Hoppers of Stanford Kentucky

My grandfather (Joe B. Hopper) left this record of his aunts and uncles on the Hopper side.

My father had three living brothers and one sister, of whom we have the following records:

William Higgins Hopper

Uncle William (1881-1958) married Ruth Eagleton Terry. Their children were:

  • Elizabeth Jane, who married Vincent C. Gilbert. No children.
  • Martha Eagleton, who married Allen Tacy. Their children were:
    • Allen Jr.
    • Terry
    • David
  • Margaret Ruth, who married Rev. Archibald B. Taylor. They were Presbyterian Missionaries in Japan. Their children were:
    • William
    • John
    • Samuel
  • William, Jr. who married Mollie Brown. He was a Presbyterian minister and they were long-time missionaries to Iran, served church positions in the United States, and later were missionaries in Pakistan. Their children were:
    • Lanna
    • Jane
    • Mary Anne

Of the three uncles, I knew Uncle William best. Several times we visited his home in Louisville, Ky. He graduated from Centre College, Danville, Ky. in 1908 and from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1911. He was a member of Parkland Masonic Lodge. He held pastorates at Woodland Presbyterian Church (Louisville, Ky.), Birmingham, Al., at Burnside Ky., and at Flora Heights Presbyterian Church (Louisville, Ky.)

Because of very poor eye-sight which kept him from reading as much as was necessary for his work as a preacher, he became the first treasurer of the “Ministers’ Annuity Fund” of the Southern Presbyterian Church and held this position for twenty years. He must have been very successful in investing the funds of this organization, because yield was always excellent and the fund got off to a good start. His wife, my Aunt Ruth, was extremely active in the Women of the Church organization, reaching top positions in it. As an elder attending the General Assembly of the church, she was one of the original group which proposed COCU (Committee on Church Union). Uncle William died Jan. 29, 1990.

Walter Owsley Hopper

Uncle Walter (1883-1969) married Garnett Robinson. Their children were:

  • Walter, Jr. who died as a child.
  • Virginia Reed who married George Connerat. Their children were:
    • George
    • Robin

George Dunlap Hopper1

Uncle George who first married Minnie Parker Durham who died in 1932. They had one daughter:

  • Virginia Lee

He then married Sue Hayes, who died in 1969, in Asheville, N.C.

I did know Uncle George better. When we traveled around the world in 1935, he met us a Marseilles, France, and sailed with us to Tangiers where he was a U.S. Consul. When I finished high school and came to the States to college, I spent a night or so with him in Winnipeg, Canada where he was consul. Later, after he married Aunt Sue (his second wife) whom he had met in Canada, they lived in Asheville, N.C. in a house on top of Beaucatcher Mountain and we visited them a number of times there. During his last illness he was in a rest home there where we saw him shortly before his death.

Margaret Higgins Hopper

Aunt Margaret was, of course, the closest of Father’s siblings. Because she lived near my parents in Mokpo, Korea, and later in Montreat, N.C. and finally at the Presbyterian Home in High Point, N.C., we were in close contact all along. Most of my recollections of her are recorded later in these accounts. I have been able to find a few bits of information about her early life, before she came to the mission field.

I have an affidavit dated May 20, 1965 in Montreat, N.C. signed by Aunt Margaret affirming that Father was born June 1, 1892 in Stanford, Ky. in the home of her father, Mr. George D. Hopper, Sr. Evidently my Father had lost his birth certificate making this affidavit necessary. It concludes with this statement:

I was six years of age at the time. I clearly remember that the attending physician came out on the porch where I was and said to me, ‘I have brought you a baby brother.’

For some reason, we have very limited information about her college or other training or details about what she had been doing during her earlier life. According to records at Stonewall Jackson Institute, she attended “Stanford Female College” in Lexington, Ky. and immediately afterwards taught in the Stanford high school. She attended the College of Music in Cincinnati in 1908, taught high school in Stanford 1909-1941, spent the summer of 1912 at Chattauqua in New York, was at the University of Tennessee 1914-1915, and taught English at the Stonewall Jackson Institute in Bristol, TN. 1915-1917.

Like my parents she studied at White’s Bible School in New York at least some before going to Korea. A small clipping indicates that at the time she left for Korea she was principal of Sayre College. She was a member of the Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church of Lexington. She sailed to Korea on April 15th, 1922, when she would have been just under 36 years old.2

Her entire career in Korea was spent in Mokpo, where she was principal of the Chung-myung school for girls. Her small house was practically in the corner of our yard, and one end of a one-story long girls’ dormitory connected with her house. As our only real aunt nearby she was naturally our favorite aunt and was always good to us. Once she lost the diamond out of a ring and I was able to find it in a corner of the steps where it had been swept with the dust pan hiding the trash. One time it was good that somebody did not finish the job. She was always very frugal and by the time she died had considerable wealth which had accumulated from a small inheritance which had been managed by her brother William.

Shortly before returning after furlough to Korea in 1936, I went with Father to Stanford, Ky. Here on Aug. 2, the Presbyterian Church celebrated “Hopper Day in Stanford.” As I recall Father, Uncle William, Uncle Walter, and Aunt Margaret were all present (Uncle George could not come.) The three uncles were sitting in the front pew with backs to the congregation, and it was amusing to note that all three were completely (and similarly) bald. Various parts of the services that Sunday morning and evening were led by the members of the Hopper family.


  1. I assume George Dunlap was named after his grandfather. — Tim [return]
  2. Another record states that she sailed on April 5, 1923 on the S.S. President Lincoln. [return]

comments powered by Disqus