Biography of Mrs. E. N. Hopkins
Erie County, NY Biographies

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Hopkins, Mrs. E. N., Amherst, p. o. Williamsville. - Timothy A. Hopkins, eldest son of General Timothy S. Hopkins, was born February 5, 1806, in what is now the town of Amherst, and during his youth aided his father on the farm, receiving only the ordinary educational advantages of that early day. In 1826 he located in Elyria, Ohio, and for several years remained west and engaged in mercantile business of a nature so extensive as to employ agents in the States of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and in different parts of Canada. In 1831 he settled permanently in Williamsville, where he continued to reside the remainder of his life. In 1844, after having been in partnership with William and John Horner a few years in the manufacture of plows at Williamsville, he purchased the mill property on the west side of the creek (in company with J. S. King and J. S. Tefft) of the executor of the estate of Oziel Smith. and commenced the manufacture of hydraulic lime and lumber, and in 1857 he became sole owner of the whole establishment and carried on the business until 1866, when he sold the mills to Benjamin Miller. February 5, 1831, Mr. Hopkins married Hannah Williams, who died April 9, 1856, leaving five children : Timothy Orlando (since deceased), James A., Charles W. (deceased), Horace G. and George T. He was again married on August 15, 1866, to Elvira M. Sawtell, who died November 30, 1870, leaving one son, Nelson S. His third wife, Elizabeth N. Oswald, he married July 20, 1873, who has one daughter, Florence Augusta. Mr. Hopkins had a successful military life and was lieutenant colonel in the State militia when he resigned. His civil life was quite brilliant, as he filled the highest offices in his town and served many years as justice of the peace. He was sheriff of the county for the term ending January 1, 1850. The Democratic party elected him to the Assembly in 1863 and again in 1864, where he served on very important committees. The act of 1863 requiring the State to build a bridge across Tonawanda Creek, where it is used as a canal between Erie and Niagara counties, was secured by his energy, and another was secured the following year, a work that the members from Erie, with almost yearly lobbying, had failed to obtain since the completion of that canal. His perseverance also procured an appropriation of $10,000 from the State in 1868, which, combined with $13,000 raised by tax upon the town, enabled him, with his associate commissioners, to construct ditches for draining the north part of the town of Amherst, thereby reclaiming several thousand acres of land that were often covered with spring floods, by reason of the dam, placed near the mouth of the Tonawanda Creek for canal purposes. Mr. Hopkins was a man of broad views and keen intelligence. He had been a great reader all his life and had enriched his mind in the refreshing fields of the best literature, and even after he passed fourscore years he continued to buy books which he read with eager interest and discussed with an intelligence almost unlooked for at that age. The improvements in making and illustrating books were a delight to him, and he would handle one of the new editions with its fine paper and bindings, excellent print and beautiful illustrations, with a sparkle of enthusiasm, and during his life collected a large library of choice works. In early manhood he had taught a district school and always retained a warm interest in education, whether it related to the curriculum of the colleges or the methods of the common or even primary schools. And though he kept thus in touch with the times, and appreciated the modern conveniences and wonderful scientific advances of the present age, he never lost his interest in the past nor forgot the debt that the present generation owed to the pioneers of the early part of the century. He feared that the children would ignore the humble beginnings of their ancestors and allow the story of the old days to be forgotten, and it was his custom for many years to note down any date or incident of interest, and having a good memory and a familiarity with them history of Erie county almost from the beginning, he was referred to as authority on these matters. He gave valuable assistance in furnishing data for the histories of Erie county, and it was a delight to him to respond to the many letters that came asking information on facts of local history. Being full of reminiscence and anecdote, and naturally an entertaining talker, he would interest his hearers by the hour in telling of the primitive days when Buffalo was a village surrounded by woods that swarmed with Indians, and Williamsville was being settled by sturdy pioneers whose children are now among its most honored citizens. He died February 3, 1894. Sometime previous to his death he commenced a history of Amherst, for which work he was exceptionally well qualified, and the chapters that were written show a care and thoughtfulness that would have made the complete work valuable. The family of Hopkins of Erie county belong to the Hopkins family of Great Barrington, Mass., descendants of "John, the Miller," of Waterbury, Conn., who have been noted for generations for their public spirit, patriotism and loyalty to American interests. Their claim to be Sons of the Revolution is due to the valuable service of Col. Mark Hopkins, Ehud, Moses and Ichabod, during the Revolution, as shown by the town records of Gteat Barrington in the office of the secretary of state in Boston, Mass.

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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