Emily Hoppin: Interviews

Emily Hoppin was described as a brilliant woman and an eloquent writer and speaker with a keen wit, wide vision, and an extensive knowledge of finances and parliamentary law. As manager of one of the largest ranches in Yolo county, she bore the reputation of being a better agriculturist than most men. These two interviews (a 1976 oral history with her daughter Dorothea, and a 1915 interview with the Overland Monthly Magazine) give a personal glimpse into her lifestyle, personality, activism, and vision.

  • The Home Place
    Oral History interview with Emily’s daughter, Dorothea Hoppin Moffett, about memories of her mother and growing up on the Yolo Ranch.
  • Overland Monthly Magazine
    1915 Interview in the Overland Monthly magazine with Emily Hoppin, newly elected president of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs

Emily Hoppin’s Scrapbook

The contents of Emily Hoppin’s personal scrapbook provide a unique glimpse into her life from the late 1890s until her death in 1915. In developing the fictional characters of Eliza and Silas, I relied on these historical documents – especially the news clippings of Emily’s campaign for President of California Federation of Women’s Clubs (CFWC) which are mainly missing from internet searches.

My deep appreciation to the Yolo County Archives for professionally scanning her very fragile scrapbook. The Yolo Archives plans to make her complete scrapbook available at: https://yolocountylibrary.org/locations/archives/

Pasted into Emily’s scrapbook are clippings of her favorite poetry, newspaper coverage of her speeches, her campaign for President of CFWC, and family obituaries, including her own obituaries added by her daughter.

Emily Hoppin’s Writing and Speeches

Emily Hoppin was known throughout California as an outspoken activist for temperance, women’s franchise, conservation of natural resources, and a vision of world peace. She advocated for the country life, for women and farming, for the condition of immigrants, and against the proposed eight-hour workday which would hinder farmers. Her versatility made it possible for her to discuss almost any topic relating to agriculture and she was frequently called on to write and speak at all manner of farmers’ institutes.

  • Literature of the Farm
    Opening Address given at the California State Fruit Growers’ Association Convention, Los Angeles, November 10-14, 1914

Emily Hoppin: Activist

Emily Hoppin was the first president of the Yolo Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), editor of the White Ribbon Ensign, vice-president of the Farmers’ Protective Association, a Country Life Commissioner, Yolo Chamber of Commerce director, and president of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs (CFWC). She was referred to as the power behind the throne in Yolo County. Without these newspaper clippings from her scrapbook, we would not have such a colorful account of how the hotly-contested campaign for CFWC president divided the state, and how she won on the country woman’s platform.

“The situation, therefore, appears to be that the State Federation may have the choice of the brilliant mind of Mrs. Hoppin, the grace and charm of Mrs. Jones, or the beauty and clothes of Mrs. Seymour.”

Annie Wilde, San Francisco news columnist

Although Heart Wood is a work of historical fiction, I have attempted to recreate this historic election while staying true to historical facts and the indomitable spirit of my great grandmother.