Lanier, Hankins, Hopkins & Taylor Families

arrow arrow arrow
(ca 1838-bef. 1863)
John Covey HOWARD
Mary F. "Polly" MORRIS
(ca 1830-bet. 1910/1920)
James Arton "Jim" HOPKINS
Lucinda "Cindy" HOWARD
Howard Doctor "Doc" HOPKINS


Family Links



  • Howard Doctor "Dockie" HOPKINS Jr.+

Howard Doctor "Doc" HOPKINS 2,164
  • Born: 26 January 1900, Wallins Creek, Harlan County, Kentucky 2,770,771
  • Marriage: Mary LOCKE in 1933 766
  • Died: 3 January 1988, Evanston, Cook County, Illinois at age 87 770,772
  • Buried: Calvary Cemetery (301 Chicago Road), Evanston, Cook County, Illinois 771,772

  More Information:

Name Variations: Sources vary on Doc's full name. Some sources list it as Doctor Howard Hopkins and others as Howard Doctor Hopkins. Emma Hopkins listed his name as Howard D and the Social Security Death Index also lists him as Howard D. This indicates that his Social Security account was under that name so that is the way it is listed here.

It is said that he was named Doctor because he was the 7th son and they were supposed to have healing powers.

1900 United States Federal Census, James Hopkins household, Harlan County, Kentucky 164: Doc was living with his parents. He was listed as Dock Hopkins (son, age 6, born Apr 1894).


Photo: Hopkins Family, May 1909, Brodhead, Rockcastle County, Kentucky.

1910 United States Federal Census, James A. Hopkins household, Rockcastle County, Kentucky 170: Doc was living with his parents. He was listed as Doctor Hopkins (son, age 10).

1920 United States Federal Census, James A. Hopkins household, Rockcastle County, Kentucky 1083: Doc was living with his parents. He was listed as Dock H. Hopkins, son, age 19, born in Kentucky.

World War I Military Service: Doc served in the US Army during the war and later served in the US Navy. 772

Occupation: Doc worked as a Musician, Barber & Machinist. 140,772 Doc was a musician and also a machinist and a barber. He is listed in the "The Encyclopedia of Country Music", compiled by the staff of the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. According to that book, Howard "Doc" Hopkins was a smooth-voiced balladeer with a storehouse of traditional material. He played guitar, banjo and mandolin. He began performing professionally in 1929 when he formed the Krazy Kats in Mount Vernon along with Karl Davis and Hartford Taylor [brother-in-law of Doc's brother, Elmer]. After a year on WHAS radio in Louisville, Kentucky, the band moved to Chicago to become the core of the Cumberland Ridge Runners on WLS's National Barn Dance. Doc left to pursue a solo career and made his first record for Paramount in December, 1931. By 1935 he was featured on WJJD's Suppertime Frolic. He recorded for American Record Corp. in 1936 and for Decca in 1941. In 1942 he returned to WLS where he had a morning wake-up show in addition to regular National Barn Dance appearances. He retired from show business in 1949 and worked as a machinist in Chicago and Los Angeles.


Photo: Hopkins Family, 1932, Warren County, Ohio.

Obituary: Three obituaries published in unknown newspapers in January 1988 in Illinois. 772 DOCTOR HOWARD HOPKINS, COUNTRY AND FOLK SINGER
Doctor Howard Hopkins, a renowned country and folk music singer and composer whose work influenced others in the business, died Sunday at St. Francis Hospital, Evanston.

Mr. Hopkins, whose first name was inspired by a biblical adage that seventh sons have healing powers, would have been 87 this month.

Born in Harlan County, Ky., Mr. Hopkins had a heavy influence on other singers who became well-known, such as Burl Ives and Pete Seeger. Among his most famous songs are "Coal Creek March", "The Free Little Bird" and "Fatal Derby Day". He played the banjo, guitar and steel guitar and taught banjo to the late Chicago performer and teacher, Fleming Brown.

Mr. Hopkins was a longtime performer on two Chicago radio stations, appearing regularly on WlS's National Barn Dance program and WJJD's Suppertime Frolic program from the 1930's to 1950's.

Mr. Hopkins was a World War I Army veteran. He also served several years in the Navy after the war. He worked at various times as a barber and as a machinist for North American Aviation in California.

Survivors include his wife, Mary and two grandchildren.

Funeral services are pending. Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. today at Birren & Sons Funeral Home, 6125 N. Clark.

Howard "Doc" Hopkins, 87, National Barn Dance performer
Services were held for Howard "Doc" Hopkins, 87, a fold and country music singer who formerly performed on the National Barn Dance and Supper Time Frolic radion programs in Chicago.

Mr. Hopkins, a North Side resident, died Jan. 3 in St. Francis Hospital, Evanston.

