Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside Co. 1885
17 Jun 2005
Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside County, IL
Originally Published 1885
Chapman Bros, Chicago, IL
Reproduced on CD purchased from OLD GLORY ACCENTS
Transcribed by: Denise McLoughlin
Tampico Area Historical Society
JASON HOPKINS, for whom Hopkins Township was named, was a native of Nashville, Tenn., and was born Jan. 27, 1789. He remained at Nashville till about the middle age of life, when he came to Illinois on account of his anti-slavery principles, and settled at Belleville. From there he went to Peoria. When the Black Hawk War broke out, he volunteered in a cavalry regiment, was appointed Quartermaster, and served in that capacity during the war. In the autumn of 1832, as the troops were returning to their homes, Mr. Hopkins, with a party, came to Rock River, and in coasting along its banks came to the site of the present village of Como. Being impressed with the beauty of the place, he made a claim covering the whole tract known in pioneer parlance as a "jack-knife claim" by cutting his name in the bark of trees. Mr. Hopkins often spoke of this location as being as beautiful as the Garden of Eden.
He was married at Peoria, Ill., to Eleanor Johnson, who was born Dec. 29, 1801, near Bowling Green, Ky., and with her Mr. H. returned in 1835 and surveyed the claim, establishing the boundaries by marking trees in the timber and running furrows through the prairie with an ox team and a prairie plow. He afterwards purchased the claim, comprising sections 25, 26, 35 and 36, and as much adjoining as made 3,200 acres. He built the first log cabin in the township that bears his name.
He died Aug. 19, 1853. He possessed many traits of character peculiar to the citizens of ancient Rome in its republican days, - firmness, unswerving integrity and patriotism. He was in intimate acquaintance with, and a great admirer of, General Jackson. He was altoghether a remarkable man and admirably fitted for a pioneer. Mrs H., his wife, died May 13, 1858.
Their children were four in number and were named William T., Helen, Frances and James P. (A sketch of the latter is given in this work.) The first mentioned, William T. Hopkins, was the first white male child born in Whiteside County. He died about 1862.