Townsend W. Hoopes I

Townsend Hoopes and his first wife, Mayme, with their children in a gazebo on their Hunter’s Park estate. (Image: Duluth Public Library.)

Pennsylvania native Townsend Hoopes spent his early adulthood trying his hand at farming. He settled in Duluth in 1882, when he was twenty-five years old, and established himself as a real estate developer and business pioneer. Working with the Duluth Street Railway, Hoopes helped plan and construct Duluth’s first street car line, a narrow-gauge line which eventually ran from Twenty-First Avenue West to Sixth Avenue East along Superior Street. The streetcar was drawn by a single horse. Hoopes would oversee the construction of the Fourth Street Line on behalf of the Motor Line Improvement Company in 1909. (The photo shows Hoopes with his first wife Mayme and their two daughters in the gazebo at their Hunter’s Park home.)

He and Mendenhall then established a real estate and insurance company eventually named Hoopes-Kohagan Company, from which he retired in 1923. Hoopes belonged to the Duluth Boat Club, the Kitchi Gammi Club, and the Northland Country Club, which he helped organize.

He also invested in several early Duluth businesses, including the Spalding Hotel, the Duluth Dry Goods Company, the Duluth Shoe Company, and Sagar Drug (which became Northern Drug).

He married three times and was widowed twice. He wed his first wife Mayme Harvey in 1885, and this home was intended for their family. Mayme, however, died in 1910 after a long illness. Three years later Hoopes married Abbie Goodale Smith in 1913, who died unexpectedly in 1920 while the couple was in San Diego. Some time after Abbie’s death he wed Grace Howard, who outlived Townsend. Townsend passed away in 1937,  and the house was demolished in 1938. Grace followed him ten years later. (Townsend’s son was also named Townsend.)

From Lost Duluth: Landmarks, Industries, Buildings, Homes, and the Neighborhoods in Which They Stood, copyright © 2011, Zenith City Press, Duluth, Minnesota


Townsend W. Hoopes is a prominent real estate dealer of Duluth and is a native of Pennsylvania. He was born in that state on October 30, 1857, and is the son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Walter) Hoopes, who lived the greater part of their lives in Philadelphia, Pa.

Mr. Hoopes attended the common schools and the Westtown Boarding School in Pennsylvania, where he obtained a substantial foundation for the active business life he has since enjoyed.

He came to Duluth, Minn., in the year 1881, and for some time was engaged in the street railway business, but since 1888 he has been identified with the real estate and insurance business and is now junior member of the firm of Mendenhall & Hoopes.

This partnership was formed some twenty-one years ago and has since carried on a large share of the real estate and insurance business of Duluth.

In politics Mr. Hoopes is a firm supporter of the principles of the Republican party and is a man who stands well in the community, having the confidence and respect of all with whom he deals, and is considered a most worthy citizen.

Mr. Hoopes is a lover of social entertainment and is a member of the Society of Friends, the Kitchi Gammi Club, the Commercial Club and the Northland Country Club. He is also a member of the Duluth Boat Club.


  • Dierckins, Tony and Maryanne C. Norton. Lost Duluth: Landmarks, Industries, Buildings, Homes, and the Neighborhoods in Which They Stood. Zenith City Press, Duluth, Minnesota: 2012.
  • Woodbridge, Dwight and John Pardee, eds. History of Duluth and St. Louis County Past and Present Vols. 1 – 2. C. F. Cooper & Company, Chicago: 1922.
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