Does the ghost of Anna Hopkins haunt the Connor Hotel?
Unlikely, in my opinion, but ghost stories sell tickets and I confess that if I were in Jerome, Arizona, I would absolutely take the tour.
The corporeal Anna Irene Hopkins nee’ Doherty was certainly a force to be reckoned with.
Anna was born in Sandwich, Illinois on June 22, 1879 to Irish immigrants, John Doherty and Hannah O’Donnell. Anna was the sixth of nine children.
Her father John Doherty, worked in coal mines for years, was an organizer in the Miner’s Union and active in local politics. John was also elected Justice of the Peace before moving the family to North Dakota. He was considered an honest, upright man.
John and his eldest son Hugh became familiar with North Dakota while helping to install rails for Great Northern Railroad. In 1886, John purchased land in Leeds, North Dakota and, once it was surveyed, moved there. The family followed in 1887.
John’s interest in politics stayed with him and he twice ran for office on the Democratic ticket. First in 1892 (House of Representatives) and again in 1898 (Senate). Although widely known as Judge Hopkins, I think that was an honorary title and not his actual profession.
Anna’s youngest sister, Bridie, described Anna as “the family beauty.”
|Butte Daily Post –
August 22, 1903
Anna had been a resident of Butte, Montana for two years when, on August 19, 1903, she married local boy Clarence Victor Hopkins. What brought her there, I don’t know. The Butte Miner described Anna as being “beautiful and charming.”
|Butte Daily Post –
August 22, 1903
Clarence, was six months younger than Anna, equally as popular as his new bride and had recently completed a course at the Michigan School of Mines. When he graduated from Butte High School, in 1898, Clarence delivered a speech entitled “The Study of Geology as an Aid to Practical Mining.”
Clarence worked as a geologist and topographer until February 1904, when he accepted a job in the engineering department of the United Verde Copper Co. in Jerome, Arizona. Clarence would rise to the position of Chief Engineer and stay on with the company until his resignation in 1920.
Clarence and Anna lived in Jerome for 16 years and newspapers of the day often carried legal notices concerning land or stocks acquisitions both bought and sold by them, either individually or together. Occasionally, property or water rights were transferred one to the other. They were shrewd business partners as well as husband and wife.
They also functioned as landlords –
|Arizona Republic – Oct. 18, 1913|
As is often the case when you have tenants, not everyone who had dealings with the Hopkins were pleased. In May 1914, disturbing and ruthless accusations were made against both Clarence and particularly Anna.
Clarence E. Finney and his wife Margaret, were a young couple living on a 60 acre ranch that was owned by the Hopkins. The Finneys had sign a one year lease, dated November 15, 1913, on the property – located near Cottonwood, AZ.
By early January 1914, the landowners wanted their tenants gone. The Finneys chose to ignore the eviction notice delivered by Deputy Sheriff Fred Hawkins.
Things came to a head on January 19th when Anna, Clarence and a man who was unknown to the Finneys showed up and tried to forcibly removed them. Anna was later accused of making a “malicious and ferocious assault” on Margaret Finney with a club. The attack upon the house was repelled but not before Margaret was beaten, bruised and wounded.
On January 20th, Anna Hopkins notified them in writing that they had until 10 AM to vacate the premises. The Finneys ignored this as well.
On January 23rd, the pipe leading from the artesian well to the house was blown up with a charge of dynamite. The Finneys were without water but they stayed put.
On January 25th, brush, kindling and other materials were placed against the house, doused with kerosene then lit. Fortunately, the Finneys smelled the smoke and were able to exit the house and extinguish the fire.
On January 28th, an armed man showed up at the Finney house. The man tore down the screens, broke all but one of the windows, threw rocks at Clarence Finney and his family who were still inside. He followed this up with threats to kill Clarence Finney.
On February 1st, Mr. Finney called his attorney, Carl M. Heim, but the lawyer was unable to gain access to his clients; the path being blocked by a group of men who threatened him.
(Side note – While, Carl M. Heim escaped unscathed that afternoon, on March 16, 1914, he and Guy H. Bailey, a Jerome banker, were both shot in the head and left for dead by Peter Naukijas, a former United Verde mine employee. Apparently, all three were involved in a bitter real estate transaction and Naukijas became unhinged. Thinking Bailey and Heim dead, Naukijas then turned the gun on himself and died instantly from a bullet to the brain. Bailey dead three hours later at the hospital. Heim survived but lost the sight in his left eye.)
