THE HIMEBAUGHS -- NINE GENERATIONS AND TWO-HUNDRED, FIFTY YEARS IN AMERICA
SIXTH GENERATION


36. Onias HOPKINS was born on 22 Oct 1802 in Massachusetts. (128) He died on 3 Dec 1856 in Bronson Twp., Branch County, MI.(129) He was a Farmer, Cobbler. He was married to Sarah WILLIAMS in 1826 in Wayne County, NY. (130)

(Reprinted from a booklet entitled Himebaughs & Hopkins by Mary Ann (Biliki) Himebaugh, 1991.)

Onias Hopkins was born in Massachusetts, on October 22, 1802. From there he moved to Wayne County, New York, either with his parents or on his own. While living there he met and married Sarah Williams, whom he called Sally. She was born in the state of New York in 1808 or 1809. When they married in 1826, she was 18 and he was 24 years old. It was likely they lived in Red Creek or Wolcott, located about 10 miles inland from Lake Ontario, and about 40 miles east of Rochester.

They settled down to married life and in 1827, their first child was born, a girl; they named her Anna A. The following year, 1828, along came a son who was called Amos. He had grey eyes, brown hair, and when he reached his full height, he was five foot, seven inches tall.

On May 28, 1830, Andrew Jackson, signed into law the Indian Removal Act. This gave the President the authority to designate land west of the Mississippi for the Indians, and to move them at government expense. The act called for all Indians east of the river to go west. Congress appropriated only $500,000.00 for the loss of all the land and the expense of the move. Hurried on by soldiers of the army, thousands died on the way, about 100,000 survived. When they arrived in the new lands, they had to fight the Indian tribes already there for their survival.

The southern states threatened to secede from the Union if they didn't get more Indian land to enlarge their plantations and so the Act was passed by Congress and again the Indians lost. At this time, no doubt for fear of an uprising, the army was made larger by volunteers and drafting.

In 1830, at the age of 28, Onias was in the 185th or 186th Regiment, 38 Brigade, 21 Division. He was stationed in Albany, New York. An old army manuel puts him there on August 1st. This manuel is in the hands of Onias's great-granddaughter, Effa (Himebaugh) Knotke or her son Jerry.

He must have only served a short time as his second son, Timothy was born in 1832. Onias’s family grew steadily from then. Mahala was born in 1834, James in 1835 and Mary on December 3, 1836. (In the 1850 census Mary is called Polly). Onias, Jr. came along in 1838. Two years later another boy was born, Orlo in 1840, then Nathaniel in 1841. In 1844 Lucinda arrived, and she was the last of four children known to be born in Wayne County, New York.

At this point in their lives Onias and Sarah decided to make a move, further West. They chose Michigan as the place they would spend the rest of their years. They settled in the County of Branch, in the Township of Bronson.

In the 1840's, the newly pioneered roads were full of white covered wagons, filled with grave looking women and towheaded children, flanked by one or two brawny men walking alongside of the oxen. Joining the throng, Onias and Sarah arrived in Bronson Township after a long trip by covered wagon, pulled by oxen, with ten children in tow.

They purchased from the State of Michigan, 40 acres. They paid $200.00; the date was May 2, 1845. It was part of a parcel that was leased for school land (Taggert). SouthEast 1/4 of the NorthEast 1/4 of section 16 was the location of their land. The address would have been 342 Prairie River Road. The land was hilly, wet, gravely, stoney with wet clay, even on some of the hills. None the less, he found enough good land to make a living for his family. Onias chose a dry spot for his house. He decided to build on top of the hill, where he was able to see all the wagons passing through.

The house was built over a Michigan basement--field stone walls and a dirt floor. The original size was 12 by 24 feet. There were three bedrooms upstairs, and one downstairs with the living room. There was a 24 by 8 or 10 foot lean-to on the back, which served as a kitchen and dinning area. This was home to his wife and twelve children.

Onias had already put in a crop the year he started his ledger in 1845. It began in April 1845; he was sawing logs for rails, furnished wood for school heat, for himself, and sold to others for the same purpose. At that time, everyone with a child in school had to furnish a load of wood as needed per family. He hired out his team of oxen for drawing logs and wood, sold butter, corn and oats. He shod horses. He must have not been a hunter because he bought a quarter of venison, which cost him 56 cents. He worked half a day on a house and earned 25 cents. All this and more, he entered into his ledger.

Onias was a hardworking man, he had quite an assortment of jobs he could do. Besides farming and cutting wood, he was a cobbler --he made shoes and boots, taped soles, mended bridles, saws and even fishing spears.

Sarah became pregnant again and another boy, John, was born in 1846. She was also very busy as they took in boarders from time to time. Boarders paid one dollar a week. She did the washing, cooking and some mending for them. She sewed and churned butter, which they sold. Plus all this, she had 11 children still at home. On September 6, 1849 they had their last child, a girl, Violetta. Sarah was 41 years old at the time.

Just three years later on November 6, 1852, they celebrated a wedding. Their daughter Mahala married John Wellman. The wedding took place in their home. The witnesses were Onias and Orvilla French. Again they hosted a wedding, that of their son Amos, when he married Elizabeth Jane Whitman on March 19, 1854.

Onias died at the age of 54 years, 1 month, 12 days. The year was 1855 or 1856. Sarah stayed on the farm after Onias's death, being left with several children still at home.

In the 1860 census Sarah is listed as a farmer, her real estate value is $800.00, with her personal property valued at $100.00. James 25, Orlo 20, Nathaniel 19, John 14 and Violetta 11 are still at home.

Several of the boys served in the Civil War. Starting with Nathaniel, who enlisted at Burr Oak for three years at the age of 21. Onias Jr. enlisted on August 7, 1861 two days after Nathaniel. He enlisted at Burr Oak for three years; he was 23. Onias lost his right leg in action at Fair Oaks, VA and was discharged on August 22, 1862. Orlo enlisted in Company A, Halls Independent Sharpshooters, on September 13, 1864 at Coldwater, Michigan. He was 24 years old. James and Amos both enlisted in Bronson for three years on February 20, 1864. James was 28 and Amos 34. Amos was wounded in action at Stevenburg, VA and mustered out on July 5, 1864. James never came home; he was listed as missing in action at the Battle of Cold Harbor, VA on June 9, 1864. Nothing more was ever heard of him.

Sarah died before March of 1870 as her property was sold to Joseph Brower by that date.

37. Sarah WILLIAMS was born in 1808/9 in New York.(131) She died before Mar 1870.(132) Children were:

child i. Anna A. HOPKINS was born in 1827.(133)
child18 ii. Amos HOPKINS.
child iii. Timothy P. HOPKINS was born in 1832.(134)
child iv. Mahala HOPKINS was born in 1834.(135) Mahala and John had three children.
child v. James B. HOPKINS was born in 1835.(136) He died on 9 Jun 1864 in MIA, Cold Harbor, VA. (137)
child vi. Mary (Polly) HOPKINS was born on 3 Dec 1836. (138) She died in 1911.(139) Polly and John Whitman had five children.
child vii. Onias HOPKINS II was born in 1838 in Wayne County, NY. (140)
child viii. Orlo HOPKINS was born in 1840 in Wayne County, NY. (141)
child ix. Nathaniel HOPKINS was born in 1841 in Wayne County, NY. (142)
child x. Lucinda HOPKINS was born in 1844 in Wayne County, NY. (143)
child xi. John HOPKINS was born in 1846 in Branch County, MI. (144)
child xii. Violetta HOPKINS was born on 6 Sep 1849 in Branch County, MI. (145) She died on 16 Jan 1940.(146)

Home Return to Table of Contents