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Rev. Winthrop Hartly HOPSON, M.D.
Rebecca Griswold PARSONS
Caroline Henly GRAY
Husband:  Winthrop Hartly HOPSON
Birth:  26 Apr 1823, near Garretsburg, Christian Co., KY
Death:  1877
Occupation:  physician, clergyman, educator
Office:  President, Christian University, Canton, MO
Religion:  Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Father:  Dr. Samuel HOPSON
Mother:  Sarah Jones "Sally" CLARK
Marriage-1:  30 Apr 1844, Gasconade Co., MO
Wife-1:  Rebecca Griswold PARSONS
Death:  Apr 1847
Marriage-2:  9 Mar 1848, Callaway Co., MO
Wife-2:  Caroline Henly GRAY
Birth:  of Fulton, Callaway Co., MO
Death:  20 Sep 1849
Marriage-3:  30 Sep 1850, Dubuque Co., IA
Wife-3:  Ella LORD
Other spouse:  m1. Mr. CHAPPELL
Children with Rebecca PARSONS:
Child with Caroline Henly GRAY:
1.  Sarah Fife "Sadie" HOPSON, b. Mar 1849, MO
Children with Ella LORD:
Keywords for search engines:  genealogy; USA, US, United States, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri


1.  Jordan R. Dodd, ed.  1993.  AR, CA, IA, LA, MN, MO, OR, TX Marriages: Early to 1850.  Liahona Research, Orem, UT (Broderbund CD-227):
Hopson, Winthrop H. Parsons, Rebecca G. Apr 30, 1844 Gasconade Co., MO
Hopson, Winthrope H. Gray, Caroline H. Mar  9, 1848 Callaway Co., MO
Hopson, Winthrop Chapal, Ella A. Sep 30, 1850 Dubuque Co., IA

2.  W.T. Moore, ed.  1871.  The Living Pulpit of the Christian Church.  R.W. Carroll & Co., Cincinnati, OH (online at the Kentucky Biographies Project [link died]), pp. 277-278; text is preceded by a portrait of Winthrop Hartly Hopson on p. 276.
Engraved portrait of Dr. Winthrop Hartly Hopson.
WINTHROP HARTLY HOPSON was born in Christian County, Kentucky, April 26, 1823.  His father, Dr. Samuel Hopson, was born in Culpepper County, Virginia; his mother, Sallie Clark, daughter of Captain John Clark, deceased, of Calloway County, Missouri, was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.  His grandfather, Colonel Joseph Hopson, was an officer in the Revolution, under General Daniel Morgan. His mother's grandfather, Henry Clark, was a patriot brigadier-general of North Carolina in the Revolution of '76.

At an unusually early age the subject of this sketch learned to read and write.  He went to the common school of his father's neighborhood until he was eight years of age, when he was sent to Bonne Femme Academy, in the adjoining county of Boone.  He commenced at once the study of Latin.  With occasional intermissions, he was at school, from home, nine consecutive sessions of ten months.

Portions of 1836 and 1837, he was at school in Jacksonville, Illinois.  While there, he boarded in the family of that great reformer, preacher, and eminent Christian, B.W. Stone. Under his preaching, the evening of the first Lord's day in August, 1837, in Jacksonville, the Doctor made the good confession, and, the next day, was immersed in a stream near by.

His father had him educated for the law, and the Hon. Edward Bates, of St. Louis, had agreed to take him into his office as a pupil; but, feeling it to be his duty to preach the Gospel, in 1839, at his home in Fulton, Calloway County, Missouri, he delivered his first public exhortation to sinners.  This effort was a decided success, and, from that time, he continued to exhort at all the protracted meetings he attended until, in 1842, at Millersburg, Missouri, he was regularly set apart to the ministry.

On the 30th of April, 1844, he was married, in Gasconade, Missouri, to Miss Rebecca Griswold Parsons, and, in the following February, his father died.  Having now a wife and widowed mother to support, and receiving a very small salary for preaching the first seven years of his ministry yielding not over fifty dollars per year he decided to commence the study of medicine, with the hope that he could the better support his [p. 278] family, and, at the same time, preach the gospel.  Accordingly, in the winter of 1846, he attended his first course of medical lectures in St. Louis, and, the next spring, began the practice of medicine in his own neighborhood, in Osage County, within a mile of the Gasconade line.

In April, 1847, his wife died, young in years, but rich in faith and good works.  He now moved to Fayette, Howard County, and preached for the Church, at the same time practicing his profession.  In the winter of 1847 and 1848, he completed the course in the Medical Department of Missouri University, in St. Louis, and received the degree of M.D.  The subsequent March, he was married to Miss Caroline Henly Gray, of Fulton, Missouri.  She died, September 20, 1849, in the triumphs of the Christian faith.  He now abandoned the practice of medicine forever, and gave himself entirely to the ministry of the Word.