On May 16, 1914, Clarence Finney filed a lawsuit, claiming that he was out $2,500 for the season and asked for total damages of $4,000. The Finneys also asked that the Hopkins be charged with arson and assault.
On June 4, 1914, Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins refuted these charges and claimed they had every right to break the lease with their tenant as Mr. Finney had agreed to farm the land but had instead gone into the livestock business utilizing Hopkins’ horses in the pursuit of his vocation. Clarence and Anna were represented by the law firm of Anderson and Lamson.
Regretfully, I can find no record of how this dispute was resolved. Perhaps settled out of court?
I don’t normally like to tell a story without an ending but I’ve chosen to include this particular disagreement because we may eventually see a pattern developing.
In late December 1916, The United Verde Copper Extension Mining Company announced plans to construct and operate a smelting facility on land owned by C.V. Hopkins, near Cottonwood, AZ. Is it possible that the ranch Clarence Finney had leased was part of the land Clarence eventually sold to the mining company? Maybe, maybe not. When did Clarence learn of the company’s interest in that land?
The January 3, 1917 edition of the Weekly Journal-Miner (Prescott, AZ) announced that Clarence V. Hopkins had deeded the Mountain View Mine in the Verde district to the Jerome-Pacific Mining Company for $2,400. (A little more than $24K, in today’s money.)
Things were looking good for United Verde and the Hopkins – until they weren’t.
On April 2, 1917, America declared war on Germany and labor unions realized this would be an excellent time to renegotiate their position.
Raw materials were needed for the war effort. United Verde, which was producing between six and seven million pounds of copper every month with an additional five million pounds coming from the United Verde Extension, had a contract with the US government. President Wilson dispatched emissaries to deal with the situation.
|Charles H. Moyer|
International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers President Charles H. Moyer told the press that he hoped a patriotic desire to keep up the production of copper might win the men their demands.
The union asking was for Miami-scale wages ($5.25 for day’s work, a 50 cent increase), a closed shop and the establishment of a grievance committee.
Moyer said, “The price of copper has increased from 11 cents to as high as 32 cents and the wages of the men at Jerome remain the same, from 25 cents to $1 a day less than the men in other mines at Globe and Miami. All the men want is an increase to the scale of other mines and a contract which will insure the continuous production of copper.”
On May 25, 1917, the IUMMSW did as they said they would and went on strike. Roughly 2,500 miners walked out. Home Guards were brought in to protect company equipment as well as escort those miners to cross the picket line, often they were pelted with rocks as they exited the mines.
On May 27, 1917, Anna Hopkins spoke at a union hall meeting. She told them “her heart was with the strikers” and promised to do what she could to reach a resolution with terms that were acceptable to the workers. This is entirely possible, considering her father and brother Hugh were both miners and her father was active in the Union. Anna told the strikers she thought negotiations would take no longer than 5 days.
Things soon got heated, literally. On the night of May 29, 1917, the United Verde and Pacific Railroad depot was set ablaze. A group of 50-60 miners, including mine superintendent Robert E. Tally, ran towards to the fire. Out of the darkness came gunfire and mine worker Generao Matogotia was dead, shot through the heart. It was an ambush.
Despite not having a clear target, Home Guards returned fire. By the end of the evening, Jim Evans (a guard) was also dead. Two others, Horace Garrison, (watchman) and W.M. Terry (guard) were wounded. The depot was burned to the ground and a quantity of luggage lost in the fire.
By June 4, 1917, the United Verde strike was over and the miners back to work. Concessions were made on both sides. The miners got their pay hike; recognition of a grievance committee; the reinstatement of all employees without discrimination due to their affiliations during the strike; and the cooperation with merchants to reduce the cost of living and lower rents charged to employees. In accepting management’s offer with a vote of 467 for ending the strike and 431 to continue, the workers agreed to waive their demand for recognition of the union.
In early July 1917, a separate union, the Industrial Workers of the World, showed up in Jerome and tried to rally the workers for a second strike but the move was voted down. Two days later, armed citizens of Jerome loaded 67 suspected IWW members, referred to as “undesirables,” onto railroad cattle cars and shipped them out of town.
