SURVEY-TOWNSHIP No. 3, range 12, constitutes the civil township of Hopkins. It
is bounded on the west by Monterey, on the east by Wayland, on the north by Dorr, and on the south by Watson. It
ranks among the foremost townships of the county in the quality of the land and in the amount of its crops, while
its reputation as a sugar-producing district has extended beyond the limits of Allegan County.
Portions of the surface of Hopkins are level, though the larger part is undulating. Along the southern boundary
arid in the northwestern portion many hills and valleys are to be seen, which abound in picturesque and beautiful
views. The level lands were earliest cleared, and are now covered by fine orchards and fertile fields of waving
grain. On the west side of the township there is some swampy land, which, however, easily yields to the excellent
system of drainage in use, and is rapidly being converted into productive acres.
A branch of Rabbit River enters the township at the northeast and another at the southeast corner. They unite on
section 20, whence the combined stream passes out of the township near the northwest corner. These streams afford
ample water-power for milling or other purposes. There are two or three lakes of great magnitude on sections 18
and 32, and numerous springs. The prevailing timber is beech, oak, basswood, elm, with a small quantity of pine
in the northwestern portion.
The soil of Hopkins varies in different localities, but is well adapted to the growth of all grains, as well as
most vegetables and fruits. A species of vegetable mould abounds in the swamps; a strong clay subsoil is found
on the level plaibs; and sand and gravel, interspersed with clay, yield abundant crops on the elevated ground.
The yield of wheat is quite equal to the average throughout the county, while oats are exceptional in their prolific
growth. Much fine grazing land is also found in this township, and the hay crop is generally extremely good. In
the summer of 1873, 771 acres of wheat were harvested, which produced 9523 bushels of that grain, while 777 acres
of corn yielded 18,770 bushels. Of other grains 14,404 bushels were produced. Since that time a large area of land
has been rendered available, and the crop of all grains is proportionally increased.
Hopkins' especial boast, however, is its yield of maplesugar, not being approached in the production of this delicious
article by any of its neighbors. In 1874, 108,650 pounds was made, over two tons having been the yield of a single
grove. Very few farms are without a sugar-bush, and all the modern appliances are used for converting the sap into
syrup, and afterwards into sugar.
Most varieties of fruit thrive in Hopkins, especially the apple, which has yielded extraordinary crops in some
of the orchards on the level lands. Grapes find here a congenial soil and a climate well adapted to their perfect
The farm-residences of Hopkins, while making no pretensions to elegance, are substantial and usually spacious,
with excellent barns and out-buildings. Occasionally a log cabin is seen, but these relics of pioneer days are
fast disappearing. The township is admirably located for the purpose of' exporting its products, the Kalamazoo
division of the Lake-Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad crossing the western portion, with two stations within
its boundaries, while the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad runs within a mile of its eastern line. It has also
two small villages, one of which is the centre of a considerable grain truffle.
The entries of government land in township 3, of range 12, are as follows:
Section 1.-Bought in 1836 and 1837 by Talcott Howard, James L. Glen, H. S. Morgan, and William Huntington.
Section 2.-Bought in 1837 by J. L. Glen, C. S. Phillips, Ira Camp, C. I. Walker.
Section 3.-Bought from 1851 to 1858 by Christopher Johnson, John Reis, William Truax, John Barber, R, M. Congdon,
Henry Frour, Peter Meier, David F. Heydenbeck.
Section 4.-Bought in 1825 by Samuel Hubbard.
Section 5.-Bought in 1834, 1835, and 1836 by Samuel H. Sill, George Fetterman, Lucius Abbott, Samuel Hubbard, Benjamin
Section 6.-Bought in 1835 by Talcott Howard, A. L. Cotton, Samuel Hubbard.
Section 7.-Bought in 1836 by James B. Murray, Cyrus Smith.
Section 8.-Bought in 1835 and 1836 by Charles Butler, James B. Murray, Cyrus Smith.
Section 9.-Bought from 1835 to 1854 by Samuel Hubbard, Charles J. Lauman, Hogh Y. Purviance, William True, William
Section 10.-Bought from 1836 to 1854 by C. J. Lauman, J. L. Glen, C. S. Phillips, Silas Trowbridge, B. Doten, Ira.
Chaffee, B. S. Whithead, W. H. Parmalce, R. M. Congdon.
Section 11.-Bought in 1839 by Glen and Phillips, C. H. Judson, Elder P. Dwight, Silas Chappel.
Section 12.-Bought from 1852 to 1861 by Enoch Spencer, H. H. Pratt, G. L. Hicks, H. M. Peek, Jerome Valentine,
W. S. March, W. S. Kenfield, E. H. Gere.
Section 13.-Bought from 1852 to 1858 by Merrick Burton, B. A. Pratt, H. M. Peck, Alexander McDonald. S. M. Hall,
James A. McKay, O. D. Parsons, Abram Buskirk.
Section 14.-Bought from 1837 to 1858 by Silas Chappell, Hiram Loomis, Jacob Poucher, J. Moffatt, Jr., Samuel Grouwnon.
