James H. Hopkins Death (1927)

Source Newspaper:   St. Thomas Times Journal, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
Monday, July 11, 1927
Date of Death:   Saturday, July 09, 1927
Page:  01 Col: 02

J. H. Hopkins
Man Who Had Been Identified With Photographic Business Here Many Years and Owner of the Casino at Port Stanley Passes Away

St. Thomas lost another worthy citizen early Saturday afternoon, in the death at his residence, 55 Stanley street, of James Henry Hopkns, proprietor of the Stanley Beach Casino, Port Stanley, and for more than 30 years a prominent photographer of this city.  Although Mr. Hopkins never entered public life so far as seeking municipal honors was concerned and was of a quiet, unassuming disposition. his death will be widely mourned both in the city and district for he was a man who possessed the rare facility of making many friends and retaining that friendship.  His long association with the photographic business brought him in touch with a great number of people while his activities in promoting clean amusements at Port Stanley widened his circle of acquaintanceship.

Mr. Hopkins' death was not unexpected.  Though not generally known, he had been ill for months but he refused to give up until a few weeks ago, when his condition became critical and he was forced to take to his bed.  It was just a last splendid display of his courage and unfailing genial nature.   He never talked about his afflictions to his friends on the street.   He talked about that which was first in his interest in later years, his business at Port Stanley.   Even on his death-bed, Mr. Hopkins thought of that and the reputation he had established for a high standard of summer entertainment.  He took pride in the fact that every summer since the inauguration of the Port Stanley Casino, he had maintained a record of continuous public service.   His casino had not been closed from the commencement of one summer season to the end and he requested those in charge to continue this record in the event of a climax.  He did not wish the Casino closed on ac- (Continued on page Twelve)

cout of his death.  To him the accomodation of the public was of more importance than his own demise.  His wish was carried out Saturday afternoon and evening; but Sunday and Monday afternoon until 5:00 o'clock the Casino was closed to the public, his sons feeling that the patrons of the popular place would understand and support them in their disobediance.

Pioneered the Way
It is a tribute to Mr. Hopkins's success as the proprietor of the Casino that it is closed for the first time during the summer since 1909, when the Stanley Beach Amusement Company was promoted and organized by him.  He was a modern pioneer in providing summer amusement facilities.  He built the casino that year and in building it he built for permanence and the utmost in service.   Although it is nearly 20 years old, the Casino still has one of the finest dancing floors in Canada, in the opinion of those who patronize the place.  The Casino has attracted a clientele that is representative of Western Ontario.  The fact that it has been enlarged at least four times and renovated and redecorated several times is evident in the growth of its popularity.

Mr. Hopkins was largely responsible for the excellent reputation the place has always enjoyed.   He permitted no rowdyism in the building; nothing that was indecent or otherwise objectionable.   His object in creating the Casino was to provide a place of amusement where the whole family might go and enjoy themselves.  He never failed in the carrying out of his ideals.

It can be said, truthfully, that Jim Hopkins was the father of Port Stanley as it exists today as a great centre for summer vacationists.  He was a man of vision.  He saw the possibilities of the place; he had faith in its future and he exemplified this faith by investing much of his life's savings there.  The name of Jim Hopkins will always be associated with Port Stanley as a summer resort.

Nor will his name be forgotten soon as a photographer.  For years, his attractive studio on Talbot street, opposite Elgin street, was the rendevous of young married couples, of family reunions, of graduating classes and proud young mothers with their first-borns.  When Mr. Hopkins retired from the photographic business about ten years ago, one entire side of the work-room of the studio was filled with negatives.  There were thousands and thousands of shadow momentoes of the people who had posed before "Jim" Hopkins's camera lens.

Mr. Hopins started in the photographic business as a boy of 14 years, apprenticing himself to the late W. A. Cooper.  Later he was with W. A. Cooper and following that he was a partner in the firm of Scott and Hopkins, the late T. H. Scott being his partner.  In 1883 he took over the business continuing until his retirement.  In 1893 his business had grown to such proportions that he found it necessary to provide larger and more convenient quarters and he erected the Hopkins Block, where the photographic studio of William Brown is now located.

About ten years ago Mr. Hopkins became actively interested in the Southern Loan and Savings Company and was elected to the board of directors.  He was vice-president of the company when it was acquired by the Huron and Erie Mortgage Corporation two months ago.