Tensions and violence would continue at other mines but for now Anna and Clarence Hopkins could get back to business. This is not a blog about the Mine Wars so let’s try to focus on Anna Hopkins.
Within weeks of the strike being settled, Anna Hopkins became President of the Jerome-Pacific Mining Company. She had raised $500,000 thru investors and bought out the two men who had originally financed the operation.
John L. Dyer, then President of the Verde Corporation and a major new stockholder, succeeded Anna as President of Jerome-Pacific but not before The El Paso Herald credited Anna as having done “effective work in getting funds for development work.” Anna may have chosen to step down as President but not before assuring that Clarence was appointed to the Board of Directors.
They were a powerhouse couple with three children (born 1904, 1906 and 1912), all of whom attended private school. Clarence was respected and popular. Financial contributions by Anna to schools and the community earned her the appreciation of the townsfolk.
What could go wrong?
|C.V. Hopkins – image from
Jerome Historical Society
According to Clarence, labor unions weren’t the only ones to see opportunities arise as a result of this world war.
Clarence claimed that Anna had encouraged him to enlist in the military as she believed he would be eligible for a captaincy in the engineering corp.
She told him it was his duty to have it handed down to posterity that he had been an officer in the war. Clarence thought this advice insane but to pacify his wife, on September 12, 1918, at the age of 38, he registered.
Anna’s instincts proved correct.
Clarence received notification to report at Washington a few days after the armistice was signed on November 11, 1918. His commission as captain was the last issued to any civilian.
Clarence was expected to go into training at Camp Humphreys, Virginia, then assist in the rehabilitation of France, but by the time he arrived in D.C. the government decided not to train any more engineers. Clarence received his discharge from the military in time for him to attend the Grand Navy Review in New York (December 26, 1918). The spectacle, Clarence said, compensated him for the trip.
Clarence Hopkins wasn’t the only Jerome resident in D.C. in late 1918. Twenty-seven employees from the United Verde engineering department had enlisted and been granted leave; including Tom McCloud, Clarence’s chief assistant at United Verde.
Tom had been training at Camp Humphries for less than two months and was being discharged at the same time as Clarence.
|Lucille Gallagher –
University of Nevada yearbook, 1917
Also present in the nation’s capital at this time were 23-year-old Lucille Gallagher and 26-year-old Lillian Bear, two Jerome school teachers. Miss Gallagher had been in D.C. since October. She was working in the Construction Dept, Engineering branch and was engaged in checking the accounts in three offices.
One evening, Clarence and Tom met up with Lucille and Lillian. The four had dinner together and saw a play. It’s unclear whether or not the evening was a spontaneous happening or if it was prearranged. Clarence had been given Mrs. Bear’s Washington address from a Jerome bank employee prior to leaving Arizona.
Clarence returned to Jerome in January of 1919. A few months later, he mentioned to his wife the night out on the town with three old friends and Anna declared it an act of impropriety.
According to Clarence, this was not the first time his wife expressed disapproval of his friendly behavior towards the opposite sex. She would often become furious with him if he danced with the same girl twice at social functions, waved to old female acquaintances or was in the company of married women when she wasn’t present. He thought her notions of propriety were too rigid, unreasonable and impossible to live up to.
Despite Clarence’s protestations that the evening with Tom, Lucille and Lillian was a perfectly innocent gathering of friends, Anna took action to besmirch the character of both women.
Anna told two school board trustees that Miss Gallagher and Mrs. Bear were “morally unfit” to teach. Anna’s only proof of this was the fact that they had socialized with her husband and another man while in Washington, D.C. The trustees looked into the matter but didn’t take Anna’s accusations seriously enough to remove either woman from the teaching staff.
A week or two later, Anna showed up at the Jerome school and asked to speak with Mrs. Bear.
If all Anna wanted to do was talk, why did she bring a horsewhip?
Anna attacked Lillian, attempting to whip her. Anna was arrested, placed under a peace bond and plans were made to assess her sanity. The charges were dropped however and no further action was taken.