In September, 1850, he was married to Mrs. Ella Lord Chappell, his present wife.  The next month, at the State Meeting in Fayette, he was requested to act as Evangelist, and in December he commenced his work.

For seven years, he taught a successful female school at Palmyra.  He spent the year 1858 traveling in Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky.  In January, 1859, he held a remarkable protracted meeting in Cincinnati.  For six weeks the interest was unparalleled, and about ninety were added to the Church.  In December, he took charge of the Church at Lexington, Kentucky, which position he held until April, 1862, when he entered upon the work of an Evangelist.  He is now located in Richmond, Virginia, where his labors are highly appreciated, and his success very encouraging.

Dr. Hopson is six feet one inch and a half high, very erect, and weighs about two hundred and ten pounds.  He has excellent health, and never tires in preaching the Gospel.  He is one of the ablest preachers among the Disciples.  But he is a speaker, not a writer; a reasoner, rather than exhorter; a good pastor, but better Evangelist.  He is more than an average scholar, and his general reading is quite extensive, though he is often careless in the selection of choice words.  He aims to be understood, and, in the possession of a happy communicative talent, he has no peer.  No one who listens can fail to comprehend him.  Even in a Greek criticism, he makes every thing plain to the people.  Though remarkably dignified and courtly in his bearing, he is, nevertheless, a people's man they feel that they can understand him.  In his advocacy of the truth, he is bold, belligerent, and fearless.  He carries the war right into Africa; consequently, the sects do not love him.  But he is very popular with both the preachers and churches of his own brethren.  He is especially kind to young preachers, and always helps them in whatever way he can.  In money matters, he is liberal to a fault, and never turns a deaf ear to the poor and needy.

3.  Thomas William Herringshaw.  1902.  Herringshaw's Encyclopedia of American Biography of the Nineteenth Century.  American Publ. Assn., Chicago, IL (online at Ancestry.com), p. 497. 
HOPSON, WINTHROP HARTLY, clergyman, was born April 26, 1823, in Christian county, Ky.  In 1841, he graduated from the Missouri State university and entered the ministry  of the Christian Church.  In1843, he received the degree of M.D. from the McDowell college of St. Louis, Mo., and practiced medicine for six years, not ceasing in the meantime  from his ministerial work.  He gave much attention to the rounding and nurturing of schools and colleges and was mainly instrumental in building up a flourishing female academy at Palmyra.  After the war he filled pastorates in Richmond, Va., and in Louisville, Ky.  In 1874, he returned to Missouri and a year later became president of the Christian university of Canton.  In 1877, he was prostrated by disease and died.

4.  John T. Brown.  1904.  Churches of Christ:  A Historical, Biographical, and Pictorial History of Churches of Christ in the United States, Australasia, England, and Canada.  John P. Morton & Co., Louisville, KY.  Some reformatting of text to improve readability; boldface added.
Image of Winthrop Hartly HOPSON.

Col. Joseph Hopson, paternal grandfather of Dr. Winthrop Hartly Hopson, moved from Henry county, Virginia, to Christian county, Kentucky, in the year 1811.  His wife was Miss Sally Boyd, of Virginia.  Their children were George, Morgan, Samuel, Joshua, Henry and Mildred.

Dr. Samuel Hopson, the third son, was the father of Dr. Winthrop H. Hopson.  His [Winthrop's] mother was the fourth daughter of Col. John Clark, who for many years was County and Circuit Clerk of Christian county.  Dr. Samuel and Miss Sally J. Clark were married in 1818.  They located near Garrettsburg.

On April 26, 1823 Winthrop Hartley was born.  When he was two years of age, his father removed to Montgomery county, Missouri. Afterwards he settled in Fulton, Calloway county, and while living there attended the medical college of Transylvania University in Lexington, and graduated in 1825.  At the age of eleven years his father sent him to Carrollton, Ill., to attend the school of Mr. Hinton, a Presbyterian minister, where he remained two years.  Afterwards he spent two years in Jacksonville, Ill., in school.  It was during this formative period of his character he was under the influence of such men as B. W. Stone, T. M. Allen, Joel Hayden, Marcus Wills, Absalom Rice, Francis Palmer and Wm. Davis.

In Missouri these men were


the pioneers of the greatest and grandest restoration since the days of the Apostles.  The reformation of Luther took the church from creed to creed.  The restoration preached by these men took men from human creeds and dogmas to the Bible.  Having grown to manhood under the teaching which fell from the lips of these men, is it any wonder that he became the stern and uncompromising advocate of truth which he has always been?

