The pair settled in Loving County more than a century ago and had four children, William “Bill,” Lilly, Royal and Olive, and thus began a lineage of public service.
Fast-forward to March 16, 2012, the grand-opening of the Hopper Annex, where Loving County Judge Skeet Lee Jones served as master of ceremonies, along with Baz Hopper’s great-grandson, Loving County Commissioner Harlan Hopper.
The Loving County Hopper Annex came in $50,000 below budget for a total construction cost of $1.9 million and houses the offices of the sheriff, deputy sheriff, and justice of the peace, along with the vehicle registration, voter registration, appraisal and tax offices, said Hopper. The materials used to construct the adobe-style building – compressed earth blocks – along with other measures, such as the use of a ground-source heat pump versus a conventional heat pump, should lead to future savings.
No doubt Commissioner Harlan Hopper is immensely proud of the county’s accomplishment, celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a barbecue and town hall meeting with Sen. Kel Seliger. In addition, Hopper, a 20-year veteran of the commissioners court, is also understandably proud of his family’s commitment to service, evidenced by the following.
- Baz Hopper served as county commissioner from 1935-1937.
- Bill Hopper, son of Baz, logged 12 years as president of the Loving County Independent School District and two years as deputy sheriff.
- McKinley, son of Bill and grandson of Baz, was a county commissioner for four years, county judge for four years, and justice of the peace for 15 years.
- Thornton, also Bill’s son, served four years as sheriff, 31 years as constable, and four years as county commissioner.
- Bill’s youngest son, Billy, was deputy sheriff for five-and-a-half years. He is the current sheriff and is running for re-election.
Representatives from several other counties joined the Hopper family and Loving County residents in the celebration, including officials from Ward, Winkler and Reeves counties.