Rather than considering herself lucky that Mrs. Bear chose not to pursue the matter, Anna continued to stew and often told people she’d attacked the wrong girl; her real target was Lucille Gallagher. Lucille, however, was unavailable at the time of Anna’s assault on Lillian; she was one state over – visiting with family and friends in Yerington, Nevada.
No doubt, upon her return to Jerome, Lucille Gallagher heard about the attack and the possibility that Mrs. Hopkins would be coming for her too but she apparently showed no outward signs of concern. Lucille had been offered and accepted a teaching position in Jerome’s Grammar School and was looking forward to the future.
Clarence was certainly feeling the strain though. On March 5, 1920, Clarence announced his upcoming resignation from United Verde, effective April 1st. The Weekly Journal Miner newspaper reported that the Hopkins family would relocate to Los Angeles and that Clarence would work in private practice as a consulting engineer. He was leaving with their best wishes. Mrs. Hopkins was described as having a “generous nature and estimable character.”
This must not have been a sudden decision because one year prior, in March 1919, Anna Hopkins had purchased property in Los Angeles. The cost for the two lots was $17,500 (in today’s money that would be just under $260,000).
Despite having definite plans to move out of Arizona, Anna made the decision to run for a spot on the Jerome School Board in the upcoming 1920 election. Perhaps she wanted one last chance to get back at Miss Gallagher and Mrs. Bear?
|Arizona Republic –
December 15, 1936
Opposed to this was Robert E. Tally, assistant general manager of the United Verde Copper Company. Tally felt, especially after her intention to move to Los Angeles was made known, that Mrs. Hopkins should withdraw from the race.
Truth be told, Tally was worried that with a third party candidate, the man he favored for the position would lose. Tally discussed the matter with Clarence in person then later in a letter which Anna saw.
Anna already held a grievance against Robert E. Tally because she believed her husband should have been offered the position of assistant general manager and that Tally had taken the opportunity away from him. Now Anna felt Tally was against her as well.
While a bitter Anna Hopkins was making the move to Los Angeles, Lucille Gallagher was enjoying good times and vacations with family while getting on with her career.
|Elsie Humphreys –
University of Nevada
1917 yearbook photo
In June 1920, Lucille traveled to NYC with long-time friend, University of Nevada Delta Delta Delta sorority sister and fellow Jerome, AZ school teacher, Elsie Humphreys to attend summer classes at Columbia University. When the school year resumed, Lucille would be the new Social Science instructor at Jerome’s Junior High School. Elsie had a position as a teacher in the High School.
Meanwhile, the September 29, 1920 edition of the Weekly Journal Miner reported Mrs. Hopkins was recovering from a serious operation in Los Angeles.
In late February/early March 1921, Anna Hopkins returned to Jerome and booked a room at the Connor Hotel. She spoke to friends of purchasing property, perhaps taking legal action against the United Verde Co. and of her long-standing grievance against Miss Gallagher.
On March 31st, Anna walked into the dining room of the Connor Hotel, as she had most mornings during her stay. Anna wasn’t surprised to see Lucille and Elsie at a booth under the west window having breakfast, nor were they surprised to see her. The two teachers ate there regularly and had seen Anna many a morning, also having breakfast.
Anna, dressed in a long fur coat and carrying a muff, passed by their table several times, saying nothing. Elsie was reading aloud from a letter she’d received. Neither Lucille or Elsie were paying Anna much attention.
At one point, Anna disappeared from view entirely. When she emerged from a back room, Anna walked right towards their table. With her left hand, Anna grabbed Lucille by the hair, pulled her head back and threw a tumbler of liquid (6 ounces) into her face. Anna rubbed the liquid into Lucille’s eyes with her bare right hand for good measure.
Elsie looked up and Anna had Lucille by the neck. Lucille was shrieking and fighting back. The pain was tremendous – her eyes and face were burning. Anna had thrown carbolic acid into Lucille’s face.
Several patrons sprang into action.
Jack Shea pulled Anna off of Lucille and threw her to the ground. Anna was clawing at him all the while, her own hand now covered in acid and burning his arms.
The waitress, Lois Eastburn, fainted.
Lucille was helped to the door by Dick Nardini then she ran out of the Hotel and into the street. Elsie overtook her and walked her friend to the hospital, which fortunately, was only 2 blocks away.
The hotel’s owner, Mrs. Gertie Law, rushed in from the lobby, grabbed Anna by the hair and saw her back to her room.
