The Historical Society of Harford County Online Memorial
John Thomas Chew Hopkins
1843 - 1922
Written by Catherine Wylie Hopkins Schafer in 1998

My grandfather was the fifth child of nine born to Priscilla Worthington and Dr. Thomas Chew Hopkins of Havre de Grace. Their home on North Union Avenue was built ca 1837 and later occupied by a son, Dr. William Worthington Hopkins. In 1919, as a small child, I would visit with my mother as two of my grandfather's sisters were still alive, and we called them Aunt Cassie and Aunt Teesie. The parlor was strictly Victorian, and I sat very quietly while the conversation went on around me. When the last Hopkins had died, we went back to pick up the grandfather clock which my father inherited and several antique chairs. In later years, the house was shown at some of several of the Candlelight Tours in Havre de Grace. These great grandparents were buried in the Deer Creek Quaker Cemetery in Darlington.

When John Thomas Chew Hopkins married his bride at her aunt's home, the McCormick residence near Bel Air, they had decided to build on Main Street. This home, a fine example of Victorian architecture, still stands next to the Historical Society of Harford County Headquarters. It was built in 1879 and is now on the National Register. Six of their eight children survived; two never married, but the other four have many descendants, several still living in Harford County.

All of these stem from Gerard Hopkins who came into Maryland about 1650. His son, Gerard Hopkins Jr., married Margaret Johns -- hence the Johns Hopkins of a few generations later. All were practicing Quakers and came to Deer Creek in Harford County from Anne Arundel County, along with the Govers, Richardsons, Wilsons and Worthingtons. Other families they married into were the Websters, Lees and three Hopkins brothers married three Morgan sisters, daughters of Capt. William Morgan of the Revolution, whose wife was Cassandra Lee.

My grandfather studied at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. Then studied law under Stevenson Archer of Bel Air and was admitted to the Bar in 1865 (at age 22 years). He was a Member of the Maryland Legislature Session of 1870 and State's Attorney for Harford County from 1872 to 1880. He was one of the founders and President of the Second National Bank of Bel Air, Maryland, from 1888 to 1893. In addition, he was Deputy Collector of the Port of Baltimore during the second administration of President Cleveland. One of the pictures from The Aegis around 1890 shows some prominent men of Bel Air. They are William Munnikhysen, John Thomas Chew Hopkins, George Yellot Maynadier, Edward Ewing, James D. Waters, and George Van Bibber. Two other good friends were Mr. Stevenson Williams and the Reverend W. T. Brand from St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Emmorton.

John Thomas Chew Hopkins was a good family man and friendly to all. His wife, Amanda Evans Wylie, was the daughter of Dr. William Wylie of Chester County, South Carolina and his wife, Amanda Slade Johnson of Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Wylie was Surgeon-Major 17th South Carolina Regt., Evans Brigade, during the Civil War. In later years, my grandmother helped form a Harford County Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. During the last few years of his life, my grandfather enjoyed sitting on his front porch and talking to his friends who might stroll by. He also loved walking down to the Court House and talking "old times" to his friends. We would often get in our car and my parents would drive us from Port Deposit in Cecil County to Bel Air to visit the family. It was my special treat to go up to Grandpa's room and get his bag of peppermints. His long white beard fascinated all of us little kids.

I remember years later taking my own children to see his portrait on the wall in the Bel Air Courthouse. It was a very special occasion because they had been born in Panama, and I wanted them to know their roots in the United States.

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