Henry Kropp Built Victorian Home On Cedar Street; UC Dean Hooper Lived There Many Years

Wednesday, June 22, 2022
321 Cedar St. was home to the Kropps after they moved from Poplar Street, then it was the Hooper residence
321 Cedar St. was home to the Kropps after they moved from Poplar Street, then it was the Hooper residence
- photo by From the Pat St. Charles, Jr., Collection scanned by Sam Hall, Chattanoogahistory.com

Henry Adolphus Kropp built an interesting Victorian home on Cedar Street at the corner of Fourth Street on Cameron Hill. Dr. Wesley Walter Hooper, a professor and dean at the University of Chattanooga for decades, lived there for many years.

Kropp was born in 1860 in Marietta, Ohio. At the time, his father, William Kropp, was 35 and his mother, Anna Elisabetha Knoch, was 22.

Henry Kropp made his way to Chattanooga and accepted a position as general auditor for the Southern Express Company, which made its headquarters in Chattanooga. Kropp married Mary Older Coburn on April 23, 1896, in Chattanooga. They were the parents of three sons and five daughters. Mrs. Kropp was an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

A son,  Henry Kropp Jr., married Mary Helen Egan, daughter of a prominent Philadelphia family. After the wedding in Philadelphia, they returned to Chattanooga to reside with his parents.

Henry Kropp first lived at 505 Poplar, and he afterward was at 211 Poplar. He was a resident at 213 Prospect higher up Cameron Hill, then he boarded at 6 East Terrace that was higher yet.

For their growing family, the Kropps built their Victorian beauty at 321 Cedar about 1903. It had steep front steps, a wide porch on the front that extended to one side, a distinctive turret on the right side, and several windows with a series of tiny panes. There was plenty of room for the children at last.

Henry Kropp later moved his family to Signal Mountain. He later lived in Arkansas, and he was at Oak Ridge, Tn., when he died in 1944. However, he was buried back in Chattanooga at Forest Hills Cemetery.

The fine Kropp home was taken over by a popular professor at the University of Chattanooga. Wesley W. Hooper was born in Ohio in 1843. The Hoopers were a prominent Maryland family.

Wesley Hooper graduated from Ohio Wesleyan College in 1872. He worked at a newspaper at Minneapolis, Kansas, then he decided to become a school teacher. He taught at a high school and at a normal school in Illinois.

In 1886, Dr. Hooper had the opportunity to become the chairman of the physics and chemistry department at the new Chattanooga University. He would become a fixture at the campus east of town and stay on as it transitioned to Grant University and then to the University of Chattanooga.

In 1904 he became dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the university. He served in that role for 14 years until he was succeeded by his son, Professor Frank F. Hooper, in 1918. 

Dr. Hooper died in 1923 at the age of 79. The funeral services were conducted on campus at the Patten Chapel. Hooper Hall at the university was named for him.

His widow, Martha Jane Green Hooper, stayed on in the Cedar Street house for many years. She was from Martinsburg, Ohio, and they were married in 1874. The couple also had a daughter, Mabel Hooper.

By 1955, Mrs. W.H. Walker was occupying the main floor of the Kropp/Hooper home and Kenneth McCurin was living upstairs. This was not long before the turret and the rest of the fine home fell.

 

     


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