Hooper and Meekins Family Papers, PC.5351


Hooper and Meekins Family Papers, PC.5351


The Hooper and Meekins family lived in Dare County in the communities of Stumpy Point and Manteo. The Hoopers were involved in the commercial fishing industry and owned the Hooper Brothers Gas Station in Stumpy Point, while the Meekinses operated a motel and hardware store in Manteo. This collection includes account books, correspondence, and financial records tracking the Hoopers' and Meekins' business interests as well as personal papers created by various Hooper and Meekins family members.

Descriptive Summary

Hooper and Meekins Family Papers
Call Number
Hooper Family
0.600 cubic feet
Outer Banks History Center

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Access Restrictions

Available for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by the United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying these materials.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], PC.5351, Hooper and Meekins Family Papers, Outer Banks History Center, Manteo, NC, U.S.A.

Collection Overview

The Hooper and Meekins Family Papers, 1879-1957, contains materials created by members of the immediate family of Blanche Hooper Meekins. Materials include correspondence, account books, ephemera, and financial records primarily connected to her father's and husband's various businesses.

The collection includes three account books tracking E.M. Hooper's business interests over the course of his life. Two books relate to the shad industry and list boxes of shad sold, including the numbers of roe shad, buck shad, and occasionally skipjack shad delivered, and the purchaser to whom they were shipped. The later volume reflects the shad industry's decline and lists shipments of other fish, such as rockfish and trout. A third account book tracks oil, gas, and kerosene sales at the Hooper Brothers station near the end of Hooper's life.

Blanche Meekins' canceled checks serve as a record of her purchases from 1939 to 1953. The checks track grocery purchases, memberships, payments to family, and utility payments and serve as a glimpse into the home economics of an adult woman living in coastal North Carolina during World War II. Similarly, the collection includes a folder of Hooper Brothers Gas Station account slips for members of the Payne family. The family mainly purchased groceries, home improvement supplies, and sundry items at the station, and the slips usually contain an itemized list of the foods and materials they bought, reflecting the local foodways of the time period.

Early letters in the correspondence folder relate to L.D. Hooper and Marvin Hooper's shad fishing business, particularly related to nets, while other letters relate to Marvin's family affairs and other business interests. Included are a letter from Marvin to his daughter, Blanche, written a week before he died in which he describes having chest and arm pains, as well as a letter to Blanche from her sister, Mae, regarding settling their father's affairs and a dispute with their aunt Ruth.

Arrangement Note

Folders arranged alphabetically. Most material within folders arranged chronologically.


The materials in this collection were created by members of the Hooper and Meekins families of Dare County, North Carolina. The earliest records in the collection relate to Lorenzo Dowe Hooper (1845-1908) who lived in Stumpy Point with his wife, Bethany Payne Hooper (1844-1919) and at least seven children.

The main focus of the collection is his son, Edgar Marvin Hooper (1881-1975), who went by Marvin. Marvin originally worked in the commercial fishing industry with his father, catching and selling shad as well as nets and other supplies related to shad fishing. At the time, it was common for Stumpy Point fishermen to meet and marry women from Hyde County due to their frequent trips back and forth between the two areas, and soon Marvin met and married Clara Mary "Caddie" Mason (1883-1955) of Gulrock. Marvin later opened a gas station and grocery store in Stumpy Point with his brother, Lennon Woodard Hooper (1887-1956), called Hooper Brothers, which his nephews continued to operate after his death. He and his family were regarded as prominent and well-respected citizens of Stumpy Point.

Marvin and Caddie had three daughters: Blanche Hooper Meekins (1903-1995), Mae Hooper Watson (1907-1911), and Ruby Hooper Osborne (1911-1996). Blanche remained in Dare County as an adult, while her sisters moved to Virginia. She was the executor of Marvin's estate and was involved in his business interests throughout his life. She married Earl Ray Meekins in 1923, and the couple had three daughters: Ina Meekins Evans, Lois Meekins Jackson, and Mary Meekins Beauchamp. Blanche and Earl owned the Manteo Motel about 1/4 mile north of Manteo, which opened in 1954. The motel was managed by their daughter Ina and her husband Burwell Evans. Ina and Burwell also owned and managed Manteo's Ace Hardware store.

Contents of the Collection

Account Book: Shad Fish Sold, 1891-1907
Box 1
Account Book: Shad and Other Fish Sold, 1927-1933
Box 1
Account Book: Oil, Gas, and Kerosene Sales, 1946-1955
Box 1
Canceled Checks, Blanche Meekins, 1939-1953
Box 1
Correspondence, 1902-1957
Box 1
Deeds and Other Legal Documents, 1879-1930
Box 1
Earl Meekins Building Permit for Motor Court, 1953
Box 2
Earl Meekins, Freight Receipts for Motor Lodge Furnishings, 1954
Box 2
E.M. Hooper Award from Texaco, 1945
Box 2
E.M. Hooper Notebooks, circa 1940s
Box 2
Ephemera and Advertisements, circa 1920s-1950s
Box 2
Hooper Brothers Gas Station Account Slips for Gaskill Payne, Lessie Payne, and Olive Payne, 1945-1954
Box 2
Memorial for Clara "Caddie" Mason Hooper, 1955
Box 2
Newsclippings, 1956
Box 2
Receipt Book, E.M. Hooper Rental Home, 1956
Box 2
Receipts and Financial Records, Tyrrell County Rural Commission, 1950-1952
Box 2
Singers in the Dawn: A Brief Anthology of Negro Poetry, 1939
Box 2
War Bonds Cashed, 1943-1949
Box 2

Subject Headings

  • Gasoline industry--North Carolina--Dare County
  • Grocery trade--North Carolina--Dare County
  • Motels--North Carolina--Manteo
  • Service stations--North Carolina--Dare County
  • Shad fisheries--North Carolina--Dare County
  • Shad Fishing--North Carolina
  • Stumpy Point (N.C.)--History
  • Acquisitions Information

    Donated by Dawn Enochs, July 2008.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Samantha Crisp, July 2022.