The thinking man recognizes the fact that character and ability will come to the front anywhere and especially in professional life are the honors and emoluments won only through individual effort and talent. A most creditable position has been reached by Dr. Milton J. Hopkins, physician and surgeon of St. Louis, who was born in Blissfield, Michigan, November 29, 1859, his parents being Samuel and Susannah (Loar) Hopkins. The father, a native of West Virginia, was descended from an old Massachusetts family, the ancestral line being traced back directly to Rev. Samuel Hopkins, who was the great-grandfather of Dr. Hopkins of this review and who was a prominent Calvinist. The record indicates that for two hundred years the family has numbered among its representatives members of the ministry. Samuel Hopkins, father of Dr. Hopkins, became a farmer and carpenter and resided in Michigan to the time of his death, which occurred in 1902 when he was eighty-four years of age, for he was born in the year 1818. His wife was a native of Maryland and she, too, was descended from one of the old families of Massachusetts of English descent. Her mother was among the very first white children born west of the Alleghany mountains. Both the father and mother of Dr. Hopkins were descended from Revolutionary war ancestors. Mrs. Hopkins, who was born April 22, 1819, died in 1908, at the age of eighty-nine years. She was the mother of eleven children, four sons and seven daughters, all of whom reached adult age.
Dr. Hopkins of this review, who was the youngest in the family, pursued a public school education and also attended college at Blissfield, Michigan, and afterward pursued a literary and business course in Valparaiso University of Valparaiso, Indiana, completing his course there in 1884. He afterward became a student in the Missouri Medical College and won his professional degree in 1896, being graduated with honors. His education, however, was not continuous, for there was a period in which he worked along various lines before qualifying for a professional career. He was reared upon a farm to the age of nineteen years and then went to Bear Lake, Michigan, where he engaged in clerking in a general store from 1879 until 1881. He afterward served for three months as a brakeman and for one year as conductor and later as superintendent of the Bear Lake & Eastern Railroad, being thus engaged from 1882 until 1887, the road being owned by his brother. In the latter year Dr. Hopkins went south and assisted in railroad survey work and in mining industries until 1892, when he determined upon the practice of medicine as a life work and became a student in the Missouri Medical College.
After his graduation he took up the active practice of his profession in St. Louis. He attended clinics for two years in the City Hospital and also was connected as an interne with the St. John’s and Missouri medical clinics for four years. He then entered upon private practice, in which he has continuously engaged and his ability in this connection has been widely recognized. He has also lectured on gynecology in the Physicians and Surgeons College for a period of five years and he was lecturer and a member of the staff of the Baptist Hospital for a period of ten years. He has taken post-graduate work on nervous diseases in leading colleges of the country and has pursued special studies on various branches of medicine, particularly on gynecology and diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat. He belongs to the St. Louis Medical. Society, the Missouri State Medical Association and the American Medical Association and also to the Tri State Medical Society. He is a member of the alumni association of Washington University and is well known as a contributor to leading medical journals. Aside from his professional interests he conducts a large cattle ranch in central Florida, situated in Brevard county, where he has over two thousand head of cattle.
On the 22d of October, 1896, Dr. Hopkins was married in St. Louis to Miss Lina Vogeler, a native of this city and a daughter of Julius and Lina (Fuchs) Vogeler, both representatives of old St. Louis families. Her father is now deceased but her mother is still living. Dr. and Mrs. Hopkins have become parents of four children, two of whom have passed away, the living being Alma J. (now Mrs. C. Byrne) and Milton J., Jr. The parents are members of the Baptist church and Dr. Hopkins was very active in the Red Cross work during the World war and also in the sale of Liberty bonds. He likewise volunteered for active service but due to age was assigned to work in this country and was not called for service overseas. He finds his diversion largely in motoring and has made automobile tours through the west, the southeast and the southwest.
In a review of his life it will be found that his education was acquired through his own efforts, his labor supplying the funds for his tuition, and that from this initial step in his career he has worked his way steadily upward until for many years he has occupied a position of prominence in connection with the medical profession of St. Louis.