Chauncey White, Anna Hacket.
Section 15.-Bought from 1836 to 1852 by F. Armitage, C. J. Louman, Erastus Congdon, Luther Martin, C. P. Staats.
Section 16.-Bought from 1854 to 1860 by N. N. Upson, G. Parmalee, E. L. Butt, N. S. Atwater, E. Parmalee, M. Parnelee,
J. P. Parmalee, J. W. M. Baird, J. W. McBride, Hiram Satterlee, N. H. Wilson.
Section 17.-Bought in 1835 and 1836 by Silsbee and Frost, Charles Butler, George Brace, Cyrus Smith.
Section 18.-Bought in 1835 by Silsbee and Frost.
Section 19.-Bought from 1835 to 1854 by N. Silsbee, Elias Streeter, Konrad Krug, John Pierce.
Section 20.-Bought from 1835 to 1853 by Samuel Hubbard, Elias Streeter, Nelson Sage, John Stevenson.
Section 21.-Bought in 1835 and 1837 by Charles Butler, Esek Baker, Morgan and Huntington.
Section 22.-Bought in 1836 by Charles Butler.
Section 23.-Bought from 1837 to 1853 by Thomas Moshier, Nathaniel Barnard. Olive Alford, Salmon Kingsley, Abram
Colman, Wainwright Rabbitt.
Section 24.-Bought in 1851 and 1852 by Samuel C. Lewis, Parley Dean, J. E. Harding. W. B. Clark.
Section 25.-Bought from 1837 to 1852 by Adam and Chrisholine, Danford Dean, L. H. Pratt, S. B. Cram.
Section 26.-Bought from 1837 to 1853 by Morgan and Huntington, C. M. Kimball, Erastus Congdon, J. O. Round, A.
A. lugerson, S. Kingsley. Jr., W. R. Ingerson.
Section 27.-Bought in 1837, 1853 and 1854 by C. C. Clute, John Peer. J. M. Baldwin, Francis Forbes.
Section 28.-Bought from 1836 to 1853 by Henry Dumont, Daniel Hawks, Esek Baker, Armenius Tice, S. W. Mankin, Jonathan
Section 29.-Bought from 1836 to 1868 by Henry Dumont, Charles Benson. Justus Noble, Nathan Smith, Philo Van Keuren,
A. Tice, Albert Lane, D. C. logerson, D. L. Hilliard, Ransom Durkee, J. M. Smith.
Section 30.-Bought from 1836 to 1854 by Daniel Hawks, Henry Wilson, Henry Staring, George Wise, Philo Herlan.
Section 31.-Bought in 1854 by Joseph Thorn, Philo Harlin, Lewis Halen.
Section 32.-Bought from 1837 to 1855 by William C. Jenner, D. C. Ingerson, John Stevenson, Leander Brewer, George
N. Mason, E. G. Allen, Lewis Herlan, Charles Butler.
Section 34.-Bought from 1837 to 1858 by John I. Barnard, D. M. and Laura Booth, Ralph Emerson, Fanny Richardson,
Henry Powell, J. M. Baldwin, H. J. Baldwin, J. W. McFarland, John B. Finkor, William Perkins.
Section 35.-Bought from 1837 to 1855 by Henry Barnard, J. I. Lardnor, Nelson Corbett, Edwin Daily, Jr., Mary J.
Corbett, Sylvester Finker, Ira Hill, I. M. Perkins, William Simmons.
Section 36.-Bonght from 1837 to 1853 by Stephen Vail, Daniel Arnold, R. C. Round, Ira Hill, Elisha Griswold.
As late as the fore-part of the year 183S the area now embraced in the township
of Hopkins was an unbroken wilderness, and the only inhabitants were the deer, the wolf, and other wild animals,
and their formidable foe the red man.
During the year above mentioned, Jonathan Olin Round, a native of Vermont, and, latterly a resident of Kalamazoo
County, made his advent as the first settler of Hopkins. Mr. Round had come the previous year and located the southwest
quarter of section 26, where lie had erected a log cabin and made a small clearing, so that a rude home was ready
for his family when they arrived in 1838. The life of the Round family WaS, until the arrival of the next settlers,
an extremely isolated one, it being no less titan five miles to the nearest neighbor. Mr. Round's first clearing
was necessarily very roughly done, and his first crops grew up scattered here and. there among not only stumps,
but logs. His corn was husked in the fields, beside a blazing fire of logs. He dryly remarks that he gave no invitation
to husking-bees, as there were no neighbors to respond.
In the family of Mr. Round occurred the first birth in the township, that of his daughter, Sarah A. Round, now
Mrs. William S. Kenfield, who was born in 1838. Tn June, 1839, Mr. and Mrs. Round were afflicted by the death of
their son, Oziel Hopkins Round, aged two and a half years, his being the first death in the township. Mr. and Mrs.
Round still enjoy a vigorous old age, surrounded by their children, in the pleasant home in Hopkins which they
made for themselves out of the wilderness.
