William Hopkins from the Encyclopedia of Cleveland
HOPKINS, WILLIAM ROWLAND (26 July 1869-9 Feb. 1961), lawyer, industrial developer, and Cleveland’s first city manager, was born in Johnstown, Pa., to David J. and Mary Jeffreys Hopkins. The family came to Cleveland in 1874. At 13, Hopkins began working in the Cleveland Rolling Mills, using his earnings to attend Western Reserve Academy, graduating in 1892. He earned his A.B. (1896) and LL.B. (1899) at Western Reserve University, being elected to CLEVELAND CITY COUNCIL as a Republican (1897-99) while in law school. Hopkins laid out new industrial plant developments, and in 1905 promoted construction of the Cleveland Short Line Railroad, linking Cleveland’s major industrial sections. He gave up his law practice in 1906 to devote himself to business.
Hopkins became chairman of the Republican county committee and a member of the election board and, with the approval of both political parties, became Cleveland’s first city manager in 1924. Removed from partisan politics, he developed parks, improved welfare institutions, began PUBLIC AUDITORIUM, and developed Cleveland Municipal Airport. Although as city manager he was administrative head, he also took the lead in determining policy. City council felt he acquired too much control and removed him from office in Jan. 1930. In 1931 he became a member of council, unsuccessfully fighting for retention of the CITY MANAGER PLAN. In 1933 he returned to private life. The airport was named in his honor in 1951 (see CLEVELAND-HOPKINS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT). Hopkins married Ellen Louise Cozad in 1903; they had no children and divorced in 1926. He died in Cleveland and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.