his son Howard, Arthur said, "I have never done any thing that has been more to my credit than bringing up a family of kids that never got into trouble while growing up or since and who all fill honorable positions with honor and responsibility." This was written just two months before his death. He could feel justifiable pride in that accomplishment -- all his children were a credit to him. This was due in large part to the example he set in his own life.
This file was last updated on 12/22/2007.
|Home    Contents    What's New    Myself|