In the fall of 1838 came Erastus Congdon, who built a cabin on section 26, the northwest quarter of which he purchased,
and on which, a year later, he became a permanent resident. He was also a Vermonter, and had been a temporary resident
in Kalamazoo County, where he arrived in company with Mr. Round. Mr. Cangdon was afterwards the first postmaster
in the township. His death occurred at Hopkins in 1871, where his two sons, Albert P. and Erastus B. Congdon, now
Among the earliest pioneers of Hopkins were Esek Baker and two sons, Harvey N. and Jason Baker, the first of whom
entered 160 acres of land on section 28 in 1837, to which he subsequently added 40 acres. Harvey N. Baker had been
a resident of Canada previously to 1836, when he came to Michigan. After a short stay in Martin he removed to Hopkins
in 1838, having also located on section 28. While residing in Martin he had built a log house and made some advances
towards clearing his land. Jason Baker is the only survivor of the family, and still occupies the old homestead,
which he has made one of the most productive farms in the township. Jackson Baker, a son of Harvey N. Baker, resides
in Hopkins, on section 3, where he has 100 acres, which he purchased in 1854.
The first wedding in the township occurred at the house of Mr. Esek Baker, the parties being his daughter, Miss
Huldah Baker, and Mr. John Lardner.
T. J. Crampton settled in Hopkins in 1839, having purchased 40 acres on Section 16.
John J. Larduer arrived in 1841, and purchased 120 acres on section 35, and an additional 40 in the adjoining township
of Watson. He found the same obstacles awaiting him that had bees encountered by his predecessors, but devoted
much energy to the work of improving his land. Subsequently he purchased a farm in Kalamazoo County, and made it
William Tyler followed soon after, and found a home upon 80 acres on section 29. John Hicks was also a pioneer
of about the same period, but does not appear to have become a land-owner on his arrival. Nelson Corbitt and his
family made their weary and tedious way to Hopkins with an ox-team in the fall of 1846. On Section 35 he purchased
120 acres, and the family obtained shelter at the log house of Jonathan 0. Round until quarters could be erected
on their own land. Mr. Corbitt went to work resolutely to clear his place, but did not long survive his advent.
His death occurred in the fall of 1850, and his estate, with his heritage of hard, labor, passed to his son. The
latter died in 1878, and left the farm in possession of his widow, who now resides upon it.
John Parsons became a resident upon 160 acres on seetion 1 in 1843, and William 11. Warner purchased and occupied
40 acres upon section 15 the year following, which they both improved.
For many years there was little emigration to Hopkins, although the neighboring townships were being rapidly populated.
In 1853 and 1854, however, a considerable number of emigrants arrived from Ohio, who located within a convenient
distance from the centre of the township, and christened the locality Ohio Corners."
Joel Button, a former resident of Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, located in 1853 upon SO acres on section 15, to which he
afterwards added SO more. It was partially cleared, and a log house had been erected upon it by Luther Martin,
who, after a brief residence, had removed to Indiana. J. P. Lindsley arrived with his neighbor, Mr. Button, in
1853, and found a home on 30 acres of section 33. He was one of the Ohio chny, and purchased of Zenas Pratt, who
moved to another part of the township. James E. Parmalee, formerly of Summit Co., Ohio, located in 1854 upon 80
acres on section 22. He was a carpenter by trade, and found many demands made upon his time and skill. Mr. Parmalee
erected a substantial frame houso upon his farm, and also speedily demonstrated that the labors of the busbandman
were no less congenial to him than those of the carpenter. His nearest neighbors were Edward Barbarow, who purchased
50 acres on section 23 (where he died in 1859)
At nearly the same time came William H. Parmalee, who located 120 acres upon sections 9 and 10, which he cleared
and improved. He participated actively in public affairs, and held many offices of trust in the township.
Among the leading citizens of German descent in the township are the family of Hoffmasters, who removed from Mahoning
Co., Ohio, in 1854. John Hoffmaster purchased 80 acres on section 19, and placed his family under the care of a
brother in Monterey while he erected a comfortable habitation for their occupancy. He at once began tile labor
of improving his land, doing all this labor with his own hands, as he had neither oxen nor horses to assist in
the operation. His nearest neighbor was Konrad Krug, who preceded him from Ohio in 1853, and had settled upon 120
acres on section 19, where he still resides. Mr. Hoffmaster still lives in Hopkins, but has recently moved to the
southeast portion of the township.
Gotlieb Hoffmaster, a native of Wittenberg, Germany, emigrated to America with his father in 1817, and arrived
in Hopkins in 1854. He purchased 80 acres on section 20, and the log house of his brother John gave him temporary
shelter until he could build one of his own. He, too, is still a resident of the township.
Joseph Hoffinaster arrived in 1855, and at once secured 320 acres on section 18. He was the eldest of the brothers,
and had accumulated property in Ohio, which of course greatly aided him in his Michigan experience. He lived upon
the farm until his death, in 1873, having previously divided his property among his children.
