Early Settlers of Union
Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Jefferson Hooper and Some of His Descendants
(Great Grandson of Absalom Hooper, Sr., Revolutionary War Soldier
part 4 - Hooper Family)
Just about now I am seeing that
all the descendants of Absalom Hooper, Sr. (c 1764-1845), Revolutionary
soldier, and write even the barest sketch of them, would fill a
book. We’ve focused on Absalom, Sr. and
two of his sons, Absalom, Jr. and Andrew, who were in Union County, Georgia
by the 1840 census. Today’s focus will
be on a great grandson of the Revolutionary War soldier who had a
name, Thomas Jefferson Hooper, named for that inimitable and
president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, president
1801-1809). Descendants of Thomas
Jefferson Hooper are still living within the area of Union
and Towns counties today, and true to their forebears’ example, they
to be productive citizens.
Thomas Jefferson Hooper was born November 1, 1845 in Jackson
County, North Carolina. He would live
until October 8,
and be buried between his two wives in the Old Burch
Cemetery in Towns County.
He is listed as four years of age in the 1850 census of Union County, Georgia,
not having reached his fifth birthday when the census taker visited the
his parents to enumerate the household.
His father was Benjamin Chastain Hooper (1812-1862) and his
Elizabeth Cathey Hooper (1815-1888). You
might like to refer to the Cathey family articles written previously to
Going back another generation, Benjamin Chastain Hooper’s parents were
and Mary Emaline Chastain Hooper, his mother a descendant of the noted
settler, Pierre Chastain, ancestor of many who proudly claim this
connection. James, father of
Chastain Hooper, was the first son of famed Absalom Hooper, Sr.,
When Thomas Jefferson Hooper went
a-courting as a young man, he gained enough courage to go to the home
Rev. Elijah Kimsey, a noted early preacher in the mountain area whose
Sarah Bryson Kimsey. Thomas Jefferson
had caught the eye and favor of their daughter.
Thomas Jefferson Hooper wed Araminta Caroline Kimsey (1846-1874)
Christmas Eve, 1865 when the Civil War was still a raw memory in the
To Thomas Jefferson and Araminta
Kimsey Hooper were born five children:
(1) William (1866) who married Emma Stuart Coffey; (2) Violet
(1869-1929) who married Warne Ketron Hedden (son of the Rev. Elisha
Juanita Caroline Butt Hedden); (3) Georgia Ann (1871-1921) who married
Sylvester M. Ledford; (4) Ollie Araminta “Minnie” (1872-1946) who
Henry Puett; and (5) Mary Caroline known as “Callie” (1874) who married
Davis. Araminta died September 6, 1874, possibly
complications from childbirth when Callie was born.
Thomas Jefferson Hooper was thus left with
five small children.
He found himself another good wife,
the second being Sarah Elizabeth Clementine Ellis (1852-1939), daughter
C. and Elizabeth Ellis, whom he married August 22, 1876.
addition to helping Thomas Jefferson rear the first five children,
Sarah and he
had five children, making him ten altogether:
(1) James Lafayette (1881-1954) who married Eva Elinora Barrett;
Martha Elizabeth (1884-1937) who married Walter E. Warren; (3) Noah
(1887-1942) who married Julia Kelley; (4) Maggie (1890-1961) who
Charles Colwell; and (5) Richard (1895) who married Ezra Willa Mae
Thomas Jefferson Hooper moved his
family into the town of Hiawassee,
Georgia. There he established the Hooper
Hotel, a stately and Victorian-designed landmark that received guests
served notable food for several years.
In the town he also helped to establish the Bank of Hiawassee
and set up
and outfitted a mercantile store. He was
elected to and served in the Georgia Legislature from Towns County
in 1911-1912. Mr. Hooper was also a
trustee of the Hiawassee
mountain boarding school founded by Dr. George W. Truett and Dr.
Coello McConnell, cousins, and noted Baptist ministers.
Focusing now on the first son of Thomas
Jefferson Hooper and Sarah Ellis Hooper, James LaFayette Hooper (Sr.),
born March 1, 1881
(died April 8, 1954),
he attended Hiawassee
graduating in 1902. He went to the Atlanta
College of Pharmacy
and became a licensed pharmacist, working first in Cornelia, Georgia,
and then opening Hooper’s Drug Store in 1911 in Buford, Georgia. He married the love of his life, Eva Elinora
Barrett, daughter of Forrest C. and Mary Holcomb Barrett of Nacoochee Valley, Georgia
on May 2, 1909. The couple returned to Hiawassee in 1914 and
opened the Hooper’s Drug Store there. It
proved to be one of the most continuously-operated businesses in the
the founder’s son, James LaFayette Hooper, Jr. (1914-1982) who
the Southern School of Pharmacy in 1937, succeeding his father as owner
pharmacist. Later a grandson,
Representative Ralph Twiggs, Jr. owned and operated the store,
purchaser Charles Nicholson.
James LaFayette Hooper, Sr. and Eva
Barrett Hooper had four children: (1)
Faye who married Ralph J. Twiggs, Sr.; (2) James LaFayette, Jr. who
Mary Richardson; (3) Gussie who married J. Walter Moore; and (4) Sarah
married Dr. John H. Carswell.
The legacy of serving the community
has continued in the Hooper descendants.
We have only to trace the
Absalom Hooper, Sr. through many generations to see that various
North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and other states have
from the genuine hardiness, community spirit, work ethic, public
church and educational support from those who hark back to the stalwart
man (Absalom, Sr.) who served his country well beginning in 1776 in our
Independence. As we observe Veterans Day
on November 11, we have opportunity to reflect on this heritage and
those who have stood faithfully in the gap to win and preserve freedom
then until now and into the future.
Jones; published Nov. 11, 2010 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville,
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Jones is a retired educator,
freelance writer, poet, and historian. She may be reached at
phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA
Updated November 11, 2010
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