Hopkins, Missouri

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Hopkins is a city in Nodaway County, Missouri, United States. The population was 579 at the 2000 census.



Hopkins is located at 40°33′1″N 94°49′3″W / 40.55028°N 94.8175°W / 40.55028; -94.8175 (40.550198, -94.817620)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²), all of it land.


Hopkins was founded in 1872 and named for A.L. Hopkins of the Kansas City, St. Joseph and Council Bluffs Railroad. The railroad later became the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy and finally the Burlington Northern before tracks were taken up in 1983.[4]

Occult writer Grant Wallace was born in Hopkins in 1867.

The Hopkins Tornado of 1881 in which four tornadoes combined into one is believed to have been one of the first recorded F5 tornadoes.

On Sunday afternoon November 16, 1952, Hopkins was struck by a tornado which greatly damaged the downtown business district. Scheduled to speak at a local meeting of the P.E.O.; a national college educational women's organization, that night was Mary Jane Truman, sister of Harry S Truman. She contacted her brother who was on a yacht. Hopkins was the first town in the United States of under 1,000 people to receive federal disaster relief. The government sent the community $10,000 which was put under the administration of Wren Peve, a local businessman. Mr. Peve kept accurate track of the spending and when all the needs were met it was found that there was a surplus. Peve then wrote a check and sent that surplus back to Washington. The cleanup was under the direction of Landon Wallace; the local Ford salesman and also the Hopkins Fire Chief. During the three weeks of cleanup, most of the second floors of the downtown buildings were removed by his order.

In the first half the 20th century Ranch del Rayo was the biggest ranch in the state of Missouri.

In September, 1933, the Missouri Highway Patrol cornered and killed Harold B. Thornbrugh a Kansas outlaw, who at the time was living in New Market, Iowa. Thornbrugh was wanted for bank and postal robbery, the murder of Omaha Police Officer Otto Peterson and the attempted murder of Frankin County, Kansas Sheriff William Wantland. The day Harold Thornbrugh was killed in Hopkins, his brother Cecil stood before Judge Hopkins in Topeka, Kansas on the same charges pending against Harold. One officer was seriously wounded in the head during the brief gun battle.[5]

During World War II Hopkins a town of less than 1,000 at the time lost fourteen men. This included two brothers Charles and George Russell who died in April, 1945 within twenty-four hours of each other. Charles drowned in the Pacific and George was accidentally shot in Germany while guarding prisoners of war. Carl Melvin went down with the U.S.S. Indianapolis, and Charles Pistole was killed at Tarawa while operating a landing craft. In other conflicts, Glenn Ulmer died in World War I, the American Legion Post is named in his honor and Gary Cross died in Vietnam. Hopkins suffered no deaths in Korea.

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