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
||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.
|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.
WINTHROP H. 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,
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,
M. Allen, Joel Hayden, Marcus Wills, Absalom Rice,
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
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
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
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:
||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
||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
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.