|Nodaway County, Missouri|
|from Standard Historical Atlas of Nodaway County, Missouri containing maps of Villages, Cities and Townships of the County. Maps of State, United States and World. Farmers Directory, Business Directory and General Information. Published by The Anderson Publishing Co., Map & Atlas Publishers. Chicago, Ill., 1911; pages 1 & 2, section 2.|
|(Transcribed by Pat O'Dell: email@example.com)|
By T.W. Porter ( photo of T.W. Porter accompanies article)
Hopkins Township was organized on November 7, 1871, by petition filed by the late Samuel McFarland, et al, praying for an order of court to divide Union Township, commencing at the southeast corner of section 19, township 66, range 35, thence running due east on the section line to the east boundary of said Union Township. The north part of the organized township to be known and designated as Hopkins Township, in said county, and that the south part be known as Union Township, in said county, and that the voting precinct in Hopkins Township be known as Hopkins. All of which was considered by the court as shown by its records, and an order of court was made defining its boundaries.
Hopkins Township is well watered by the One Hundred and Two River and its branches and various small streams. This river flows through the township a little west of the middle, and in the northern portion of the township it is divided into three branches, known as the Eastern, Middle, and Western Forks. Beards Creek flows into the One Hundred and Two River from the northeast and quite a number of small creeks put in from the east and west, also the Nodaway Branch runs through the southeastern corner of the township. Several small lakes lie along the valley in close proximity to the river. The face of the township is rather rolling in the northwestern part while the southeastern portion is more level. The river and branches are fringed with beautiful grasses along the valley and some picturesque spurs covered with timber or brush set back for some distance from the river, making a scene as one descends into the valley toward the west of unusual beauty.
The soil of the township is a rich vegetable mold resting on a sub-soil and equally intermixed with the usual clay sub-soil of the county. This combination makes an excellent soil, being light and easily worked, and so porous that water rarely stands upon it, yet possessing such power of capillary attraction that it is not materially effected by drought.
Hopkins Township presents unusual attractions to the farmer, the horticulturist and to the stock grower. The naturral resources are abundant, nothing seeming to have been left out that could contribute to the comfort of man. The soil so rich and deep, the country so well watered by streams excellent well water is found ten to fifty feet deep. There is an abundance of good timber with some indications of coal with some stone quarries of both lime stone and free stone. There is a beauty in the landscape and a pastoral loveliness in the scene quite charming to the observer. All the cereals of the upper Missouri Valley flourish and the grasses are luxuriant. Farmers report a very high average of all crops raised per acre, together with all the improved grades of horses, cattle, sheep and hogs that have been introduced makes the farmers have an air of contentment about their comfortable homes that seems to say that "their lives have fallen to them in pleasant places, and they have a goodly heritage."
It is said that Wm Brayles was one of the first settlers to locate in the territory now belonging to Union Township on the Mowery Branch. This settlement was made in about the year 1843, who, after two long years while out trapping and hunting between the forks of the One Hundred and Two River just north of the city of Hopkins, spied the hut of his first neighbor.
John Kimball, Washington Downing, David J. Wiet and James Henckle were the next settlers filing their claims in the southeast part of the township. About four years later Berry Miller, John Duncan, Jesse Caudle and Wm Cook were found camping in the brush on the Mowery Branch and the valleys of the forks of the One Hundred and Two River, and were persuaded to file claims in the same neighborhood. Chas. Carson, Henry Stone, Ed Spencer and Mark Murphy, who came from old Indiana, settled along the north line of the township and it is said for several years they thought they were living in Iowa. Jepthe Sturgeon, W. Jones, Benj. Slaughter were first settlers in the south part of the township. Sam J. Wood, Joseph Hall, G.J. Ulmer and Homer Aldridge were among the first setttlers in the southwestern part, while the western part was known as the Cox Settlement, this settlement beginning as early as 1850.
The area of Hopkins Township is made up of thirty-two full sections and eight fractional sections lying along the state line containing 24,207 acres of taxable land outside of the boundary of the city of Hopkins lying and being a part of sections 1, 2, 11, and 12.
It is estimated that 90 per cent of this vast acreage of land is well adapted to agricultural and grazing purposes and a large part of it is exceedingly fertile, and at this day may be found over two hundred modern and cosy farm dwelling homes, costing from $500 to $12,000 each, besides other necessary farm buildings to make up attractive and beautiful homes occupied by about one thousand enthusiastic, reliable and painstaking farmers and families who are wide-awake, genial and prosperous; at all times in touch and ready to push any enterprise for the betterment of conditions relative to the good of the community, town and township.
The town of Hopkins is located about one-half mile east of the east fork of the One Hundred and Two River. It was platted and laid out in the latter part of the year 1870, and in the spring of 1871 under the direction of Samuel McFarland, the founder of the town. The first railroad engine and car came to Hopkins December 12, 1870. This day is remembered to have been a very raw, cold day, yet hundreds of the citizens as far as ten miles away answered the call of the whistle of the engineer to come a running if they wanted a free ride up to the state line, then the terminus of the Kansas City, St Joseph and Council Bluffs Railroad.
The town received its name in honor of A.L. Hopkins, who was superintendent of said road and was incorporated October 21, 1872, under the law governing cities, towns and villages of the fourth class.