Chief of Police Jack Crowley responded quickly. He met Anna, who was packing to leave, upstairs in her room and arrested her. When asked whether or not she had a gun, Anna produced a .38 caliber revolver and a box of cartridges.
Suddenly the fight had gone out of Anna; she repeatedly fainted. It would be an hour before she was carried from her hotel room and placed in a car. For her own safety, Anna was driven out of town and placed in a Prescott jail cell.
Public opinion was not divided – all sided with the victim.
Miss Lucille Gallagher hailed from a prominent Nevada family and had come to Jerome five years earlier when offered a teaching position. Despite attempts by Anna Hopkins to prove otherwise, Lucille had an irreproachable reputation. Lucille was well-liked, respected and had not displayed a propensity towards violence as Anna had these last few years. It seems the only one who thought Lucille to be the sort of woman who would sleep with a married man was Anna.
In fact, when news of the attack and the reason behind it reached Reno, Nevada, a letter in support of Lucille Gallagher, bearing the signatures of 100 prominent citizens, mostly University of Nevada faculty, was sent to Jerome’s Board of Education.
Anna said nothing as she was driven out of town. She later tried to minimize the brutality of the attack by declaring “It was not full strength acid” because “since the war, the manufacturers had not been making the old kind, but a diluted solution.”
(Note – Anna was right about carbolic acid not being as strong as it used to be. That had little to do with the war but the fact that carbolic acid was notoriously dangerous and particularly popular with those wishing to commit suicide or those wishing to inflict suffering on another; resulting in a push to have federal regulations put in place.)
Anna showed the places on her clothing where the acid had splashed. The fact that the acid had not eaten through the fabric, she felt, was evidence that she had not intended to cause great harm to Miss Gallagher.
The flesh on Anna’s right forearm, two fingers on her right hand, her right cheek and spots on her forehead, where the acid splashed as she threw it into Lucille’s face, bore the marks of the caustic liquid.
From her jail cell, Anna did inquire as to her victim’s condition. Was she legitimately concerned or did she want to be sure she’d disfigured the woman?
In assessing her situation, Anna commented, “I realize that public opinion is against me. I could not hold it against any attorney who might refuse to defend me. I am experienced and I know fully the conditions. I don’t want anyone else to bear the brunt of my unpopularity. I have thought this all out and I know exactly where I stand.”
Anna also indicated that she felt Miss Gallagher was not entirely to blame, but was only an factor in a case of great issues.
Miss Gallagher was, said Anna, “much stronger than I. She could have killed me. I am the victim of a weak heart.”
It was initially very touch and go for Lucille. She had second degree burns to her eyes, face, neck and chest. There was concern that she would lose sight in her right eye. Esteemed eye specialist Dr. Ancil Martin was brought in from Phoenix to attend to her wounds.
Lucille spent three weeks in the hospital but ultimately the prognosis was favorable. The tissue on her eyes had grown back and the scarring, mostly to her neck and chest, would be barely noticeable.
A charge of felonious assault perpetrated by Anna Hopkins was filed on April 1, 1921.
On April 15, 1921, the United Verde Mine and the United Verde Extension Mine closed. Both mines had curtailed production some time prior and were only employing about 50% of their normal work staff. Perhaps Clarence had seen this coming and had gotten out ahead of it.
On May 16, 1921, Anna was formally charged and plead not guilty. She was held on a $20,000 bond and no effort was made to obtain bail.
Anna’s trial began on May 17, 1921 with Judge Joseph S. Jenckes presiding. Representing Anna was John A. Ellis, himself a Judge. For the prosecution it was County Attorney John L. Sullivan and Special Prosecutor Robert A. McMurchie.
As expected, the courtroom was packed to capacity. Anna’s lawyer prepared an “emotional insanity” defense. There was no doubt of what Anna had done but simply a matter of why and whether or not she was temporarily unbalanced on or before March 31, 1921.
Testifying as to her unstable nature was husband Clarence, Anna’s older brother James (who traveled from Ohio to bear witness), various Jerome acquaintances and three “medical experts” – Dr. John B.McNally, Dr. Schwartz, Dr. W. H. Olds (from Los Angeles)
The prosecution, naturally, had their own expert in the field of paranoia, Dr. Win Wylie, the eyewitness testimony of everyone who had been in the cafe at the time of the attack and the victim, Lucille Gallagher who, when asked how she felt after the acid had been thrown in her face, told the court “I never suffered more.”