Albert Lane, another Ohio pioneer, came from Summit County, in that State, in 1854, purchased 80 acres on section
22, 120 acres on section 27, and 80 acres on section 29. On section 27 a log house had already been built and 10
acres chopped. This dispensed with much of the preliminary labor of the settler, and enabled Mr. Lane to make rapid
progress. Forty acres of cleared land was the result of his first year of toil. His nearest neighbors were Jason
Baker and Seraipha C. Buck, the latter of whom had preceded him and located upon 115 acres on section 27. Mr. Lane
afterwards sold a portion of his farm and removed to section 22, where he now resides.
H. F. White, another member of the Ohio colony, arrived in 1854, and chose a residence upon section 22, where he
purchased SO acres of unimproved land. As Mr. White had no team, he could improve his land but slowly, his first
planting being done without any plowing whatever.
Luther Martin early located on section 15, where he owned 50 acres, which he cleared up. He then repaired to section
23, and finally removed to Indiana, where he died.
Alonzo Button arrived from Cnyahoga Co., Ohio, in 1855, and purchased 240 acres on section 14, a small portion
of which had been cleared. He still lives on the place he originally selected.
Among the enterprising pioneers of 1854 were Abram, Peter, and Eliphalet Buskirk, who like so many others had been
residents of Ohio. Abram and Peter purchased land on section 23, the former owning 40 and the latter 60 acres.
Eliphalet, however, made his home upon 80 acres on section 13. They devoted themselves to improving their farms,
and all still occupy their original locations, upon which inviting frame houses have since been buiit. Wil liam
Buskirk came one year later, and purchased 160 acres on section 24, where he now resides.
Dr. James M. Baldwin became a resident of the township in 1853, and immediately began the practice of his profession.
Previous to this date the health of the townspeople was cared for by Drs. Briggs and Bradley, of Wayland.
S. W. Mankin, a native of Columbiana Co., Ohio, with his wife and three children, emigrated to Hopkins in the fall
of 1853, and purchased of Jonathan Brewer 80 acres on section 28. After converting the uncultivated land of 1858
into a fine farm, Mr. Mankin moved to Hopkins' Station in 1877, leaving his place in charge of his son. At the
station he engaged in carrying on the business of blacksmithing and repairing wagons.
William R. Ingerson, a native of Vermont, emigrated to Michigan in 1850, and purchased land near Jonathan O. Round,
where he still resides. His brother, D. C. Ingerson, came in 1854, and located 160 acres on section 24, where he
now lives. They have met with the success that always follows persistent and well-directed efforts. L. A. Atwater
became a resident of Hopkins in 1856. He worked several years in R. A. Baird's saw-mill. He purchased 50 acres
of land on section 14 from Alonzo Button, subsequently added 40 more, and finally moved on to his place in 1863.
Robert Ashley Baird arrived from Ohio in 1856, and in connection with Dr. E. H. Wait erected a steam saw-mill,
the first in the township, on section 26, of which he soon became the sole manager. Afterwards he purchased a farm
upon the adjoining section, on which he resided until his death, in 1872. His widow still occupies the place. His
brother, J. A. Baird, also arrived in 1850, and two years later secured 80 acres on Section 15. The nearest neighbor
at this time was J. H. Avery, who was then located upon section 15, but has since removed to Monterey. Mr. Baird's
highly-cultivated farm and attractive appurtenances are evidence of his success in agricultural pursuits.
Samuel Eggleston, formerly of Geauga Co., Ohio, settled in 1858 upon 80 acres of wild land on section 9. William
Parmelee's hospitality was gladly accepted while Mr. Eggleston was engaged in erecting a habitation of his own.
There were no near neighbors, with the exception of William Frue on the same section, whose death occurred in 1860.
Mr. Eggleston is still a resident of the township.
Among other settlers who arrived as early as 1853, or earlier, were Jonathan Brewer, who located 80 acres on section
28; John Breslin, who resided on section 32; R. B. Oongdon, who purchased 80 acres on section 28; D. C. Ingerson;
I. Joy, who settled upon 160 acres on section 24; Hiram Loomis, who located on section 14; John Parsons, whose
farm embraced 160 acres on section 1; John Truax, who owned 80 acres on section 3; Matthew Van Dusen, who made
his home on section 1; Thomas Wilson, Benjamin Truax, Chester B. Storrs, and Edward Daily, Jr. Many of these gentlemen
were active in promoting the interests of the township, but it is impracticable to go into further details.
Hopkins, like other Michigan townships, could not display much wealth in its early days, and, perhaps on account
of its slow settlement, had a longer struggle with poverty than some townships whose prosperity is not now equal
to its own. Johnny-cake was the staple article of diet, and a tattered garment did not prove an obstacle to admission
to the best society of Hopkins. Many barefooted worshipers were seen at the religious services on Sabbath, and
William Wheeler, who conducted the exercises in the log schoolhouse in district No. 2, frequently officiated without
coat or shoes. Poverty in the primitive days of the township history was accompanied with no disgrace.
