HOPKINS, GEORGE MILTON, SR.

Winston Chase Franscini
George Milton Hopkins, Sr. (1884–1959).
George Milton Hopkins, Sr., served in both the House and Senate of the Texas legislature. Courtesy Legislative Reference Library of Texas and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

HOPKINS, GEORGE MILTON, SR. (1884–1959). George Milton Hopkins, Sr., attorney and Texas state legislator, son of Capt. Robert Henry Hopkins and Susan C. (Stemmler) Hopkins, was born on June 8, 1884, in Denton, Texas. His father arrived in Denton County from Cass County, Illinois, in 1854, and, with the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted in the Confederate Army as a member of Company G, Eighteenth Texas Calvary, in November 1861. After the war, Robert Henry Hopkins led a long career of public service and served as the sheriff of Denton County for two terms and justice of the peace for a decade. George Milton Hopkins had three siblings: Robert Henry Hopkins, Jr. (1874–1938); John Stemmler Hopkins (1876–1894); and Susan Elizabeth Hopkins McDonald (1888–1991).

Although he only had a high school education and graduated in 1903, George Hopkins studied law under his father from 1904 to 1906. He practiced in Denton County for fifty-two years and founded Hopkins and Hopkins law firm. Like his father, he became a public servant and represented Denton County in the Thirty-fourth Texas Legislature as a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives from January 12, 1915, until January 9, 1917. During this term, he served as vice chair of both the Enrolled Bills and Senatorial Districts committees. He also arranged for a special train to transport the entire legislature to Denton to tour its two college campuses, North Texas State Normal College (now University of North Texas) and College of Industrial Arts (now Texas Woman’s University). Hopkins again served Denton, as well as Montague and Wise counties in the Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Texas legislatures as a Democratic senator from January 9, 1917, until January 11, 1921. During his term as senator, Hopkins was elected president pro tempore of the Thirty-sixth legislature and participated in the impeachment proceedings against Governor James E. Ferguson for misconduct. 

Hopkins married Eleanor Lucille Fields in 1923. They had three children together: George Jr., Mary, and Wallace. Eleanor died in 1953, after which Hopkins married the widow Gertrude Lewela Hampton. Fry in 1956. George Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps as an attorney in Denton.

Hopkins was a member of the First Methodist Church and provided the family home as a meeting space for the F chapter meetings of the Women’s Society for Christian Service. Additionally, he was a member of the Denton Kiwanis Club as well as the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Hopkins died at the age of seventy-four on January 23, 1959, from a heart attack due to arteriosclerosis in his hometown of Denton. He is buried in the city’s I.O.O.F Cemetery.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Denton Record-Chronicle, August 4, 1945; January 19, 25, 1959.
Legislative Reference Library of Texas: George Milton Hopkins (https://lrl.texas.gov/legeLeaders/members/memberDisplay.cfm?memberID=2574&searchparams=chamber=~city=~countyID=0~RcountyID=~district=~first=~gender=~last=hopkins~leaderNote=~leg=~party=~roleDesc=~Committee=), accessed March 5, 2018. Texas Bar Journal, June 1959.

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Handbook of Texas Online, Winston Chase Franscini, "HOPKINS, GEORGE MILTON, SR. ," accessed November 19, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhopk.

Uploaded on July 24, 2018. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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