Clarence explained that his wife has always been insanely jealous; that she once visited a fortune teller and perhaps put too much stock in what she was told. Clarence also said his wife had hired detectives to follow him and that she felt he was incapable of managing his own affairs.
Clarence told the court that since 1904, following the birth of their first child, his wife has insisted on maintaining a separate bank account, against his wishes. Anna also insisted that their properties, which she managed independent of him, be kept in her name.
(I’m not sure if that makes her crazy or wanting to ensure she’d not be left destitute should her suspicions about her husband’s infidelities were proven true.)
Clarence felt Anna was paranoid and suffering under the delusion that the United Verde Copper Company and others had conspired to deprive him of his position as chief engineer and that somehow Miss Gallagher was to be the tool used to discredit him.
Clarence had to admit, on cross-examination, that Tally did “climb over him” when he was appointed assistant general manager. However, Clarence stipulated it was the job of mine supervisor that he desired and not assistant general manager so he felt no ill will towards Tally. In fact, Clarence continued working for United Verde an additional 4 or 5 years after Tally’s promotion.
The letter in which Tally implored Clarence to have Anna drop out of the running for school board trustee was presented by the prosecution as evidence that not all of Mrs. Hopkins claims of persecution came from a place of insanity.
The breaking point in their marriage, according to Clarence, was Anna’s recent attempts to have him institutionalized. She frequently accused him of losing his mind and sought to have him committed to an asylum. Arrangements for a formal separation were in the works at the time Anna was arrested on assault charges.
Doctor J. B. McNally took the stand and expressed the opinion that Anna’s belief that she was an important factor in the business life of the Verde mining district was just another sign that she was experiencing a “slow and progressive mental deterioration,” something he observed some four or five years earlier.
Capable cross-examination showed that Anna Hopkins actually was in charge of considerable mining and other business concerns in the Verde district thus her claims of importance in the Jerome business world were not delusions.
The wife of Dr. J. B. McNally, who had known Anna for 14 years, testified that she’d seen Anna on March 30th, the day before the attack. During their brief chat, Anna insisted that not only was Clarence insane but that he and Miss Gallagher were “mixed up.” Mrs. McNally also told the court that Anna claimed Dr. L. P. Kaull, a surgeon at United Verde Hospital, had bungled a recent operation on her and said “I’m in an awful fix; nobody will help me!”
Mrs. McNally, on cross-examination, said that she’d felt Anna to be unstable for quite some time – ever since Anna dispossessed a tenant with a horsewhip.
(Is Mrs. McNally recalling Anna’s 1914 attack on Margaret Finney and getting the facts slightly wrong or is this another tenant? Mrs. Finney had been beaten with a club not a horsewhip.)
During testimony from defense witness, Dr. Frank Schwartz , it was revealed that Anna had offered to leave her husband and live apart so as not to hamper him in his pursuit of other women.
A reporter from the Verde Copper News, H.A. Minhinnick, testified that he had a conversation with Mrs. Hopkins on February 8, 1921 during which she told him she had attacked the wrong woman when she went after Lillian Bear and that she meant to get Lucille Gallagher.
Jerome taxi driver, Frank W. Smith, testified that he knew the defendant and that she had expressed fears of being deprived of her children. (Perhaps if the divorce went through?)
Anna’s brother James Doherty, there to provide support more than anything, testified simply that when he had seen his sister more than a year earlier, at their mother’s funeral, she was most distraught but he had attributed it the death of their mother.
The prosecution’s medical expert, Dr. Win Wylie, assessed Anna Hopkins as being “consumed with jealousy” at the time of the attack but decidedly sane, in the eyes of the law..
John Ellis argued the insanity angle by reminding the jury that his client, “Mrs. Hopkins planned her campaign and then drew the eyes of the world by her melodramatic act.
County Attorney John L. Sullivan, attributed Anna’s assault on Miss Gallagher as being a direct result of her “undisciplined temper” and said she had become so habituated to overriding the will of others that when thwarted, she adopted the melodramatic method of throwing acid in order to achieve her means.