From the 1930s to the early 1950s, he sang and played the steel guitar and the banjo on the WLS National Barn Dance and WJJD's Supper Time Frolic country music programs.

Mr. Hopkins, who was born in Harlan County in Kentucky, was known for such songs as "Coal Creek March", "Free Little Bird" and "Fatal Derby Day'.

His wife, Mary, said he was an early influence on other entertainers, including Burl Ives and Pete Seeger.

Mr. Hopkins was an Army veteran of World War I and spend several years in the Navy after the war.

When not entertaining, he worked as a barber and a machinist. He spend about 50 years in Chicago.

Besides his wife, he is survived by two granddaughters; a sister; and a brother.

Howard "Doc" Hopkins Sr., beloved husband of Mary; loving father of the late Howard Jr.; dear grandfather of Mary Bea and Ann; also brother of Lu and Bery Hopkins. Service and interment Thursday 10 a.m. at Calvary Cemetery, 301 Chicago Ave., Evanston. Visitation Wednesday, 6 to 9 p.m. at Birren & Son Funeral Home, 6125 N. Clark St.

Obituary: Published in the Mt. Vernon Signal in January 1988 in Mount Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky. 766 Last of Ridgerunners dies
by: Ray McClure
Doc Hopkins, the last member of the Cumberland Ridgerunners, a popular country music trio of the 1930's with a Rockcastle connection, died Dec. 29, 1987 [correction: date, actual date of death was 3 Jan 1988] in Chicago. He was 87.

The Cumberland Ridgerunners, which also included Hartford Taylor and Karl Davis of Mt. Vernon, were popular radio country music personalities for many years on WLS in Chicago, and for a time were managed by John Lair. However, their only appearances at Renfro Valley were as special guests.

The trio was three of the students at Redbud School in Renfro Valley, as was John Lair [correction: Hartford didn't attend Redbud school]. Their teacher was W. A. B. Davis for which the community of Wabd is named.

Although Davis and Taylor were natives of Mt. Vernon, Hopkins was not He was born Jan. 26, 1900 in Harlan County, the son of James and Cindy Hopkins.

Doctor Howard Hopkins, his full name, was the seventh son, hence the name Doctor, for according to mountain tradition a seventh son is supposed to have healing powers.

When Hopkins was a small boy, the family moved from Harlan to near Mt. Vernon where he grew up, as he often said, just like any other country boy.

At an early age he was considered the best guitar player in the county and entertained as community gatherings with his guitar playing and singing. In fact, the boys' parents usually knew where to find them, in Davis' barn or at Taylor's blacksmith shop picking away on the mandolin played by Davis and the other guitar by Taylor.

Before he was 21, Hopkins had seen service in the Army and Marine Corps and served with the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in France during World War I.

When Hopkins returned home from the war he became a barber working with Cecil Purcell. He and the three boys then organized a string band known as the Krazy Kats and became popular in Central and Eastern Kentucky. Soon they were playing frequently over radio station WHAS in Louisville. In 1930, through the influence of entertainer Bradley Kincaid and John Lair, the boys joined WLS in Chicago where Hopkins remained for 32 years.

In 1933, Hopkins married Mary Locke of Kansas City, Mo., who survives as does two granddaughters. A son, Dockie Jr., preceded him in death. Relations in this area include nephews Wade, John, Burl and Kenneth Hopkins, and nieces, Irene Hopkins and Faye McCauley. Services and burial were in Chicago.

One of the other Ridgerunners, Karl Davis, died in 1979. He was a graduate of Mt. Vernon High School in 1928 and attended Centre College where he was remembered as a good basketball and baseball player.

Taylor died about four years ago. For those who remember, he was the son of a blacksmith and graduated from Mt. Vernon High School in 1923. After graduation, he worked in the town drugstore, post office and in one of the banks.

Taylor also had an unusual full name, Hartford Connecticut Taylor. Reportedly, when he was born, one of several children, his father was undecided about a name. He noticed a calendar on the wall advertising an insurance company, therefore, Taylor got Hartford Connecticut as his first two names. [Correction: Hartford's middle name was Conn, not Connecticut because the state name was abbreviated on the calendar.]

View Obituary

Grave Marker: Howard Doc Hopkins, Calvary Cemetery (301 Chicago Road), Evanston, Cook County, Illinois. 771 View photo of marker at Find A Grave.


Doc married Mary LOCKE in 1933.766 (Mary LOCKE was born on 6 March 1899,767 died on 13 March 1999 767 and was buried in Calvary Cemetery (301 Chicago Road), Evanston, Cook County, Illinois 768,769.)


Children: Doc & Mary had one son.


Photo: Dockie, Mary & Doc.

Home | Table of Contents | Surnames | Name List

This Web Site was Created 18 September 2012 with Legacy 7.5 from Millennia and modified by LTools