James H. Hopler
Morris Co. Up


Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.

Senior member of the firm of HOPLER & Grimes, contractors and builders of Boonton, our subject was born in Morris county, November 18, 1839, and has spent his entire life within five miles of his present home. The HOPLER family is of Dutch origin, but was early founded in New Jersey. The grandfather of our subject, Conrad HOPLER, spent his entire life in Rockaway township, Morris county, where he followed the occupation of farming and was once steward of the poor farm of his county. He was twice married and his children were: William, Samuel, Mahlon and Chilion (twins), Peter, Frederick, Morris, and Charles, of Dover, who married Sarah VAN HORN.

Mahlon HOPLER, the father of our subject, was born in Rockaway Valley, Morris county, in 1813, and died in 1850. He was a shoemaker by trade and spent his entire life in Montville or its vicinity. He married Sarah Ann PEER, daughter of Cornelius PEER, and to them were born the following children: Delia, who was born in October, 1837, and married William E. DAVENPORT; James H.; Alfred B., who was born in January, 1841, and married Fannie VANDERHOFF; William B., who was born in February, 1844, and died in Troy, Kansas.

After the death of her husband Mrs. HOPLER married his half-brother, Peter HOPLER, and the children of that marriage were: Margaret, who was born in 1853 and married Andrew KINCAID, of Rockaway Valley; Frances, who was born in 1856, and is the wife of Thomas CUSICK, of Boonton; Martin, who was born in 1859 and is a farmer near Parsippany.

When James H. HOPLER had completed his education, acquired in the common schools, he began to learn the trade of carpentering, in 1856, under the tuition of William E. DAVENPORT, and has pursued that occupation in Boonton and vicinity for more than forty years. Many of the best buildings in this section of the county stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise and as evidences of his handiwork. These include the residences of Frank Bloxam, W. W. Riddle, John A. Wardell, Frank Husk, George Lyons, Jacob Vreeland, James Ringlieb, Mrs. Worman, Mrs. Martin, John Booth, William Brown, I. L. Lefferts, David Dawson and Jacob Van Ness, all in Boonton.

During the earlier years of his business career, the labors of Mr. HOPLER were interrupted by his service in the Union army. In September, 1861, he responded to the first call for three hundred thousand men, and enlisted in Battery B, commanded by John E. BEAM. Mustered in at Trenton the company then went by water from Alexandria, Virginia, to Fortress Monroe for operation in the Peninsular campaign, and participated in all the many engagements of that movement. When the campaign was ended the battery to which Mr. HOPLER belonged was ordered back to Alexandria and took part in the second battle of Bull Run. Remaining in Virginia until Lee's invasion of the north, the command then joined the vast army that opposed the Confederates at Gettysburg, and after the defeat of the rebels there followed the shattered army of northern Virginia into its own domains and aided in dealing the death blows to the Confederacy in the battles of the Wilderness, Chancellorsville, Cold Harbor and Spottsylvania Court House. The last engagement in which Mr. HOPLER participated was at Jerusalem Plank Road, after which, with his command, he was stationed at Petersburg until the term of his enlistment had expired and he was honorably discharged.

On the 6th of May, 1865, soon after his return home, Mr. HOPLER united in marriage to Miss Lucretia PIERSON, daughter of John M. and Lucretia (OCBOC) PIERSON. Her parents had a family of nine children, as follows: Sarah, widow of Jacob EMMONS, of Oxford, New Jersey; David John, a resident of Cleveland, Ohio; Mary A., widow of James VAN NESS, of Powerville; George Frederick, of Dover; Abraham, who died in Wisconsin; Phoebe Louisa, widow of Daniel PEER, of Taylortown, New Jersey; Susan E.; Nancy Amelia, who married Abraham VREELAND, of Boonton; and Mrs. HOPLER.

To our subject and his wife have been born six children, namely: Bertha, who was born December 25, 1865, and is the wife of Lewis G. GALLAGHER, by whom she has one son, Harvey L.; Flora L., who was born January 22, 1869, and is the wife of Thomas E. PEER; Etta E., who was born April 22, 1873, and is the widow of Lenworth C. PEER and the mother of two children, Charles L. and Florence L.; James M., who was born Match 4, 1877, and married to Roszella CARR; Amelia May, who was born November 20, 1882; and Edna Ruth, born September 14, 1887.

The HOPLER family in an early day were connected with the Dutch Reformed church, but James H. HOPLER and his family belong to the Methodist church. With the Federalist, then the Whig, and now the Republican party the representatives of the name have been connected, and Mr. HOPLER, of this review, is regarded as a stalwart advocate of the grand old party which was the nation's defense in her hour of peril when war threatened her destruction.

This biography was scanned and contributed by Catherine Smith DeMayo.


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