Frank HOPKIRK was born about 1867, the son of Walter HOPKIRK and Mary Ellen MOFFETT

In 1870 Frank was 3 years old and living with his parents at

Frank Hopkirk was involved in a murder in 1884, when he was 17 years old. 

Newspaper clipping for the NewYork Times, March 5, 1884, by-line, Windsor, Missouri, March 4, 1884. "Confession of a Murderer"

Similiar story from the Oshkosh Daily Nortwestern

Here are two stories on this page, one about the crime, with a sketch of Frank at the bottom left and one about one about the commutation of his sentence by Governer Marmaduke from the Sedalia Weekly Bazoo, March 24, 1885.

This article says the Governor cummutted Frank's death sentence to just days before he was to be executed, but they did not know why. They said it could not be because of money, because the family did not have any. What the writer of the article did not know was that fortunately for Frank, Frank's mother Mary Ellen had befriended the the man who would become Governor of Missouri on a train ride from Iowa to Missouri, and it was because of his friendship with Mary Ellen that Frank's sentence was commuted to a maximum of 20 years, reducable to 15 years for good behavior. So frank could have goten out of prison by around 1899. 

Our thanks goes to Arthur Hopkirk of New York for spotting the Sedalia Weekly article.

However, per California voter registration records in 1892 we find Frank Hopkirk living in Rocklin, Placer County, California and he is a Railroad Fireman, age 25, born in Windsor, Missouri. He is 5 feet, 9 inches tall, blue eyes, medium complexion, with brown hair.

So it is obvious that somehow Frank was released from prison in less than 8 years and moved to California. Family history says Frank's parents moved from Missouri in disgrace and went to Colorado.

In the 1900 census we find Frank in Salt Lake City, Utah, living at 85 4th West Street. He is now a Locomotive Engineer for the railroad., but he lists his birthplace as Colorado and both his parents birthplaces as Illinois. His birth is listed as November of 1869, instead of 1867. He may have been trying to hide his identity.

The 1900 census record appears to be the last known record of Frank's existence. He was only 33 at that time. Family history says he went to Mexico and died while working on a bridge. There is no confirmation of this story. 

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This page was last updated on May 20, 2014