The earliest recorded highways were surveyed in 1840, the line of the first road
being laid out by S. Barber, in April of that year. It pursued the following course:
"Commencing at the northeast corner of section two, in township four north, of range twetve west, in Allegan
County and State of Michigan; from thence south five miles to the northeast corner of section thirtyfive; from
thence south forty-five degrees west to the southwest corner of the above-named Section, all in the above-named
township; thence south between sections two and three in township three north, of range twelve west, one mile to
the northeast corner of section ten; thence south forty-fire degrees west one hundred and thirteen chains, to the
northeast corner of section sixteen; thence south sixty-three chains to an iron-wood post, distant from a white-oak
tree twenty-four inches in diameter ninety-seven links, course from post to tree being north forty-four degrees
west; thence south seventy-eight degrees east four chains one hundred and twenty-five links, to a beech-tree three
inches in diameter, distant from an elm-tree twelve inches in diameter fifty-six links north forty-eight degrees
east; thence south thirty-one degrees five minutes east three chains and forty-six links, to a thorn-apple post
three inches in diameter, standing on the north bank of Rabbit River, distant eighty-five links."
The next road began at the northwest corner of section 28. in township 3, range 12, running thence east on the
section-line one mile, to the northeast corner of the same section. This road was surveyed by R. T. M. Wells. The
record of its adoption is dated April 16, 1840, and is signed by William S. Miner and Clark Corey, as highway commissioners.
The first account of any action taken by the people of Hopkins in reference to
schools is in the township records, from which the following items are gleaned:
A meeting was held at the house of Erastus Congdon on Tuesday, the 1st day of October, 1844, and a contract. for
the construction of the first school building in Hopkins was awarded to Jason Baker, for which he received the
sum of $26.50. The earliest school was opened on the 16th day of December, 1844, Miss Josephine Wait being the
teacher. This building was erected in district No. 1, and was known as the "Round School-house," from
the fact of its having been adjacent to the residence of J. O. Round, the earliest settler in Hopkins. It was many
years before a second school building was erected. The township is now divided into ten whole school districts
and one fractional one, with the following board of directors: Frederick Hodge, Charles W. Button, N. W. Smith,
Aaron Kroug, Edward Scofield, H. Avery, W. H. Parmelee, Henry Buskirk, L. C. Chadwick, R. L. Taylor, and James
Huttleston. There are nine framed school-houses and one of logs, where 443 scholars receive instruction. The salaries
of the teachers amount to $1796.50 annually.
The hamlet known as Hopkins Station is built on section 19, and principally known
as a station of the Kalamazoo division of the Lake-Shore and Michigan Southern Rail road. The site was originally
owned by John Hoffmaster, who purchased the land in 1854, and afterwards sold it to his nephews, John and Philip
Hoffmaster. The railroad company established a station there in 1871, and appointed Royal L. Taylor its agent,
who found a temporary habitation in the log house originally erected by John Hoffmaster. In 1872 the first framed
house was erected by Henry Guyott. Two years later Mr. Taylor built a house and store, the latter of which was
filled with goods before it was supplied with doors and windows. Messrs. Burnip & Iliff had previously built
a cabin, which was temporarily used for the sale of a small stock of groceries. Mr. S. A. Buck, whose advent occurred
in 1873, had previously been a resident of Kent County. He purchased 10 acres of the Hoffmasters, a plat of which
was recorded on the 17th of October, 1874. John Hoffmaster recorded an addition on the 10th of March, 1876, and
another was made by George Wise on the 12th of May, 1877. In the fall of 1873, Mr. Buck built a wagon- and blacksmith-shop
and engaged actively in business, meanwhile erecting buildings and generally advancing the interests of the place.
The hamlet has since become of considerable importance. Its leading places of business are a hotel, formerly kept
by Abram Hoffmaster, and now managed by Wendle Ederly; a sawmill, owned by Cooper & Konkle; a broomhandle factory;
three general stores, owned respectively by John Brageuten, J. H. Luddington, and Messrs. Furber & Kidder;
a harness-shop, the proprietor of which is S. V. Bourne; a tin-shop, kept by Andrew Bee, who enjoys considerable
fame as one of the heroes of the Jefferson Davis capture; two blacksmith-shops, carried on by S. W. Mankin and
Abram Naggell; a wagon-shop, owned by George Pratt; the two millinery-stores of Mrs. L. E. Reed and Mrs. J. H.
Luddington; and a market, kept by Walter Kibby. The public school of the district, kept by Miss Russell, is also
A post office was early established at Hopkins Station, Henry Guyott having been the first postmaster. Royal L.
Taylor now holds the appointment. The physicians of the place are Drs. Luddington and Leighton.
The original owners of the land embraced in the present village of Hopkins were
Erastus Congdon and Elder Buck. In 1856, Dr. E. H. Wait purchased a tract of Mr. Congdon, and in connection with
Robert A. Baird erected a steam saw-mill, which was soon after entirely controlled by the latter gentleman. Dr.
