HOPKIRK CEMETERY and the area of COALPORT
purchased the land where the Hopkirk Cemetery can be found on the 23
November 1838, the northeast quarter of Section 34 of Lockridge
Township. See the Map of Lockridge which
shows the original land purchased by William, the location of the
Hopkirk Cemetery in Section 27, the location of the Lockridge Cemetery
along the border of Sections 34 and 35, the location of the property in
Section 35 purchased by William's brothers John and David, and the location of the John Hopkirk Family Cemetery.
Around May of 1842, William, his wife
Jane, and by then 5 young children, moved to the land he purchased, the
northeast quarter of section 34, a total of 160 acres. William
gradually increased his holdings by purchasing 400 more acres of land
surrounding his original purchase. At the highest point, he owned 560
Four years later, in 1846, the first
church in Lockridge Township was built on William Hopkirk's property.
Since the Hopkirk Cemetery is located in Section 27, the section just
north of his original purchase of section 34, it is likely that William
purchased land in Section 27 sometime between 1842 and 1846. From the
1879 and 1890 Jefferson County Biographies we know that William was a
staunch Presbyterian, it can easily be assumed that the church built on
his property in 1846 was a Presbyterian Church.
It would appear the first burial was
F. Louis ROEDER, age 63, on 4 December 1845 in Lot #48. The last
burial was Catharine (PIERCE) KELLEY, age 75 years, 7 months and 12
days, on 12 February 1901 in Lot # 5. It is interesting to note, that as of 2018, descendants of Catharine Pierce Kelley own the land that surrounds the Cemetery.
To view all the burials in the Hopkirk Cemetery go to this Jefferson County Online page for a complete listing.
COALPORT was an area in the center of
Section 34, around the southwest corner of William Hopkirk's original
purchase, see Map of Lockridge linked above, located about 1 mile west
of Lockridge. Around 1858 the railroad reached Jefferson County and
went right through the middle of Sections 34(Coalport) and
35(Lockridge). The railroad needed coal and a few mines north of
Coalport were established and brought their coal to a platform along a
siding in Coalport. A coal car would be dropped off on a side track and
filled by hand. There were already a few homes and businesses in the
area by 1856, so adding the coal siding helped the area grow further.
By the late 1860's, the railroad was ready to place a depot along the
line and it came down to either Lockridge or Coalport. Lockridge was
awarded the depot, and that was probably the start of decline for the
Go here for more information about Coalport
William HOPKIRK was a member of the
Iowa State Legislature from 1870 to 1876, and during that time he
created the "HOPKIRK BILL" which would tax all railroad right-of-ways
and their rolling stock in the State of Iowa. The bill was passed by
the Legislature. I just wonder if part of the reason William created
the "HOPKIRK BILL" was to punish the railroad for bypassing Coalport.
Starting in 2018 it is now possible to
drive to the Hopkirk Cemetery thanks to Rick Smithburg and the road he
put in between gates #2 and gate #3. Prior to this, it had probably been over 80 years since a road went past the Cemetery. Prior to this year, 2018, the access to the Hopkirk Cemetery was by foot only.
At this link
is a 1930 map of the Coalport area, and notice that at the bottom right
corner of Section 27 is wrtitten "CEM" and a black dot below it.
That is the location of the Hopkirk Cemetery. Notice that a road
existed at that time. Thanks to Rick, we now have a dirt road that is
located in approaximately the same location and now goes as far as the
If you wish to visit the Hopkirk Cemetery here is what you need to do:
Start on 218th Blvd until you reach
Vetch Blvd, then go north about 3/4 mile on Vetch Blvd until the road
starts to bend gradually to the left, and the gate will be on your
right. See photo of Gate #1, as viewed from Vetch Blvd.
Here is the video of travelling through Gate #1.
It may take two people to get through the gates if you are driving,
since one person may have to drive while the other person opens the
gate and keeps the animals inside from getting through the gates.
Here is the entrance to Gate #2
Between gates #1 and #2 you may encounter some animals like cattle or ?????? Here is what came running down to greet me at Gate # 2
Then, click on this link as he came around to the side of the car to say hello to Anne. Yes, it is a Llama!!
From this link you can view the drive though Gate 2,
travelling a few hundred yards down what is close to the location of
the old road and you will eventually see the location of the Hopkirk
Cemetery off to the left side. You will actually be crossing from the
Smithburg property to the Nelson property. In the Fall of 2018 Rick
Smithburg is planning to restore the fencing that was along this part
of his property and reinstall the 3rd gate that must be passed through
to get to the Cemetery. I'm sorry, but sadly most of this video is at a 90 degree angle, maybe you can rotate your monitor 90 degrees. :-).
At this link is a video of entering the Hopkirk Cemetery and how you get to the two gravestones of William Hopkirk(and his daughter Jane) and Jane Redpath Hopkirk.
Once you are in the Hopkirk Cemetery,
one of the first stones you pass is that Catharine Kelley, whose
descendants own the property surrounding the Cemetery, located in the
southeast portion of Section 27, see the map of Lockridge and Sections
27 and Sections 34..
You will eventual get to the HOPKIRK stones. This picture shows the HOPKIRK stones on July 24, 2018 when William HOPKIRK's stone on the left side was uprighted,
and the new plaque was being installed. Jackson Nelson and I(John
K. Hopkirk) were trying to upright the stone, just as Dennis Smithburg
arrived. It was just in time, as his extra help was what we needed to
upright about 400 pounds of concrete. (Thanks Dennis). Dennis and Rick
SMITHBURG are cousins, and their ancestors, Anna and Peter SMITHBURG,
were buried in the lower part of the cemetery in 1869 and 1849
respectively. Sadly, no gravestones have been found for the Smithburgs.
Here is a picture of the Hopkirk, Lockridge Pioneers, plaque
Here is a photo of the stones of William HOPKIRK and Jane Redpath HOPKIRK,
with the stone of the burial place some of their 4 grandchildren who
died between 1862 and 1865. They were the children of their daughter
Elizabeth Hopkirk STEPHENSON, and at least 3 of the 4 died from
Diphtheria. The youngest was 5 months old, oldest was 3 years 11 months.
Here is a photo of Jackson Nelson
who was a great help to me in hauling 300 pounds of concrete, stepping
stones and other supplies, and then helping me mixing and pouring the
concrete after we got the William Hopkirk stone ready for uprighting.
Jackson is a great great great great grandson of Catharine PIERCE
KELLEY, the last burial in the Hopkirk Cemetery. Query, Is Catharine
Pierce(1825-1901) related to Major Abial Richmond Pierce, born 1820 in
Maine and buried in the Lockridge Cemetery, less than one mile away
from the Hopkirk Cemetery.
Here is a photo of a very tired old man as we are almost finished.
In the future I would like to add a
Hopkirk Cemetery plot map to help others looking for family members
buried in the Hopkirk Cemetery.
return to Hopkirk Home Page
This page was last updated on August 14, 2018