Thomas R. Hopkins. Modern business requires practical and thorough training in the same degree as the professions and sciences. In Champaign County there is no institution which affords a better curriculum and practical business education than the commercial college formerly known as Brown’s Business College and now owned and administered by Mr. Thomas R. Hopkins, himself a thorough educator of long experience and a man who has trained hundreds of young men and women and given them a thorough preparation for entrance into business affairs.
Mr. Hopkins was born in Peoria County, Illinois, January 24, 1877, a son of Griffith G. and Anna (Collier) Hopkins. His father was of Welsh descent and a native of Ohio, and the mother was born in England. Griffith Hopkins came out to Peoria County, Illinois, many years ago and was first engaged in mining and subsequently in farming. He finally retired and died at Peoria. The children were six in number: Grace, who died in infancy; Jesse G., of Jerseyville, Illinois; Lucile E., wife of Frank C. Keach, of Los Angeles, California; Thomas E.; Chauncey J., deceased; and Maurice E., of Chicago.
Thomas R. Hopkins had a public school education in Knox County, Illinois, and for two years was a student in the Independent Normal at Dixon. For another year he pursued his studies in Knox College at Galesburg, and then became associated with Brown’s Business College at Peoria as an instructor with Mr. Brown. On leaving that institution he spent a year as a teacher in Trenton, New Jersey. Locating here in Jacksonville, Illinois, he was employed as principal in Brown’s Business College, and then spent two years in St. Louis in the same capacity. In 1907 he came to Champaign, where he bought Brown’s Business College. He has maintained the school on a higher plane of efficiency than ever before and has surrounded himself with competent and expert instructors in the various lines.
Mr. Hopkins was married October 29, 1908, to Miss Mary West, a native of Knox County, Illinois. Their three children are Thomas Roscoe, Viola Helen and Anna Ruth. Mr. Hopkins is a Democrat in politics. He is a Royal Arch Chapter Mason, and is a member of the Board of Stewards of the Methodist Episcopal Church.