In his closing argument, McMurchie reminded jurors of the “willfulness, ire and stubbornness” of the defendant and her previous desire to discredit Miss Gallagher and Mrs. Bear in the eyes of the school board. He also wondered why nobody, who detected her downward spiral, sought help for the woman throughout the years.
On May 19th, Anna’s fate was in the hands of the jury.
After deliberating for several hours, the jury asked for additional instructions from the judge – specifically, if they found Anna not guilty by reason of insanity, would she go free?
Judge Jenckes informed them that it would be a matter for the court to decide. The Foreman, John Massing, said, “I think that is all we wanted to know” and they returned to their deliberations..
One hour and 20 minutes later, the verdict was in – guilty as charged. Anna, reportedly, gave little sign of emotion. Anna kissed her husband and brother goodbye before being led back to the cells.
Four days later, Judge Jenckes sentenced Anna to between 5 and 14 years at the state prison in Florence, AZ. She would be, at that time, the prison’s only female inmate. The fact that her photo was being taken and preserved as a criminal record was newsworthy.
|Anna Irene Hopkins, Prisoner #5776|
As the sentence as being handed down, Anna was asked if she had anything to say. “I have done no wrong. I am innocent,” was her response.
On June 13, 1921, the Superintendent of the Prison (and former Rough Rider with Theodore Roosevelt), Captain Thomas H. Rynning, received a letter from Arizona Governor Thomas Campbell.
Apparently, Mrs. Hopkins had requested to have a cake on her birthday – June 22nd. The Governor asked that this request be filled and that she might also have some flowers.
|Gov. Thomas E. Campbell|
A letter back indicated that not only would all of this be possible but that the Superintendents’ daughters “have been bringing her fresh flowers every other day from the Superintendent’s residence, which she seems to enjoy very much.”
In November 1921, a letter from prison physician to Governor Campbell stated that Anna was passing through menopause and that her behavior was erratic and hysterical. However, he stated, these displays of mild insanity were common among women at this time of life.
He had chosen not to make a report of her condition to the Warden but was worried that “a woman of her temperament is very apt to become progressively worse.” Dr. Huffman predicted that Mrs. Hopkins would “recover entirely after passing this period of life.”
On June 28, 1922, Anna’s attorney filed an appeal. John Ellis felt he had cause for the conviction to be set aside since it appeared as though the jurors were considering voting in favor of the insanity defense. If they had ruled in favor of insanity, Anna Hopkins would have been acquitted. Her gaining her freedom as a result of this decision should not have been a factor in determining guilt.
The Supreme Court disagreed. The judgement was upheld and the request for a new trial was denied.
On August 22, 1922, Anna was confined for a period of two days for fighting and on August 29, 1922, she was granted a parole, with the understanding that she leave the state and not return until the maximum term of her sentence had passed (March 23, 1930).
Anna’s younger brother Edward Doherty, living in Leeds, ND, agreed to take her in.
On February 16, 1923, Clarence obtained a divorce from Anna.
According to the Prescott Evening Courier, Clarence said he had spent $25,000 on his wife’s defense ($358,321.23, in today’s money) and also her jealousy of other woman had cost him his job.
An Arizona newspaper reported, in their June 20, 1923 edition, that Mrs. Hopkins, currently living in Kansas, had petitioned the Parole Board for a pardon so that she may return to Arizona. Their ruling was announced 4 days later – “decision indefinitely deferred.”
Anna was found guilty of parole violation and returned to prison on December 16, 1925.
(I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to discover what the nature of the parole violation was – and believe me, I tried.)
Anna’s parole was reinstated on August 2, 1926.
On October 27, 1927, then Governor George W. P. Hunt granted Anna a full and unconditional parole, based on the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles.
On May 12, 1928, Anna was awarded a nursing diploma from St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson. Her life was back on track …. and then tragedy struck.
On April 2, 1931, Robert P. Hopkins – second child and eldest son of Clarence and Anna Hopkins died.
He was only 24-years-old. Robert had gained quite a reputation as a daring, death-defying air mail pilot, having survived three close calls, but on the evening of March 31, 1931 his luck ran out and two days later he would be dead.
Left behind was a wife, LaVelle, whom he had married on April 8, 1929.