Wait meanwhile erected a store, and placed in it a stock of goods. This business he conducted for several years,
and then sold to William Richmond, who in 1861 built a fiouring-mill and began to operate it. Mr. Richmond disposed
of his interest in the store to a Mr. Salisbury, who, however, sold it to its former owner. It finally became the
property of parties residing at Kalamazoo. The building was then rented, and was ultimately purchased by Messrs.
Aldrich & Baker. On the retirement of Mr. Baker, the firm became Aldrich & Owen.
The second store in the hamlet was built by Messrs. Hopper & Smith, who engaged for- a while in business, and
had a liberal trade, but at length disposed of the property and departed for Nebraska.
Dr. William K. Darling arrived in 1872, having previ ously enjoyed an extensive practice in Otsego. For five years
after his arrival in Hopkins he followed his profession, when ill health compelled him to relinquish its arduous
duties. He then engaged in mercantile pursuits, building the store he now occupies, and placed in it an extensive
stock of drugs and groceries. This business he still carries on.
Charles S. Chadwick purchased, in 1878, the building erected by Dr. E. H. Wait., and is now extensively engaged
in trade. He is also the postmaster of the village.
Ira Hill conducts a hardware business, and Thomas Hicks has a blacksmith-shop. He was one of the pioneers of 1857,
having arrived in the county as early as 1839. Dr. U. H. Fox and Dr. Lafayette Stuck are the practicing physicians
of this locality. The public school is taught by Martin Baldwin.
The earliest religious meetings preparatory to the organization of a society were
conducted in the various schoolhouses of the township, clergymen of the Methodist Church and the Church of the
Disciples having officiated. A society under the auspices of the Congregational Church was formed Aug. 4, 1857,
embracing 13 members, the first meeting having been held at the Red school-house in school district No. 1. On this
occasion the Rev. Edward Taylor, of Kalamazoo, delivered the formal sermon, while Rev. Thomas Jones and Rev. E.
Andrew assisted in the exercises. John Parsons and William H. Parmalee were at this time chosen as the first deacons.
The little band continued to worship in the Red school-house, varying the routine by occasional services in the
school building in district No. 2. until 1860, when an effort was made to erect a church edifice. This undertaking
was successfully accomplished, and $700 cheerfully subscribed to defray the expense of building. The structure
was enlarged to meet the growing wants of the people in 1871, and the amount necessary very readily obtained. The
pastors in succession since the organization of the church have been Revs. James A. McKay, D. W. Comstock, Lewis
E. Sikes, S. W. Noyes, Thomas Nield, and J. S. Kidder.
WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURH.
A class under the auspices of this denomination was organized in 1813 by C. G.
Fero, services having been, held in the school-house on section 32. These services were continued under the successive
ministrations of Elders Harvey Johnson and J. Burke, who is the present pastor.
The school building, which had for a season been the place of meeting of this small body of worshipers, was finally
purchased by them, remodeled, and converted into a neat and attractive church edifice, in which services arc now
held semi-monthly. A flourishing Sabbath-school is also connected with the society.
Occasional religious services arc held in other portions of the township, the various school-houses affording convenient
places of meeting.
HOPKINS LODGE, No. 270, I. O. O. F.
This lodge was organized Feb. 19, 1816, with the following charter members: James
Armstrong, A. P. Varney, C. B. Eldred, E. B. Congdon, Richard Redhead, U. H. Fox, John Hicks, Erwin Hill, William
Edgell, Thomas Hicks, M. T. Smith, H. M. Baker, and George Blake. Its first officers were James Armstrong, N. G.;
C. B. Eldred, V. G.; U. R. Fox, Recording See.; Richard Redhead, Permanent Sec.; Thomas Hicks, Treas. The present
officers are James Witter, N. G.;; S. M. Eggleston, V. G.; E. B. Congdon, Recording Sec.; Frank White, Permanent
Sec.; Robert Frea, Treas. The lodge embraces a membership of 38, and holds its meetings in a hall erected for the
purpose and leased by its members.
HOPKINS GRANGE, No. 390,
PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY.
Hopkins Grange was organized as early as 1874, with the following officers: Silas
W. Mankin, Master; J. M. Baldwin, Overseer; Samuel Baldwin, Steward; Jonathan. Brewer, Lecturer; William Edgell,
Chaplain; Horatio lodge, Treas.; Erastus Congdon, Sec. The present officers are Erastus Congdon, Master; Martin
Smith, Overseer; William Edgell, Steward; G. M. Baldwin, Lecturer; Albert Congdon, Treas.; Mary Edgell, Sec. The
meetings of the Hopkins Grange are held weekly in the school building of district No. 9, 60 members being enrolled
on its books.
Capt. Lonson Hilliard, a previous resident of the Dominion of Canada, located
in the township in 1860, having formerly been an extensive operator in lumber in Kalamazoo and adjacent portions
of the State. He purchased 160 acres on section 5, which was then covered with a heavy growth of timber, very little
of it having yet been cut. A saw-mill had already been erected on the Rabbit River by a man named Potter.
