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Joseph Henry Hoopingarner has for twenty-five years been identified with the Methodist Conference in Kansas, though he has not spent all of that time in the active ministry. He is a large property owner and is now pastor of the leading church at Baxter Springs.
He comes of a very interesting family of pioneers in Southeastern Kansas. Rev. Mr. Hoopingarner himself was born in Crawford County, Kansas, April 3, 1871, only a few years after the real settlement of that region began. His ancestry goes back to Wuertemberg, Germany, where his great-grandfather Coonrad Hoopingarner was born. Coonrad and a brother came to America, and while the brother settled in Ohio, Coonrad located in Indians, near Terre Hante. John Hoopingarner, grandfather of Rev. Mr. Hoopingarner, was born in Indiana, spent his life as a farmer in that state, and died near Terre Haute.
James Patterson Hoopingarner was the pioneer in Southeastern Kansas. He was born near Terre Haute, Indiana, August 31, 1826, was reared and married in Illinois, and for a number of years was a pilot on the Mississippi River being a contemporary in that occupation with Mark Twain. It was in 1856 that he came to Kansas locating on the “Neutral Strip” in what is now Crawford County. He was one of the pioneers who settled there by arrangement with the Indiana owners, and his homestead comprised a quarter section of land. He remained there during the troubles which beset the settlers of the Neutral Strip, also through the war, and was an active farmer until 1903, when he retired and was living at Areadia when he died in June, 1909. During the war he was a member of the Kansas State Guard under Captain Coffman, and took the field when Price made his raids on Missouri and Kansas. He was an active democrat and a loyal supporter of the Christian Church.
While a pilot on the Mississippi River he was married at Piasa, on the Illinois side of that river, to Sarah Ellen Sherman. She was born at Piasa, Illinois, in November, 1837, and is still living in her eightieth year with home at Arcadia. She was the mother of seven children: Sarah Jane, who lives on her farm near Goodnight, Oklahoma, the widow of Michael Stufflebeam, who was a farmer; Mary Paulina, who died near Goodnight, Oklahoma, the wife of Seymour Marshall, a farmer in Oklahoma; James Louis a farmer near Oaks, Oklahoma; Eliza Ellen, wife of A. J. Sheffield, a retired farmer at Arcadia, Kansas; Ida Viola, wife of Thomas B. Basham, a retired farmer at Arcadia; Joseph Henry; and Nellie Irene, wife of Leonard West, a farmer near Tryon, Oklahoma.
Joseph Henry Hoopingarner spent his early life in Crawford County, attended the public schools there, and lived on his father’s farm until he was twenty-six years of age. The year 1891-92 he spent in Baker University, and in 1892 did his first work in the Methodist ministry. He preached one year at Stark, Kansas, and following that was again on the home farm for two years. He next took the three year course in the old Kansas Normal College at Fort Scott and followed that with another year on the farm. Mr. Hoopingarner was pastor at Scammon, Kansas, a year and at Gridley, Kansas, two years. Then came another period of three years spent on the farm. In 1903, removing to Kansas City, Missouri, Mr. Hoopingarner engaged in the life insurance business five years and for two years was a piano salesman. In 1910 he returned to Arcadia to settle up his father’s estate, and that having been satisfactorily completed he reentered the ministry in 1912. For two years he was stationed at LaCygne, Kansas, and in 1914 took charge of the Methodist Church at Baxter Springs.
Besides his share of the old homestead in Crawford County, Mr. Hoopingarner has 200 acres of land in Ottawa County, Oklahoma. He is a very progressive and loyal citizen and lends his support to every community enterprise. He is a member of the Baxton Springs Commercial Club, of the Fraternal Aid Union, is a democrat, and is affiliated with Arcadia Lodge No. 329, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and with Valley of Topeka Consistory No. 1 of the Scottish Rite bodies.
In 1904 at Kansas City, Missouri, Mr. Hoopingarner married Mrs. Effie D. (Werts) Kiser. She died at Kansas City in 1910, leaving one daughter, Jessie Marie, who was born June 22, 1905. In November, 1911, at Arcadia, Kansas, Mr. Hoopingarner married Miss Caroline May Wilkinson daughter of William and Rosa (Haynes) Wilkinson. Her mother is now deceased and her father a miner, lives at Coalvale, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Hoopingarner have one child, Rosemary Ellen, born August 8, 1916.