Ira L. Hopkins, a well known and prosperous dairyman of Lima township, is one of Sheboygan county's native sons, his birth having occurred in Lyndon township, on the 6th of March, 1865. He comes from a family which has long been identified with the agricultural pursuits, his paternal grandfather, Ira Hopkins, for whom he was named, having devoted his entire lifetime to general farming in New York, in which state he was born. His son, Francis E. Hopkins, the father of Ira L. Hopkins, was also a native of the Keystone state, his birth having occurred in Carmel, Putnam county, on the 16th of November, 1826. He was reared in New York and there continued to live until he had attained the age of thirty years, when he came west to Wisconsin, locating in Lyndon township, Sheboygan county, and there on a farm which he purchased he made his home until 1868. In that year he sold his property and moved to Lima township, there purchasing a farm of one hundred and forty acres on section 3, upon which place the remainder of his days were spent. He was deeply interested in the political situation although he never sought nor desired public office for himself, and he served as trustee of the First Baptist church of Sheboygan Falls for a number of years, both he and his wife being active and helpful in the work of that organization.
Ere taking up his abode in Wisconsin he had been married, in New York to Miss Sarah J. Hyatt, who was born in Dutchess county, New York, on the 12th of February, 1834. She passed away in the month of April, 1907, having long survived her husband, whose death occurred June 14, 1889. Mrs. Hopkins had several brothers who served in the Civil war. Her children were five in number, of whom four are living, as follows: Fowler, who is engaged in farming near Holcombe, Chippewa county, Wisconsin; Esther, the wife of George Kalmerton, of Sheboygan Falls; Ira L., our subject and Cora, the wife of E. G. Holden, of Sheboygan Falls.
Ira L. Hopkins acquired his education in the public schools, being graduated from the high school at Sheboygan Falls, and under the direction of his father he acquired a thorough practical training which well equipped him for the duties that came to him with an independent career. He continued to assist his father in the work of the home farm until he was twenty-eight years of age and then, in order to relieve his father from further business cares he assumed entire control of the home place and managed it for him until the latter's death three years later.
At that time he came into possession of the old homestead and has since continued in its cultivation. It consists of one hundred and forty acres located on section 3, Lima township, and as a result of the care and attention bestowed upon it is one of the valuable properties of the township. Mr. Hopkins gives the greater part of his time to his dairy interests and through his efforts in this branch of agricultural pursuits has won for himself a distinctive place among the prosperous and prominent residents of his locality. He has a fine herd of the highest grade of Holstein cattle, at the head of which is a pure-blooded bull, and the excellence of his product has created a great demand for it in the market, se11ing at ruling prices.
In Sheboygan Falls, on the 14th of January, 1892, Mr. Hopkins was united in marriage to Miss Lucy Fairweather, of Sheboygan Falls, and unto them have been born three children, Lucile, Jessie and Eleanor, aged respectively nineteen, seventeen and fifteen years.
The eldest daughter, who is a graduate of the Sheboygan Falls high school, has considerable musical talent and has received excellent instruction on the piano. The parents are active in the work of the First Baptist church of Sheboygan Falls, of which both are valued members, and Mr. Hopkins has served as superintendent of the Sunday school for the past twenty years. He takes great interest in the public affairs of the community, voting the republican ticket, and for one year served as assessor.
Success in large measure has come to Ira L. Hopkins, but it is a success reckoned not alone in terms of material gain, although he has prospered in his business undertakings, but also by those higher, better things in life-scores of friends, the respect and confidence of his fellowmen, a clean reputation-which are won only by a career characterized by high purposes and noble ideals.
Information gathered and adapted from History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, Past and Present
Carl Zillier, Editor
Pubished by The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, Chicago, IL