Ohio Biographies

Henry Hoppes

The first member of the Hoppes family came to Fayette county, Ohio, in 1806, four years before the county was even organized. John Hoppes, the father of Henry Hoppes, with whom this narrative deals, came from North Carolina with his parents in 1804, and settled with them on the Ohio river in Gallia county. In fact, the Hoppes family have been identified with the history of this county for one hundred and ten years, probably as long as any other family now represented within the limits of the county. Henry Hoppes has spent all of his eighty-three years in this county where he is now living, and during that time has seen the county emerge from a primeval forest to its present condition of prosperity. He served his country gallantly and well in the Civil War and spent two years at the front. His whole life has been a busy one, yet in the midst of his labors he has always found time to assist those who were less fortunate than himself, and therefore well merits the high esteem with which he is held by his friends and acquaintances.

Henry Hoppes, the son of John and Nancy (Brown) Hoppes, was born in Wayne township, July 2, 1831, and, as stated, his parents were from North Carolina, and located in Ohio in 1804 on the Ohio river. John Hoppes grew to manhoixl in Ohio and then returned to North Carolina, married and brought his young bride to Fayette county in 1806. He entered government land and cut out a farm from the dense forests which covered the land at that time. When the War of 1812 came on, he enlisted for service in his country's defense and served during that terrible struggle, returning to his farm in 1814, at the close of the war. He and his wife reared a family of twelve children, Henry, whose history is here related, being the only one living. The other eleven children are as follows : Mary, Jacob, Jane, Solomon, Betsy, John, Nancy, Henton, Margaret, Austin and Sarah. It is interesting to note that John Hoppes and his young bride, Nancy Brown, moved from North Carolina to Ohio on pack horses and that the fifty acres on which they settled in this county was purchased with money earned by the young bride by weaving.

Henry Hoppes attended school in the little log school house near Paint creek in his home township, and finished his educational training in the Locust Grove school. He worked on the home farm until 1850, being at that time nineteen years of age. He then went to California, driving an ox team overland, and remained there for nine years. While living in California he was first married, but after the death of his wife, in 1859, he returned to the county of his birth and bought a farm in Green township near Jamestown. He enlisted in the Seventy-fourth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry in 1861, and served for two years, after which he returned to his farm, where he has since resided.

Mr. Hoppes was first married in California in the fifties to Lucy Raines, and to this union two children were born, Mrs. Sarah F. Sager and Mrs. Alice Davis. The second marriage of Mr. Hoppes was to Sarah J. Smith, and to this union two children were born, Mrs. Minerva Cook and John. The third marriage of Mr. Hoppes was to Amy Kerns, the daughter of William and Rebecca Kerns. William Kerns was a native of Fairfax, Virginia, and had a family of seven children, Eliza, Amy, Mrs. Mariah Coe, Prescott, George W., John W. and Joseph S. Three of these children, Amy, Prescott and Joseph S., are living. To the last marriage of Mr. Hoppes was born one son, Valentine, who married Emma Winn and has four children. Hazel, Donald, Leland and Howard H. Of these children. Hazel and Donald are deceased.

Mr. Hoppes is a loyal member of the Grand Army of the Republic and always takes an active interest in the affairs of the local post. He has been a member of the Baptist church for more than fortv years and has always lived a life consistent with its teachings. He is now living a retired life on his excellent farm of eighty acres in Marion township, where he has been residing for more than half a century. His life has indeed been a busy one and full of interesting experiences. He is a man who is still hale and hearty and able to recount his famous drive across the country to California in 1850, as well as his Civil-war experiences. His whole life has been such as to win for him the esteem and good will of his fellow citizens, and no man in the county is more beloved and highly respected.

Mr. & Mrs. Henry Hoppes at their residence


From History of Fayette County Ohio - Her People, Industries and Institutions by Frank M. Allen (1914, R. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.)