Howard HOPKIRK & Ruth Lavinia


(Our thanks goes to Arthur Hopkirk for supplying much of the information on this page.)

Howard William HOPKIRK was the youngest child of William Hume HOPKIRK and Marietta COWLES
Howard was born on 21 March 1894 at Montrose, Iowa.

Baptismal record for Howard W. Hopkirk at the Union Presbyterian Church of Fort Madison, Iowa, November 27, 1903.

Howard married Ruth HATHAWAY on 31 Dec 1919 at Grants Pass, Oregon, the daughter of John (Jack) H. HATHAWAY(1870-1949) and Jennie van ZALTBOMMEL(1874-1962).

As of the June 1, 1900 census the HATHAWAY family was living in Roseburg, Oregon. Jack is a Machinis, born December 1866 in Michigan. Jack's father born in New York and his mother's birthplace is unknown. Jack's wife Jennie was born April 1874 in Michigan and her parents were both born in the Netherlands. Daughter Ruth L was born March 1896 in Oregon. Go here for the family folk lore about the Hathaways.

From the 1910 census we find Howard living with his sister Jessie's family at 310 South Sixth Street, Yakima, Washington. Jessie's husband Angus(A.C.) DAVIS, and his brother Allen. Angus (A.C.) DAVIS is 30 years old, born in Illinois, a High School Principal. His wife Jessie is 25, born in Iowa, her father is born in Iowa and her mother is born in Massachusetts. Also in the household are Angus' brother Allen S. Davis, age 33, and Jessie's brother Howard W. HOPKIRK, age 16, born in Ohio. Howard was attending school, so he was likely attending A.C. DAVIS's high school.

From the 1914 Directory of Kootenai County we find Howard W. HOPKIRK of the Insurance and Real Estate  business of "Busby & Hopkirk", renting at 616 Coeur d'Alene Avenue, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Also in the residence is the owner William H HOPKIRK and his wife Etta. William is the Justice of the Peace, located at 509 1/2 Sherman Ave., Couer d"Alene, Idaho  

Ruth Hathaway graduated from Grants Pass High School in 1914. From this image from her high school yearbook from 1914 it is obvious she was very involved in school activities, as she was Secretary and Treasurer, and part of the following groups: Glee Club, Baseball, Circus, Entertainment Committee, Annual Board, Class Play and debate. This quote on her page:  "She hath a natural wise sincerity, A simple truthfulness."

Ruth then went to Portland to attend Reed College. From the
2016 Portland City Directory. and 2017 Portland City Directory we see she was listed as a student, living at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Her father Jack Hathaway initially believed that spending money on a college education for a girl was a waste.  However, her mother Jennie apparently took a stand and insisted that if her only daughter wanted to go to college, she should go to college. Ruth was particularly influenced by a young professor at Reed, Paul Douglas.  Douglas was later a senator from Illinois.

Howard W. HOPKIRK May 26, 1917 World War 1 draft registration card FRONT SIDE  BACK SIDE listed as tall, medium build, blue eyes and medium brown hair.

On 6 July 1918 2nd Lieut. Inf, Company A 348 Machine Gun Battalion 91 Division, Howard HOPKIRK leaves Brooklyn, New York, headed to Europe aboard the ship Ullysses, thanks to the U.S. Army Transport Service. Howard's address is given as 702 Ninth Ave., South Yakima, Washington, the home of his sister Jessie Davis. Here is a photo of the transport ship Ullysses.

On March 25,  1919 Howard leaves Saint Naziare, France  on the U.S.S. Orizaba headed for home thanks to the U.S. Army transport service.  He arrives at Hoboken, New Jersey on 2 April 1919. Next of kin is listed as his sister, Mrs. Jessie L. DAVIS of South Yakima, Washington.

Ruth fell in love with Howard W. Hopkirk at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.  While Howard left college to go to officer training and then into combat in WWI, Ruth graduated in 1918.  While waiting for her fiancÚ to return, she taught in a rural (possibly one-room) school.  There is an article from the Grants Pass Daily Courier for September 5, 1919 announcing the teachers to be assigned to schools in Josephine County, Oregon for the coming year. Ruth was to be assigned to a school in Hugo, Oregon(Rural District 22) in Fall 1919. Hugo is a small unincorporated arera north of Grants Pass. Ruth would have graduated from Reed College in the spring of 1918, so she probably taught school from the fall of 1918 also.
Ruth and Howard were married on New Year’s Eve 1919.  Howard was the president of his class at Reed.  He was also an amateur boxer.  Ruth insisted that he quit boxing before the wedding because she did not want him to show up at the wedding with a broken nose.
Dorothy was born a little more than 9 months after the wedding.  By then, Ruth and Howard had moved to New York City so that Howard could attend Union Theological Seminary.  Ruth had been planning to pursue a degree at Columbia Teacher’s College.  Motherhood interfered with that plan.

Howard was a social worker and served as the Executive Director of the Child Welfare League of America from 1940 to 1948. There were many articles written by Howard W. HOPKIRK in the Encyclopedia Americana and other notable publications.

From the 1920 census Howard and Ruth are boarding at Reed College in Portland, Oregon at 657 Welden Street. They were recently married and neither has a job.

Howard and Ruth had the following children:

     Dorothy Hopkirk, born 23 October 1920 in New York.

     John William (Jack) HOPKIRK, born 22 May 1926, in New York, NY
          and passed away on February 22, 2006 at Media, Pennsylvania

     Eleanor (Ellie) HOPKIRK, born March 1931, in New York City.

From the 1930 census we find the family living at 3912 48th Street, New York City, NY. They own the residence with a value of $12,500. Howard is ahe 36, age 25 when he got married, born in Iowa, his father born in Iowa and his mother born in Massachusetts. He is a Social Worker, Child Welfare.  Ruth is age 34, age 23 when she got married, born in Oregon and both of her parents were born in Michigan. Also in the house are daughter Dorothy age 9 born in New York, and son John age 3, born in New York. Also in the residence is the Edwin PEARSON family paying $60 a month rent. Edwin is 40 years old, 26 when married, born in Colorado and his parents were born in Sweden.He is the owner of an Import Business and a veteran of World War I.. His wife is Greta, age 38, amrried at age 24, born in New York and her parents were both born in New York. They have a daughter named Ruth, age 12, born in New York. They also have a 70 year old lodger named Wilbur REASER born in Ohio, as were both his parents. Wilbur is an Artist.

From the 1940 census we find the family living at 226 East Fifteenth Street, New York City, NY. They are renting for $75 a month. In the household are Howard, church worker, age 46, 5 years of college, born in Iowa, wife Ruth age 44, born in Oregon, married, 5 years of college, daughter Dorothy age 19 born in New York City, daughter Eleanor age 9 born in New York City, son John age 13, born in New York City, Douglas Harrington, age 15, lodger born in Colorado, and Ida Ruegg, Servant, age 32, single, born in Switzerland.

Howard W. HOPKIRK passed away in May 1963 in Corpis Christi, Texas.

Ruth HATHAWAY HOPKIRK passed away in January 1986 at age 89 in Philadelphia, PA. (The plaque where her ashes are buried gives the year of her death as 1985, but that is a mistake.)Plaques for Howard and Ruth located at the Unitarian Universalist Church Memory Garden in Media, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

At this link is an extensive biography of Howard W. HOPKIRKS' career from the Virginia Common Wealth University's Social Welfare History Project.

View Jack Hopkirk family photos

View more Howard Hopkirk family photos

This page was last updated on 18 July 2021