Robert was driving home from an aviation banquet held at the Grand View Inn, in Columbus, Ohio, when his car crashed into a streetcar abutment. Robert was thrown through the windshield. He suffered a fractured jaw, compound fracture of the left leg and multiple internal injuries including a ruptured left kidney. His car, a small coupe, was demolished.
Another banquet attendee and fellow aviator, Lieut. Charles E. Bauch was killed that same evening in a separate car crash.
Anna was working as a nurse at St. Luke’s on the Desert, in Tucson, at the time. Clarence was married for a second time to Bessie Zeitler nee’ Dwight.
Anna Hopkins died on May 6, 1951, following a 4 month stay at the Rock Haven Sanitarium in Los Angeles (future home of Marilyn Monroe’s mother). Cause of death was a cerebral hemorrhage and heart disease. She was 71-years-old. She’s buried in Grand View Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
|Findagrave.com image uploaded by Katsand|
Clarence Victor Hopkins died on December 26, 1945, from an acute coronary occlusion. He was 65-years-old. When he died Clarence’s estate was valued at $549.00 ($5,885.74, in today’s money). His second wife Bessie died on September 7, 1947
Lucille Gallagher rebounded nicely after the incident.
After the trial, she returned to Yerington, NV with her parents, who had been with her throughout the ordeal.
Lucille continued with her career in teaching, her own education, her strong ties to the University of Nevada and her friendship with Elsie.
On August 29, 1921, Lucille left for Venice, California where she had accepted a teaching position in the public school.
Chief Counsel for the
California Indian Rights Assn. –
LA Times, Sept 27, 1954
On September 7, 1923, Lucille attended classes at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
On May 25, 1925, Lucille married attorney Reginald Eustace Foster, a man seven years her junior.
In September of 1927, their only child, a daughter was born.
Lucille Gallagher Foster died on December 14, 1959, at the age of 64. She’s entombed in Mission Memorial Park in Monterey, California.
In 1961, Reginald married widow Edna Austin Goldsborough.
Edna would become a widow for a second time when Reginald died on October 6, 1970.
Senior Advisor –
1934 Venice H.S.
Elsie Humphreys also relocated to Los Angeles in 1921.
On May 22, 1925 (3 days before Lucille’s wedding), she married Ernest J. Johnston. She was teaching English at the Venice High School at the time.
Elsie married for a second time, on September 9, 1929, to a dentist named John McLaughlin.
Like Lucille, she continued in education. She died September 2, 1981 in Los Angeles.
Robert E. Tally, Anna’s one-time nemesis, was promoted to President of United Verde in 1930. He retired in 1935 and died in 1936 at the age of 59.
Unfortunately, if you research this crime now, 98 years after the fact, you’ll often come across websites, including AAA, stating, unequivocally, that Anna had caught her husband cheating on her with Lucille and that she exacted her revenge that afternoon in the Connor Hotel dining room.
In reading contemporary accounts of the crime and the 1921 courtroom proceedings, I don’t see any real definitive proof of an affair between Clarence and Lucille. To state otherwise seems unfair to all involved but sex sell tickets.
Jerome, Arizona is now famous for being a ghost town and embraces it’s reputation as “The Wickedest Town in the West.” The town has several haunted and historical tours to choose from.
A 2002 investigation by the Southwest Ghost Hunters Association, the results of which are available online, include testimony from two eyewitnesses who picked Anna out of a photo array and identified her as the spirit they encountered. Curiously, the woman they saw had slight scarring around her right eye.
A 2008 Jerome, AZ Ghost Walk featured 3 tour guides appearing as Anna Hopkins, all eager to tell her story.
|“Period costumes from Jerome’s past are worn by Christine Barag, left, and Annie Kelly.
Both will be part of the Ghost Walk Oct. 11 in Jerome” –
October 6, 2008 VerdeNews.com story
The Connor Hotel, established in 1898, is still open for business and folks interested in the paranormal often check in with suitcases full of EVP recorders, EMF meters, REM pods, spirit boxes and the like. Rooms 1, 2 and 5 are singled out as being the spookiest; I’m not sure which room Anna Hopkins occupied when she was arrested.
|photo from the Connor Hotel homepage|
I’ll leave you with this curious and cryptic entry in the March 18, 1920 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Times –