CARLETON ROPER HOPKINS was born December 1, 1892 in Brooklyn NY. His father died when was 4 years old. The family supported itself with rental income from a number of houses built in Brooklyn by his paternal grandfather, William Hopkins, who had emigrated from Surrey , England , in 1850, then a carpenter, but by the next census date, a “master builder.”  Carleton Hopkins's maternal grandfather, David Paton, was also an architect and builder. He came from Edinburgh , Scotland  in 1830 and built the North Carolina state capital building in Raleigh after building many buildings still extant in the New Town of Edinburgh. He later taught architecture and drawing in Brooklyn . David Paton was a graduate of the University of Edinburgh , was the son of a builder, and a grandson and great-grandson of Scottish masons. The woman he married was from North Carolina , daughter of another builder, in this case, of ships.

The 1900 Census shows Carleton Hopkins and his mother Esther and older brother Herbert living at 296 Pulaski Street in Brooklyn. Mrs. Hopkins had her own income from real estate, according to the census.  

Carleton Hopkins' mother Esther remarried around 1900. When the Census was taken in 1910, Carleton Hopkins and his older brother Herbert lived with their mother and step-father, Elisha M. Shute, at 361 Madison street in Brooklyn. Mr. Shute owned a roofing business. 

Carleton Hopkins was educated in New York and was teaching at P.S. 126 at Meserole Avenue and Guernsey Street in Brooklyn when he registered for the draft on June 5, 1917. He served as a sergeant with the United States Army Medical Corps during the war. Returning to Brooklyn after his time in the army, Carleton R. Hopkins worked as a clerk in a hardware store while furthering his education. After receiving a M.A. degree from New York University in 1921 he came to Camden NJ with his wife Gladys. The Hopkins family made its home at 2937 Carman Street for a time in the mid-1920s. By 1929 they had moved to Collingswood. Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins would remain in Collingswood until March of 1976. 

Carleton Hopkins was given the principal's job at the Alfred Cramer School in East Camden in 1921. When Cooper B. Hatch Junior High School in Parkside opened in 1924, Carleton Hopkins was principal. He remained in that position until 1933, when he was assigned to the principalship of Camden High School, succeeding Clara S. Burrough. Mr. Hopkins led Camden High until his retirement in 1956. 

Last a resident of New York City, Carleton Hopkins died in September of 1976. 

World War I Draft Card

Camden High School
1942 Purple & Gold Yearbook

Superintendent of Schools

Supervisor of Secondary Schools

of Camden High School

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World War II Draft Card

Camden Courier-Post - May 1944 

Camden High School
Purple & Gold Yearbook

Camden Courier-Post * September 1976

Carleton R. Hopkins dies at 83, long-time Camden educator

NEW YORK - Carleton R. Hopkins, retired principal of three Camden schools and educator in the city for 35 years, died Friday in his home here. He was 83.

A former Collingswood resident, Mr. Hopkins moved here in March.

Mr. Hopkins was principal of Camden Senior High School from 1933 until his retirement in 1956. Prior to that, he was principal of Hatch Junior High School from 1924 to 1933 and principal of Cramer School from 1921 until 1924.

Born in Brooklyn, he taught at two New York City schools before moving to Camden. He received an A.B. degree in 1916 from the City College of New York and an M.A. degree from New York University in 1921. He received his B.S. in education from Teachers College at Temple University.

Mr. Hopkins also attended Brooklyn Law School and served as an instructor at Drexel Institute and Temple University.

Active in many organizations, Mr. Active in many organizations, Mr. Hopkins was a member of the New Jersey State Teachers Association, the Camden Teachers Association and the National Education Association. He served on evaluation committees for the Middle Atlantic Association of Teachers and, after his retirement, evaluated schools in Puerto Rico.

Mr. Hopkins was a Key Member of Lions International, the Camden Lions Club, Delta Kappa Epsilon and the Trimble Lodge of the Camden Masons. He was also an elder of the Camden Westminster Presbyterian Church and the Collingswood Presbyterian Church on Fern Avenue where he taught men's Bible classes for more than 50 years. Mr. Hopkins was a trustee and secretary of the Camden Public Library and member of the Boys Work Center, the Camden YMCA, the University Glee Club of Philadelphia and the Haddonfield Chess Club.

A sergeant with the Army Medical Corps during World War I, he received the World War Medal from the U.S. Department of the Treasury for his work with the Liberty Loan and War Savings program. He was a member of the Thoirs Post of the American Legion, Camden.

Surviving are his wife, Gladys; two daughters, Jeanette Hopkins of New York City, and Mrs. James Gray of Proctor, Vt., and five grandchildren.

Memorial services will be Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Collingswood Presbyterian Church, Fern and Maple Avenues. Burial will be in Cyprus Hills Cemetery, Brooklyn. Contributions may be made to the Camden County Retired Educators Association.

Jeannette Hopkins writes about her father, Carleton Hopkins

My father’s goal was to give everyone, no matter what circumstance, the chance to fulfill their full potential.  One young African American from a background of poverty whom he insisted go to college became a top oncologist (cancer specialist) at the Harvard Medical School—unable to come to the memorial service in 1976 he sent a wonderful letter; among those who spoke was a woman alumna who was blind and several of his teachers.  He took as much interest in sports, especially football, and in the wonderful student operattas and other theatrics provided by the immensely talented Robert Haley (from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado to Broadway shows) as in academics. (He was a wonderful tenor soloist himself, sang occasionally to the Camden students, and sang in the Presbyterian Church choir in Collingswood , where Haley was the organist. For years, he sang with the Philadelphia Men’s Glee Club.  He also taught the men’s Bible class in Collingswood , a serious Scot Presbyterian.  

He was very active with various civic groups in Camden, in the Jewish community, in the black community, and many others…..

His wife, Gladys Hull Hopkins, a 1913 graduate of Vassar College, from which I also graduated (1944), was also active in Camden, early as a Girl Scout troop leader, then on the board of the Colored YWCA, as it was called—she was responsible for integrating the Camden YMCA swimming pool, where blacks had not been allowed to swim (during the first World War, when she was engaged to Carleton (then in the army) she taught English and history at two black colleges in the South sponsored by the Baptist Home Mission Society, first, at Benedict College in South Carolina, then, until the end of the war at Hampton Institute (now University) in Virginia. She taught the women’s Bible class at the Collingswood Presbyterian Church and was active in the regional Presbytery, attending social action legislative conferences in D.C.  She was also active in the Philadelphia Vassar Club work with an author who come to Portsmouth for that purpose on their manuscripts, after my long career in book publishing (after a shorter career as a newspaper reporter), and one of my authors, Norrece Jones, now a professor of history in Virginia Commonwealth University, told me that his aunt, I think it was, was a grammar school principal in Camden while my father was there and his mother, I think it was, was on the Camden high School faculty soon after my father retired. Small world.

I have a huge scrapbook about my father’s life.  The last yearbook before he retired was, I think, the one dedicated to him.  I have several yearbooks.  Let me know if there are any questions you would like to ask….. After he retired he worked in an administrative job at the Camden YMCA for several years (he retired a little early in order to be able to get Social Security for him and for his wife).  He did not publish any papers.  He had many hobbies all his life, in our years in Collingswood, other than European travel and travel to then Palestine , and work in the church (he was an Elder, first at Westminster Presbyterian in Camden , then at the church in Collingwood.. He was also  a top chess player and , I believe, a master in checkers, and played in many local tournaments and very active during his Camden years in the Camden Lions Club, where his nickname was Captain Nemo (after the fictional captain).

—Jeannette Hopkins
July 2008.