Sumter County Alabama

Sumter County
Devereux Hopkins Biography

Contributed by Mary Hoit Abbe

From Northern Alabama, Historical and Biographical by Smith & Deland
Chicago: Donohue & Henneberry, Printer and Binders, 1888
pp. 222

DEVEREUX HOPKINS, Register in Chancery, is by birth a North Carolinian. In 1835, at the age of twenty-two, he came into Greene County, and began farming. He was educated at Raleigh, N. C., and there began the battle of life as a clerk. His father, Wm. W. Hopkins, was many years a merchant at Smithfield, that State, and there died when our subject was only five months old. The maiden name of his mother was Sarah Boone, daughter of Joseph Boone of North Carolina, a relative of the famous Daniel Boone of Kentucky.

Ten years after her husband’s death, Mrs. Hopkins married Thomas Cobbs, of Raleigh. Chancellor Cobbs, of the Northwest Chancery Division, this State, and James Cobbs, many years Circuit Judge of the Mobile District, are half-brothers of Mr. D. Hopkins.

In 1836, D. Hopkins removed from Greene County to Mobile, and there embarked in the commission business with Hinton & Horton.

In 1838, he married Miss Elizabeth W. Ryan, daughter of the Rev. Joseph Ryan, of the Baptist Church, and the same year returned to Central Alabama, and settled in Sumter County, where he resumed cotton planting upon a pretty extensive scale.

In 1846, he held his first public office, that of sheriff; in 1851 he was a member of the lower house of the Legislature, as a Whig; and in 1868 removed to California, residing some years at Stockton, serving the people part of the time as justice of the peace and police judge. In 1880 he returned to this State, and was soon afterward appointed Register in Chancery.

Mrs. Hopkins died March 2, 1884. Of the ten children born to them six are now living. The eldest son, Wm. W., was a member of Hampton’s brigade during the late war, and is now employed professionally as an expert accountant. A daughter Sarah E., was the wife of the brave Capt. Abner L. Gaines, who lost his life at Shiloh. Mrs. Abner L. Gaines subsequently married Captain Lake, also an old soldier, now of Mobile. Another daughter, Miss Kate Hopkins, is now the efficient postmistress at Livingston. Anna married Dr. Wm. M. Bryant, of Clarke County; Florence is now Mrs. Addison G. Smith, of Livingston, Ala., and Miss Julia, the youngest has not left the paternal roof.

Mr. Hopkins is now in his seventy-fifth year. It is more than a half century since he first came into Alabama. Here he has lived past the average years of man, and here will his presence be more missed and mourned than average men when, in the fullness of the Maker’s own good time, he shall be gathered unto his fathers.

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