Capt. Hilliard, finding this a favorable locality in which to carry on lumbering interests, increased his purchases
of land until lie owned nearly 2000 acres. He erected a frame residence, and then devoted himself with his accustomed
energy to business pursuits until his death, which occurred in 1871. Mrs. Hilliard still resides upon the homestead.
Capt. Hilliard had in early life attained a high reputation as a skillful navigator upon the St. Lawrence River.
A successful voyage in 1840 won for him the admiration of the men of his craft and a handsome testimonial bearing
the following inscription
Presented to Capt. L. Hilliard by John Hamilton to commemorate the safe arrival of the steanmboat 'Ontario' at
Montreal from Prescott, Upper Canada, being the first descent over the rapids of the St. Lawrence by steam.
"Aug. 19. 1840."
The station of Hilliard's, on the Kalamazoo division of the Lake-Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad, now bears
the name of this enterprising pioneer. Three sons are still residents of the township. William H. is the proprietor
of the mill which is converted into a handle-factory, Eugene is engaged in mercantile pursuits, and David L. cultivates
the farm. A fourth son, Charles H., is a resident of Ottawa County. At the station are two stores, owned respectively
by Woodhams & Hilliard and Foot & Nudget; a blacksmith-shop, owned by George Lewis; a saw-mill, owned by
Willard Sadler; a stave-factory, the proprietor of which is D. W. Lankton; and a shoe-shop, kept by Charles Armstrong.
ORGANIZATION AND OFFICERS.
The subdivision lines of the survey of survey-township No. 3 north, of range 12
west, were run by Lucius Lyon, being finished on the 14th of September, 1831. Township 3 was at first a part of
the township of Allegan, and then Otsego, which included the four townships in range 12. After two divisions of
that territory, the first saparating the three northern townships from Otsego and organizing them as Watson, and
the second severing t.he two northern from Watson under the name of Dorr, No. 3 was set off from Dorr and separately
organized by the following ordinance:
"At a meeting of the board of supervisors, held Dec. 29, 1852, it is ordered by the board of supervisors of
the county of Allegan, twothirds of all the members voting therefor, that township No. 8 north, of range 12 west,
in the said county, be, and the same is, hereby set off from the township of Dorr, and organized into a separate
township by the name of 'Hopkins.' and that the first township-meeting for the election of township officers shall
be held at the school-house known as the 'Round School-house,' in said township, on the first Monday in April next,
and Luther Martin, Jason Baker, and Erastus Congdon are hereby appointed to act as inspectors of election at said
township meeting It is further ordered that the next township meeting, in and for the township of Dorr, sha]l beheld
at the dwelling house now occupied by Orrin Goodspeed, in said townohip."
The first annual township-meeting of Hopkins was held at the log school-house on section 26, in school district
No. 1. Luther Martin, Jason Baker, and Erastus Congdon were chosen inspectors of election, and the following officers
were elected: Supervisor, J. O. Round; Township Clerk, John Parsons; Treasurer, Erastus Congdon; Highway Commissioners,
Hiram Loomis, William R. Ingerson; Justices of the Peace, John Truax, Jason Baker; School Inspectors, D. C. Ingerson,
M. Vanduzen; Directors of the Poor, Thomas Wilson, T. J. Crampton; Constables, O. Perry, W. R. Ingerson.
The officers elected from that time to the present are as follows:
1854, Matthew Vanduzen; 1855-56, J. O. Round: 1857, Joseph M. Baldwin; 1858,
E. H. Wait; 1859, Albert Lane: 1860, William H. Parmalce; 1861, Albert Lane; 1862, J. M. Baldwin; 1863, Robert
A. Baird; 1864, J. M. Baldwin; 1865-66, Robert A. Baird: 1867-69, D. C. Ingerson; 1870, Samuel Baldwin; 1871, D.
C. Ingerson; 1872, J. O. Round; 1873, D. C. Ingerson; 1874, Joseph Hodge; 1875, J. O. Round; 1876, S. W. Maukin;
1877, S. M. Eggleston; 1878, Alton Warrington; 1879, Herman F. White.
1854, Zenas A. Pratt; 1855-56, J. M. Baldwin; 1857, E. H. Wait; 1858-59, William
H. Parmatee: 1860, Albert Lane; 1861, Edwin Parmalee; 1862, O. H. Judd; 1862, Edwin Parmalee; 1864, E. S. Lindsley;
1865, John E. Hopper; 1866, George Holcomb;1867-71, U. R. Fox; 1872-73, C. B. Eldred; 1875, N. H. Faulkner; 1875-79,
C. C. Hodge.
1854, William Wheeler; 1855-56, William Perkins; 1857-58, Stephen Carver; 1859-64,
S. W. Mankin; 1865-66, E. H. Wait; 1867-71, R. A. Baird; 1872-78, H. F. White; 1879, Albert Lane.
1854-55, John Parsons; 1856, Albert Lane; 1857. D. C. Ingerson, 1859, Albert Lane;
1859, F. L. Hicks; 1860, O. H. Judd; 1861, W. H. Parmalee; 1862, F. L Hickok; 1863, Albert Lane, W. H. Parmalee;
1864, Albert Lane; 1865, E. S. Lindsley; 1866, D. C. Ingeroon; 1867, W. H. Parmalee; 1868, Albert Lane; 1869, E.
