Thursday, October 13, 2011

Exploring The Past

I was reading the newspaper the other day and saw an older house for sale. The paper had done an article about it and said that one of the owners of the house had been friends of my dad. Soooo, I had to research it.

The house is at 1830 Wood Ave (it is beautiful and selling for 1.1 million) The article said Berne & Portia Hopkins were friends of my dad, they might have been but Portia never lived in that house. This is what I found out:

Berne Hopkins was married to Isabel in 1908, they had one son by the name of Winchester. Berne made his millions in oil but started out in the railroad. They bought the house on Wood Ave in 1915.

By 1923 Isabel has filed for a separation, which she  got $600,000. That was a LOT of money back then. The gazette paper printed that Berne married Portia in 1924, there are even pictures. Butttt, Berne & Portia's marriage certificate says they were married April 16, 1927 in St. Louis, Missouri.

See, that's what I like about our newspaper, they can predict the future and even include pictures, lol.

The house on Wood Ave was sold in 1923 to William Ehlers. Isabel disappers from the pages of history. Berne, in 1923, has bought a farm in Iowa, the name of it is Ben Marks Farm. He has announced that he will be living there.

By 1925, Berne and Portia are living in St. Louis. Berne owns, what is called, Family Hotels on Armour Blvd., its what we call an apartment complex now. It has become part of the historic district in St. Louis but is not called Family Hotels, its called Pre World War ll apartments.

The last I find of Berne is from the gazette paper in 1956, saying he has passed away. I do not know what became of Portia.

The house by the way, was sold to Don Alexander in 1938. He is another colorful person in Colorado Springs history but that is another story.


Lydia said...

Absolutely fascinating! Great research, too. If you have not already done so I think you should consider going on and adding your information to those folks' names (they will probably pop up in the search box).

I love reading this kind of history. (And, yes, $600,000 was a lot then, still is today. :)

Looking to the Stars said...

Lydia, thanks! I found it fascinating also. Thanks for the suggestion, I did go to, Winchester's family has the same info that I had found.

And you are right $600,000 is a lot today even :)

Unknown said...

Berne and Portia lived on farm in Council Bluffs, Ia and stating they were husband and wife in 1923. The farm they owned was quite a large (and famous operation). The house was a 3 story log mansion that still stands today. I have numerous photos of the log house and can also send you links to more. If you would like any further info, please contact me at

Looking to the Stars said...

Unknown, thanks for the info :)