from 'The Numismatist' Yearbook for 1892 Numismatic Headlights No 4 Vol 4 No 4 April 1892
The subject of this brief sketch, Mr Joseph Hooper, the Vice President of the American Numismatic Association, first saw the light at Plymouth, England, Feb 19th 1833. It is recorded that in this year an unusual meteor display took place, but it is not even insinuated here that the two great events had any significance in common. The teething and penny-swallowing periods were passed in safety, and in the manner usual to humanity at this tender age: but later, when nature and he began to assert their rights, he developed a remarkable penchant for old copper coins, and for a time this tendency excited in the minds of his parents the fond thought that perhaps here was an embryonic Rothschild, but when later he began the gathering of and storing of old relics, and had the parental cottage more than half full of the same, they discovered their mistake, sold out what they could, gave away more, and hired the balance taken away, and went to America where were not so many things old and where they could have more room. In September of 1851 he landed in this country and shortly after settled at Port Hope, Ont.
It is not related that Mr Hooper reformed; on the contrary we can readily imagine one so strongly imbued with the love of country, race, and old associations, and reverence for anything old and rare, keeping right on, until the second time his parents remonstrated with him and told him, that either he or they would have to move out, the room was getting so cramped. He did. And right here comes the most remarkable and paradoxical event of his life. With such a reverence for everything venerable from Pheidon to Phineas, it would seem natural, - yes to be expected, - that he would choose an ancient and antique dame for wife; and here in the evidence of his one glaring inconsistency, he did no such thing; he chose a young, but good one. How do we know good? A woman who would take a man endowed with such worldly goods, to love, to cherish and obey; who would yearn, and yearn, and YEARN, year in and year out, for some consuming fire to rid her sight of these continual reminders of Noah's Ark and the Tower of Babel, only to be doomed to continual disappointment, and yet remain faithful, must be good and true, and possessed of remarkable Christian fortitude.
Mr Hooper is a type of the true numismatist; one who loves the science, for the science. His greatest delight is the study and arrangement of his line cabinet of coins and medals, and he is ever anxious, that, that which gives him so much pleasure, should be shared by others. He has given several highly successful numismatic exhibitions for charitable purposes, and does much to awaken an interest in the science with the young and old; painstaking and methodical, he is full to the brim with enthusiasm in the study. He has contributed more or less to the numismatic and lay press on numismatic subjects; for two years he had charge of the numismatic department of the Toronto Philatelic Journal, and one year in charge of a similar department in a Whitby (Ont) paper. His contributions in THE NUMISMATIST have been well received and have done much to enhance the popularity of this journal.
Mr Hooper's special line of collecting is the coins, medals and tokens of the great English speaking or Anglo-Saxon race, and his cabinet contains many unique and rare specimens and is withal one of the finest in the Dominion. His home is a well known and loved oasis for numismatists; the latch string at 'Park View' is always out, and many are the pleasant meetings there and good cheer dispensed , and to be there once always creates a longing to return. The true numismatist is by inheritance, possessed of a kindly nature, and in Mr Hooper do we find this fully exemplified. To him go the sorrowing, the oppressed, the forlorn, the stricken and the despised of his community, and in him are they sure to find help and sympathy.
Were not our subject an extremely modest man (like all numismatists) we might speak of his forty years of successful mercantile life; the life that developes the highest type of man; the highest type of numismatic character; but he seeks no loftier standard, no higher eulogy, than to be a true numismatist, and a help to the sorrowing and the distressed. These be his 'hobbies'.