Peters; 1870, Albert Lane; 1871, F. E. Piekett, Albert Lane; 1872, Albert Lane, E. Parmalee; 1873, F. E. Piekett;
1874, E. W. Pickett; 1875, C. W. Button; 1876, Ephraim Wilson; 1877-78, Emerson Chamberlain; 1879, G. P. Baldwin.
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.
1854, Luther Martin, Edward Daily; 1855, J. P. Lindsley, S. W. Mankin; 1856-57,
Matthew Vauduzen; 1858, E. H. Wait, Wm. Buskirk; 1859, J. M. Baldwin, Samuel S. Baldwin; 1860, Luther Martin; 1861,
Samuel M. Eggleston; 1862, Lonson Hilliard, O. D. Parsons; 1863, D. E. Ingerson, Thomas Hicks; 1864, J. P. Lindsley,
Alton Warrington; 1865, Jason Baker; 1866, Lonson Hilliard, Ezra Norton; 1867, D. C. Ingerson, H. M. Baker; 1868,
R. L. Haines, William Parmalee; 1869. Albert Lane, Morris Todd; 1870, Henry Rashmann; 1871, D. C. Ingerson, Harrison
E. Smith; 1872, E. W. Pickett, Alexander Allen; 1873, D. L. Hilliard; 1874, G. P. Baldwin, J. H. Avery; 1875, D.
C. Ingerson, H. J. Avery; 1876, R. L. Taylor, William H. Hilliard; 1877, Joseph Woodhams; 1878, George P. Baldwin;
1879, D. C. Ingerson, Eugene Hilliard.
1854, Abram Buskirk, R. C. Round, John Truax; 1855, Ira Hill; 1856, John Parsons,
Silas W. Mankin; 1857, Matthew Vanduson; 1858, Henry Hoffmaster; 1859, J. M. Baldwin; 1860, S. M. Eggleston; 1861,
John Hoffmaster; 1862, F. L. Hickok; 1863, Volney Hibbert, S. S. Baldwin; 1864, O. Lewis; 1863, Alton Warrington;
1866, Philip Herlan, Volney Hibbert; 1867, N. N. Upson; 1868, Nelson Herriek; 1869, Philip Herlan; 1870, N. N.
Upson; 1871, W. L. Gere; 1872, F. P. Smith; 1871, Harvey Anivay; 1874, W. R. Ingerson; 1875-76. S. S. Baldwin;
1877, W. P. Lindsley; 1878, J. W. Lindsley; 1879, William Edgell.
DIRECTORS OF THE POOR.
1854, J. H. Corbitt, Peter Buskirk; 1855, Abram Buskirk, Erastus Congdon; 1856,
William Wheeler, S. C. Buck; 1857, S. C. Buck, Luther Martin; 1858, S. C. Buck, Edward Barber.
SUPERINTENDENTS OF SCHOOLS.
1875, E. W. Pickett; 1876-78, C. W. Button; 1879, L. C. Chadwick.
1874-75, F. E. Pickett; 1876, William R. Ingerson; 1878, S. S. Baldwin.
1854, William Truax, Abram Buskirk, C. B. Stone, Luther Martin;1855, W. R. Ingerson,
Joel Button, William Truax; 1856, W. R. Ingerson, William Truax; 1857, N. S. Atwater, Alanson Tanner, Alonzo Button;
1858, Jonathan Brewer, Alanson Tanner; 1859, Jackson Baker, C. B. Stone, Lyman Atwater; 1860, Daniel Buskirk, William
R. Ingeroon, Joel Button, O. D. Parsons; 1861, W. R. Ingerson, Samuel Eggleston, Daniel Buskirk, J. H. Durst; 1862,
Jason Baker, M. Vandusen; 1863, Lyman Attwater, M. Vandusen: 1864, Joel Button, Robert Carver; 1865, Joel Button,
N. W. Smith; 1866, James H. Avery, Henry Smith; 1867, H. H. Smith, A. Cochran; 1868, H. H. Smith, Gilbert Hacket;
1860, H. Smith, B. Veers; 1870, James Be Long, J. G. Ellinger; 1871, James De Long, Joseph Hodge; 1872, James De
Long, Joseph Hodge; 1873, Joseph Hodge, James De Long; 1874, James De Long, James Frew, E. B. Congdon; 1875, J.
W. Avery, E. B. Congdon, W. S. Kenfield, Henry Smith; 1876, E. B. Congdon, H. H. Smith, J. E. Richie, Eugene Hilliard;
1877, Joseph Hodge, James Allen, Myron Finch, E. B. Congdon; 1878, Joseph Hodge, James Frew, Abram Hoffmaster,
E. B. Congdon; 1879, Abram Hoffmaster, Robert Frew, Joseph Hodge, Scralpha A. Buck.