JOHN HOPLEY, editor and proprietor of Bucyrus Journal Bucyrus, Ohio. Mr. Hopley, whose portrait appears in this work, came to Bucyrus in the spring of 1856, to fill the position of Superintendent of the Union Schools. He is by birth an Englishman, although he was naturalized many years ago, and has long been thoroughly identified with the interests of his adopted country. His paternal ancestors were substantial farmers in the county of Suffolk, England. His father was a Surgeon in the English Navy, and in private life., first a practicing surgeon at Whitstable, a small sea-coast village in Kent and afterward at Lewes, in Sussex, one of the most venerable towns in England. His mother's ancestors were for many generations distinguished dignitaries in the Church of England, and he has the genealogical tables of their descent for hundreds of years back. Mr. Hopley was born at Whitstableon May 21, 1821, but his parents removed to Lewes while he was yet an infant. He finished his education at the Royal Naval College, then at Camberwell in the county of Surrey, and a suburb of London, now at New Cross in the same county. It was an institution for the sons of naval officers, and although not licensed to confer degrees, the course of education was very extensive and thorough, embracing a course as comprehensive and as high as any college course in the country. The institution received 330 pupils, all of whom lived in the college. The Roll system of education was adopted: it comprehends the instruction of pupils in large classes by the aid of the best pupils acting as monitors, and it is sometimes known as the Monitorial system. It was therefore, although not by design. a Normal School, and it afforded to the monitors at the head of their classes, a large experience in the art and duties of teaching. Although Mr. Hopley, as a boy, excelled in many of the sports of the playground, he was never an idler at his studies. He was a constant contestant for the head of his various classes, frequently standing first and acting as head-monitor for weeks together. He thus early acquired the art of teaching which afterward contributed to his reputation as a teacher in this country. About the close of his term as a student in the Royal Naval College, he was made a teacher and continued in the institution for some years in this capacity. In 1842 soon after he became of age he came to the United States with his mother's brother, John R. Prat, Esq., of Zanesville, Ohio, and went into his store as clerk. He continued clerking until the fall of 18444, when he commenced to teach school with a view to reading law. But he was earnest in whatever he undertook, and the better he became known as a teacher, the larger were the schools he taught and the more time he devoted to then thus making, his progress through the elementary law books very slow. In 1845, he removed to Logan, Hocking Co. where he induced the School Directors to establish graded schools. These were among the first in Ohio and they were, a great success. In 1848 he married at Logan, Miss Georgiana Rochester, fourth daughter of John Rochester Esq., and. desiring to study the nature of society under the system of slavery, he went to the South to teach. He had schools at Yellow Creek, in Montgomery Co., Tenn., also near Elkton, Todd Co.. Ky.,. and also at New Providence, near Clarksville, Tenn. from which place at the close of 1852, he returned to Logan, and taught there for three years. The present system of school supervision had been inaugurated in his absence and he resumed his duties at Logan as Supervisor of the schools, which however were scattered over the village as closely together as rooms, far from suitable, could be obtained for them. In 1855, he removed to Columbus to take the position of teacher of Mathematics and of Commercial Arithmetic, in what was then known as Granger's Commercial College. After, however about six mouths of labor in this new sphere, he found the College so-called, a very unstable institution and he left it to take charge of a fractional term of the Wellsville Union Schools, from which place he removed with his family to Bucyrus, arriving on Saturday, 12th of April, 1856. The schools were at that time comparatively in their infancy as union schools, and were far from being in a prosperous condition. Mr. Hopley, however prosecuted his new duties with his usual thoroughness industry and zeal, and soon made them the wonder and admiration of his fellow citizens. In 1858, he formed a partnership in the practice of law with A. M. Jackson. Esq., for a year and was admitted to the bar. At the expiration of the term, he opened an office by himself and practiced with encouraging success until the close of July, 1862 when he went to England in company with Mr. Thomas Alsop, on professional business. Upon his return in October, he found the law practice almost destroyed for the time being; scarcely any cases were tried. In nearly all either one of the parties, or some important witness was in the army. In this emergency, he obtained from Mr. Chase, the Secretary of the Treasury, an appointment to a clerkship in the office of the Second Auditor of the Treasury. Soon after by special order of the Secretary, he was transferred to the Secretary's own office. He then had a desk in the library of the Treasury, and commenced a thorough study of finances, employing his pen effectively in sustaining the financial policy of the Secretary, and the establishment of national banks. When the national bank bill became a law, he was transferred to the Banking and Currency Bureau. Hon. Hugh McCulloch was then Comptroller of the Currency, and he placed Mr. Hopley in charge of the statistical division of the bureau. This included the examination of the regular report, required by law of the banks and of the reports made by the Bank Examiners. In this position, it frequently became his duty to furnish distinguished members of Congress with such data their speeches on financial questions as made them distinguished. In 1864, he resigned to accept a position in a large bank in New York. In 1866, he returned to Washington in a private capacity for his employer, and was appointed National Bank Examiner for all the Southern States except Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Kansas was afterward added and he entered upon his duties in the fall of 1866. Having completed the examination of the list of banks, he returned to Bucyrus and in September, 1867, he purchased the half-interest in the Bucyrus Journal, of the senior editor, J. G. Robinson. Esq., for $2,000. It was at that time conducted by the brothers Messrs. James and Ralph Robinson. In May 1868 it was arranged for Mr. Ralph Robinson to sell out to John Markee, Esq., whom Mr. Hopley the same day purchased the other half-interest for $2,000. Although he entered upon journalism only as a temporary resource, preliminary to returning to the practice of the law. Yet he soon became absorbed in his new profession to the exclusion of everything else. In August 1870, he entered upon the duties of Postmaster, and retained the office until January 1, 1879. He still continues to edit the Journal. His family is as follows: Charles Rochester, John Edward, Thomas (who died in infancy), Thomas Prat, Mary Catherine, Georgiana Eliza, Harriet Evaline, James Richard., Frank Lewes and Joseph William, ten in all, of whom nine are yet living.

 

History of Crawford County and Ohio, Baskin & Battey, Historical Publishers, Chicago, 1881