Byron J. Hopkins
Byron J. Hopkins, who has sailed as marine engineer out of Holland, Mich., for a number of years, is endowed with many of the good qualities so necessary in one of his calling. He was born November 25, 1864, son of James and Delia (Curley) Hopkins; the father was a well known lake master and pilot; he sailed the scow Three Bells, the schooners Evaline, A. P. Dutton, and many others. The men of the mother's family were also sailors of repute. Byron J. Hopkins acquired his education in the public schools of Racine, Wis., to which city his parents removed, later returning to Holland, out of which port he began his lakefaring life. In the spring of 1880, he shipped as fireman in the steamer A. H. Morrison, owned by Mr. Preston, of St. Joseph, Mich., and followed with a season in the tug Charlesworth in the same capacity. In 1882 he fired the steamer A. R. Colburn, continuing on her the following season, and in 1884 he shipped on the steamer C.W. Moore, also as fireman. In the spring of 1885, Mr. Hopkins took out his license and was appointed first assistant on the steamer J. C. Suit, of Saugatuck, the following season filling a like berth on the new steamer H. A. Root. In the spring of 1887 he joined the steamer T. D. Stimson, as second engineer, and the next year served as second in the new steamers Pilgrim and Charles McVea, respectively. In the spring of 1889 Mr. Hopkins was appointed chief engineer of the passenger steamer A. B. Taylor, which plied between Hancock and Isle Royal and was later under charter to an exploring party of English capitalists, who were prospecting for copper ore. In 1890 he was made assistant engineer on the steamer E. E. Thompson, and the next season on the Isabella J. Boyce; in the spring of 1892 becoming first assistant on the steamer A. R. Colburn. In 1893 he was appointed first assistant on the passenger steamer Soo City, the next year receiving promotion to the berth of chief engineer, which he has held for five successive seasons, giving good satisfaction to all concerned.
Mr. Hopkins and Miss Edith Hollister were united in marriage on June 25, 1891, and two sons, Arthur James and Claude Russell, have been born to this union. The family home is in Holland. Mrs. Hopkins is a daughter of Fayette and Caroline (Kennedy) Hollister, of South Haven, Mich. Fraternally, Mr. Hopkins belongs to the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association No. 67; the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is very fond of a good horse and always keeps one for the use of his family and for his own enjoyment during the winter months.
Return to Home Port
This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.