In the early days of the history of the state of California, the pioneer element was found among the class of emigrants who sought not fortune alone in the lands of the west, but a home as well---men who would bear patiently the hardships and privations for the sake of what the future should bring them. Such an (sic) one was Andrew Hopkins, one of the first settlers of Grand Island, Colusa county, and for a half century a man of prominence in the material upbuilding and development of this section of the state. He is a native of Kenosha, Wis., his birth occurring January 24, 1844. His father, Edward Hopkins, was a physician who emigrated from his birthplace in New York state to Wisconsin, where he made his home from the age of sixteen years. He was a man of energy and ability, and having been thrown upon his own resources at an early age had developed an independence and self-reliance which were factors of no little importance in his successful career. He improved a farm and at the same time studied medicine, being at the time a member of an uncle’s family. Deciding to try his fortune on the Pacific coast he crossed the plains to California in 1849 and followed mining for two years. Returning east in 1851 he purchased property at Kelley’s Corners, Wis., where his family resided, and there entered a medical college, from which he graduated with the degree of M. D. In 1854 he once more crossed the plains to California and in Colusa county began the practice of his profession. In December of the following year he was joined by his family, and a month later, in January, 1856, his death occurred at the age of thirty-six years. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was a citizen universally esteemed and respected. His wife, formerly Catherine Myers, was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, in 1824, a sister of Jacob Myers, also a pioneer of California, whose history is found in the sketch of Stephen Baker. She survived her husband until December 1883, her death occurring on Grand Island at the age of fifty-nine years. Of her first marriage one son and two daughters survive, namely; Andrew, of this review; Sophia, the wife of John Shirber, of Grand Island; and Kate, the wife of A. W. Schorn, of Willow, Glenn county. The oldest child, Thaddeus, died in Wisconsin when ten years old. Mrs. Hopkins later married Rufus Hoy, a native of Missouri, and of the tree children born to them only one daughter, Margaret, is living. She is now the wife of B. F. Geis, of Willow, Glenn county.
Andrew Hopkins was but eleven years old when he came to California, making the trip with his mother by way of the Isthmus of Panama on the Sierra Nevada. After the death of his father the mother located on Grand Island on Dry Slough where the Tolson home now stands, and where she finally married Mr. Hoy. The family were then taken to the latter’s farm a half mile below, where the children were reared to maturity. Andrew Hopkins received a limited education through the medium of the common schools, at the age of fifteen years beginning life for himself. He found employment as a farm hand until attaining the age of nineteen years, when he combined this work with the raising of a small crop of grain each year. After the death of his stepfather he conducted the farm for his mother, raising cattle, hogs and grain, and engaging in the dairy business. He continued in that locality until 1879, when he settled upon his present property, purchasing first two hundred and forty acres on Dry Slough, where he began an improvement and cultivation which have made of his farm one of the most modern and complete ranches in Colusa county. He has increased his home ranch to three hundred and forty acres, while he also owns six hundred and forty acres in the vicinity of Arbuckle, Colusa county; three hundred and twenty acres near Germantown, Glenn county; four hundred of the Glenn grant; and five hundred and eighty-five acres near College City. He has met with more than average success in his ventures and has made for himself a place among the representative farmers of this section.
In Marysville, Yuba county, Cal., November 25, 1872, Mr. Hopkins was united in marriage with Annie Allen, a native of Henry county, Iowa. Her father, Joshua Allen, a native of West Virginia, was left an orphan at an early age. On entering young manhood he located in Ohio, thence went to Henry county, Iowa, where he engaged as a manufacturing cooper and farmer. In 1886 he came to California and lived retired until his death in the vicinity of Arbuckle. His wife, Eleanor Lane in maidenhood, was a native of Ohio, and the daughter of Richard Lane, an early settler of Iowa. Her death also occurred near Arbuckle. Of their twelve children five are in California, namely: James, of Los Angeles; Mrs. Ropier, of Orangeville; Mrs. Hopkins; Laura, of Colusa; and Mrs. G. Myers, of Colusa. Mr. Hopkins and his wife became the parents of the following children: Kent, who died at the age of five years; Thaddeus, who died at the age of seventeen years; Nora, who died at the age of thirteen months; Ella, the wife of Winfred Davis of Sycamore, Colusa county; Mark, engaged in farming on the home place; Edith, Ethel and Leslie. Mrs. Hopkins is a member of the Episcopal Church at Colusa, to which her husband gives his liberal support. Politically Mr. Hopkins is a stanch adherent of the principles advocated in the platform of the Democratic party and gives his national vote to its support. Locally he supports the man whom he considers best qualified for public duty.
Transcribed By: Cecelia M. Setty.
Source: "History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the Sacramento Valley, Cal.," J. M. Guinn, Pages 590-593. The Chapman Publishing Company, Chicago, 1906.
© 2017 Cecelia M. Setty.