Dr. Hopson was always a good student.  He commenced the study of Latin at eight years of age, under Prof. Dunlap, and at seventeen finished his Greek and Latin course under Profs. Roach and Thomas, at Columbia College, out of which grew up the State University, from which he afterwards received the degree of A. M. As soon as his school days closed, his father had arranged for him to enter the law office of Geyer & Bates, of St. Louis.  At the same time, the brethren recognizing his ability to become a useful preacher, were urging him to enter the ministry.  His father was not only proud of him, but ambitious that he should distinguish himself at the bar.  It cost him a severe struggle to disappoint his father, as well as to silence the cravings of his own ambitions.  On the one side were worldly honor, distinction, pecuniary profits, while on the other neither worldly glory nor emolument, but a hand to hand fight with contumely and reproach, persecution and poverty.  But few young men who enter the ministry to-day can appreciate the sacrifice he was called upon to make.  He decided to cast his lot with the people of God, and commenced his long and successful ministry at seventeen years of age.  At the urgent request of his father, he studied medicine and graduated at the medical department of Missouri University, under Dr. McDowal, and practiced medicine six years, after which he devoted his whole time to preaching.

Bro. McGarvey, in writing of him, says: "His discourses were methodically arranged, his argument convincing, his style transparent, and he left a line of light behind him as he advanced with his subject.  His manner was bold and confident, without being defiant, and his action was full of grace and dignity.  His voice was melodious and his person commanding.  His exhortations, never boisterous, were full of tenderness, and they deeply impressed upon the heart the lessons set forth in the discourse.  As a man, he was generous, kind-hearted and the soul of honor.  His superiority, as, I think, in the case with which he comprehended a subject, and the facility with which he could distribute and arrange.  In these particulars he had no equal among his fellow-laborers."

Bro. Z. F. Smith writes of him thus:  "By nature he was remarkably endowed.  His brain, while not massive, was finely organized and supported by one of the most perfect physiques I have ever known.  He was an orator by nature, not so much in the ostentation of rhetoric and the art of elocution, but in the natural simplicity and grandeur of logic and illustration, and in the pathos and sentiment of glowing words that touched the reason and the heart at the same time."

Bro. I. B. Grubbs says of him:  "If I am asked what I regard as the special feature in which the ministerial excellence of Dr. Hopson was manifested, my answer would be, in his matchless power of expression, the varying charms and well-sustained force of his diction, combined with the wonderful clearness with which he stated his positions and set forth his reasons to support them."

G. A. Hoffman writes of him: "There are few men who impart such a high conception of true manhood.  He was, first of all, a true man, and manifested the highest and most Christlike ideal I have seen among men.  True to his friends, true to his church, true to his conscience and true to his God."

He first married Miss Rebecca Parsons, daughter of James Parsons. She lived only a short time.  His second wife was Miss Caroline Grey, who after a brief married life left him with a babe five months old, now Mrs. R. Lin Cave, of Georgia.  In the year 1850 he married Miss Ella Lord Chappel, who survives him.  He was a devoted son, an ideal husband and affectionate father and kind master.

His life work embraced a period of 47 years, in five states, with only nine ministries.  I find a record of 5,000 additions, but there were many more not recorded.  Thirty-eight years of the time I was his constant companion.

5a.  T.M. Allen.  1843.  "News from the Churches:  Letter(s) from T.M. Allen."  The Christian Messenger 13(2): 62-63; 13(3): 94-95. Brief mention of Winthrop H. HOPSON

5b.  W.H. Hopson.  1843.  "News from the Churches:  Letter from W.H. Hopson."  The Christian Messenger 13(3): 95-96:
p. 95 Bro. Winthrop H. Hopson of St Louis, writes, June 20:  "We number about ninety in this place.  The truth is gradully (sic) triumphing over error.  On last Thursday we had four additions--one by letter, one from the Methodists, and two by immerson.  Bro. Elijah Goodwin,
p. 96 from Mt Vernon, Indiana, was with us.  He preached three times on Lord's day, and once again last night.  He starts homeward this morning.  We anticipate a glorious triumph of truth here."  Under date of June 26, he says, "I have written you an account of our meeting the Lord's day before the last.  At our last meeting we also had four additions--two by letter and two by immersion.  Praised be the name of the Lord!  May his glorious truth triumph here--at Jacksonville, and every where!  May God speed your editorial efforts to aid his cause."

6.  Anon.  1986.  Family Histories:  Christian County, Kentucky, 1797-1986.  Christian County Genealogical Society, Hopkinsville, KY.  Biographical sketch of "CAVE" on p. 116.

7.  Caves Cove. [link died]

8.  Winthrop H. Hopson.  1868.  "Baptism Essential to Salvation." Pp. 279-301 in The Living Pulpit of the Christian Church: A Series of Discourses, Doctrinal and Practical. W. T. Moore, ed.  R.W. Carroll & Co., Cincinnati, OH.

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