As many of you know, I have an aversion to collecting genealogical data about Hoppes, etc. family members past 1900. Many individuals are sensitive about birth dates, divorces, court actions, and other personal data involving their families and those of their parents. Consequently, I have relatively little 20th Century data about individuals named Hoppes or its alternate spellings except for my own line. Yet, I have watched with amazement and admiration as a number of family members have gained a national and, on occasion, an international reputation for excellence in their specialties. Such individuals not only deserve recognition for their personal achievements but also bring honor to the Hoppes surname.
This essay provides biographical information about the five individuals I consider most worthy of being included in a 20th Century Hoppes, etc. Hall of Fame. In making these selections, I have tried to apply the following criteria:
a.) The individual should have made important contributions on a national scale and be well known outside his/her state or local area.
b.) Authors of books about the Hoppes, etc. family are not eligible on that basis alone because their publications appeal to a very limited audience.
c.) The individual must be proud of his/her Hoppes, etc. surname and have actively promoted its recognition.
The first of these criteria is difficult to achieve and greatly reduces the number of prime candidates. Many individuals named Hoppes, etc. have had distinguished careers in medicine, education, military affairs, and business during the 20th Century but are much better known at the state and local levels than nationally. Brigadier General Ronald A. Hoppes, for example, served for over 35 years as an artillery officer in the Army Reserve National Guard, but primarily in the State of Missouri. Similarly, Ed Hoppes founded and managed a company that built thousands of homes, but principally in the Springfield, OH area. On a personal note, I was selected as Marylands High Technology Executive of the Year for 1998, but my accomplishments in business were virtually unknown outside the State of Maryland.
The second of the criteria listed above appears appropriate because books about the Hoppes, etc. family, although sold nationally and internationally, have a very limited readership. I know that only a hundred or so people have a copy of Lester Hoppes book, for example, and less than a thousand own copies of Ed Hoppes book or my book. Actually, because it was reprinted in paperback, quite a few copies of the Zehner-Hoppes book are in print, but Minnie (Hoppes) Shankweilers contributions are relatively modest compared with those of the author, Priscilla Carpenter.
The third criterion simply requires that the candidates must have advertised, emphasized, or promoted their family name.
Given these criteria, my selections for a Hoppes, etc. Hall of Fame are revealed in the following biographical sketches: