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H. J. Hopkins & Co.

H. J. HOPKINS & CO., general merchants, Tionesta. Among the leading business houses of Western Pennsylvania, none is more deserving of mention than the above-named firm. The present partnership consists of H. J. Hopkins, L. J. Hopkins, and F. R. Lanson, who succeeded to the business of Holeman & Hopkins in 1883. Each member of this firm assumes certain responsibilities, as follows: H. J. Hopkins looks after the financial interests of the business; L. J. Hopkins has charge of the dry goods, clothing and boot and shoe departments, while F. R. Lanson keeps the books, and assumes charge of the grocery and hardware business. By careful management they have built up a large and extensive trade, merited only by strict attention to and study of the wants of the people and by honorable dealing.

H. J. Hopkins, the senior member of the firm, was horn in October, 1848, a son of R. J. and Margaret Hopkins, former of whom is deceased, latter being at present time a resident of Pleasantville, Venango Co., Penn. He started out early in life, working on the farm in summer, and in the lumber woods in winter. When but little over fifteen years of age he enlisted in the Civil war, after his return from which he engaged in various kinds of employment, as well as helping on the farm. In 1868 he left the farm for the oil country, locating in Pleasantville, where he entered the grocery store of D. W. Henderson, as clerk, in which capacity he served for three years; then, after taking a course of instruction in Duff's Commercial College, he went on the road as traveling salesman for a Pittsburgh house, continuing in the same two years. Returning to Pleasantville in 1873, he married Annie Holeman, daughter of A. Holeman, Esq., of that place, and the same year embarked in the clothing business with Mr. Holeman, under the firm name of Holeman & Hopkins. By adding different departments to their business from time to time, and by exercising judicious management, they soon built up a large and successful trade, and in 1881 they erected the iron structure now occupied by H. J. Hopkins & Co., in Tionesta, which they conducted as a branch store until 1883, when the firm dissolved, Mr. Holeman retiring from business, H. J. Hopkins buying Mr. Holeman's interest in the building at Tionesta, and finally succeeding the firm of Holeman & Hopkins at Pleasantville, where he is still carrying on the business. He is also largely interested in the oil-producing industry in Venango, Warren and McKean counties, as well as in the manufacturing of lumber, being president of the Colwell Creek Lumber Company.

L. J. Hopkins, brother of H. J. Hopkins, was born in 1855. Moving to Kansas City, Mo., in 1878, he filled the position of salesman in a wholesale grocery house until 1880, when he returned to Pennsylvania, in order to enter the employ of Holeman & Hopkins, with whom he remained until the firm dissolved in 1883, he and Mr. Lanson then securing Mr. Holeman's interest in the business of Holeman & Hopkins, in Tionesta. L. J. Hopkins was married in September, 1885, to Miss Marie Jackson, of Tionesta, daughter of T. C. Jackson (deceased). In addition to his mercantile business, Mr. Hopkins is interested in the oil-producing industry in Venango county.

F. R. Lanson was born April 14, 1855, in Busti, Chautauqua Co., N. Y., and is a son of John and Anna Lanson, natives of Sweden, who came to this country in 1847. He began life as a clerk in the general store of C. T. Bordwell, of Bear Lake, Penn., and in 1878 entered the employ of Holeman & Hopkins, Pleasantville, in the same capacity, remaining with them until 1883, when they dissolved partnership, and the present firm was organized at Tionesta. Mr. Lanson was married April 12, 1883, to Miss Alice, daughter of Hon. J. A. Proper, of Tionesta. In addition to his mercantile business Mr. Lanson is interested in the oil-producing industry in Venango county.

Source: Page(s) 933-934, Chapter 15 Biographical Sketches - Tionesta Township and Borough of Tionesta
Hickory and Harmony Townships
History of Counties of McKean, Elk and Forest, Pennsylvania.
Chicago, J.H. Beers & Co., 1890.
Transcribed November 2005 by Nathan Zipfel for the Forest County Genealogy Project
Published 2005 by the Forest County Pennsylvania Genealogy Project

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