Mr. Hopkins was a native of St. Thomas, his parents being the late Henry and Mary Hopkins, early residents of the town.  Latterly he took great pride in his residence in Stanley street, renovating the house at considerable expense and converting it into one of the most attractive bungalows in the city.   His artistic temperament is to be seen in the site, overlooking the beautiful west ravine, and in the floral treatment of the grounds.  He created the home for himself and Mrs. Hopkins, to whom he was greatly devoted, but Mrs. Hopkins was removed by death about a year ago.   Her death undoubtedly hastened Mr. Hopkins' end.

Surviving him are two sons, Harry Scott Hopkins of Denver, Colorado, and Chester Hunter Hopkins of this city.

Mr. Hopkins was a consistent member of Knox Presbyterian church.  He was also a member of Rathbone Lodge No. 12, Knights of Pythias; the I. O. O. F., and the A. O. U. W.

The funeral took place Monday afternoon from the residence, Stanley street, to the St. Thomas cemetery, with services at the house at 2:30 o'clock.  Rev. J. M. Laird of Knox church officated.

Source Newspaper:   London Free Press, London, Ontario, Canada
Monday, July 11, 1927
Date of Death:   Saturday, July 09, 1927
Page:   13

Proprietor of Port Stanley Casino Dies, Aged 70
In Business in St. Thomas For Over Forty Years

  ST. THOMAS, July 10 - The city lost one of its most prominent citizens in the person of James H. Hopkins, who died yesterday afternoon at his home, 55 Stanley street.
  Mr. Hopkins was born in St. Thomas, 70 years ago, and lived here all his life.   He entered the business of photography at the age of 14 years and owned a studio here for more than 40 years.  Latterly the deceased devoted all his attention to the Port Stanley Casino, which he built and which was allowed to remain open last night as one of his last requests.
  The deceased was a member of the I. O. O. F., the K. of P. and the A. O. U. W.   He was a member of Knox Presbyterian Church.
  He is survived by two sons, Harry, of Denver, Colo., and Chester, at home.   The funeral will be held on Monday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock from the family residence to the St. Thomas Cemetery.  Rev. R. M. Laird will officiate.

Source Newspaper:   St. Thomas Times Journal, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
Tuesday, July 12, 1927
Date of Death:   Saturday, July 09, 1927
Page:   03
Impressive Tribute Paid Memory of a Prominent Citizen at Funeral

  Citizens of St. Thomas in all walks of life gathered on Monday to pay their last tribute of respect to the late James H. Hopkins, proprietor of the Stanley Beach Casino Port Stanley, who passed away on Saturday.   Service was held at 2:30 o'clock at the family residence, 55 Stanley street, Rev. J. M. Laird, pastor of Knox Presbyterian church, city, and Rev. J. R. Bythell, rector of Christ church, Port Stanley, officiating.   Rathbone Lodge, No. 13, Knights of Pythias; the I.O.O.F, and the A. O. U. W. also took part.   The pallbearers were R. W. Johnson, K. W. McKay, F. M. Griffin, L. D. Marlatt, W. R. Jackson and James A. Bell.   Beautiful flora tributes included the following: Spray, Talbot Club; spray, Knox church choir; wreath, directors and officers of the Huron and Erie; wreath, Southern Loan directors; spray, Southern Loan staff; wreath, Knights of Pythias; wreath, Archibald Cunningham's orchestra, Port Stanley; wreath, employees of Casino; wreath, Prowne's Studio; spray, Pudney Brothers, London; spray, Purity Club; spray, Benevolent and Temperance Society.   The floral bearers were E. A. Smith, R. M. Anderson, James Carrie, H. T. Gough, G. W. Davey.   Interment was made in the family plot in the St. Thomas cemetery.   Relatives and friends were present from Denver, Colorado; Chatham and Port Stanley.

Source Newspaper:   London Free Press, London, Ontario, Canada
Tuesday, July 12, 1927
Date of Death:   Saturday, July 09, 1927
Page:   13

Many at Funeral of Owner of Port Stanley Casino and Former Photographer

  ST. THOMAS, July 11 - The funeral of James H. Hopkins, proprietor of the Stanley Beach Casino Port Stanley, and for more than 30 years a prominent photographer of St. Thomas, who died on Saturday, was attended by many friends of the late amusement promoter, and there were many floral tributes.  The funeral was conducted under the auspices of the Rathbone Lodge, No. 12, Knights of Pythias, the I. O. O. F. and the A. O. U. W.
  Rev. J. M. Laird, of Knox Presbyterian Church, of which the deceased had been a member, officiated at the services.  The Casino at Port Stanley was closed on Sunday and today until 5 p.m., although the sons had been requested by him prior to his death not to do so.
  The funeral took place from the residence, Stanley street, with services at the home at 2:30, to St. Thomas Cemetery.

Return to Brown Genealogy Home