Agnes Hopkins Pond’s Story

Agnes Carson Johnson was born in Greenfield, Ohio on September 15, 1825. She was raised in a religious family and longed to give her life to the Lord’s work.

When Agnes was just sixteen, she married Robert Hopkins, who wanted to become a missionary to the Dakota. The spring of 1843,  they traveled by steamboat from Ripley, Ohio to Fort Snelling. They served as missionaries at Laq qui Parle and Traverse des Sioux. Perhaps due to her young age, she quickly learned the Dakota language and became a teacher for young Dakota girls. Agnes had five children during the next eight years. During a furlough in Ohio in 1849, two-year-old Nancy died and was buried in the Red Oak Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

Shortly before the Treaty at Traverse des Sioux was signed, Rev. Robert Hopkins drowned in the St. Peter’s River on July 4, 1851. Agnes reluctantly returned to Ohio with four children. Anne Kelly Hopkins – the youngest at just seven weeks old – died shortly thereafter.

A new Partnership

Gideon and Agnes Pond's Wedding Photo

Gideon and Agnes Pond’s Wedding Photo

Meanwhile, Gideon Pond’s wife Sarah died in 1853, leaving him with seven children to raise. The Pond and the Hopkins families had served as missionaries together, so Gideon was aware of Agnes’ similar situation. In September, Gideon traveled to Ohio and proposed to Agnes. She agreed to be his wife and a mother to his seven children. In the spring of 1854, Gideon and Agnes were married in Ohio. Then Gideon, Agnes, and her three living children returned to Minnesota Territory. Gideon, Agnes, and their ten children lived in the crowded log mission house until the brick house was built in 1856. They had six more children together.

Agnes was a founding member of the Oak Grove Presbyterian Church. After Gideon died in 1878, their son Hermon Hine assumed responsibility for the farm and livestock. After Hine’s wife Elizabeth died in 1896, Agnes raised their two children, Frank and Belle. Agnes lived in the brick house until 1915. She was 90 years old. Her faith remained steadfast until the end.

Read More About Agnes

Mrs. Gideon Pond – 1843
Moir, Marion. In Old Rail Fence Corners: Frontier Tales Told by Minnesota Pioneers, edited by Lucy Leavenworth Wilder Morris, 250-61. Austin, Minnesota: F.H. McCulloch Printing Co., 1914.

Mrs. Gideon Pond – 1843 Ninety Years Old
Pond, Agnes; In Old Rail Fence Corners: Frontier Tales Told by Minnesota Pioneers, edited by Lucy Leavenworth Wilder Morris, 22-23. Austin, Minneosta: F.H. McCulloch Printing Co., 1914.

Mrs. Agnes Pond
Williamson, John Poage; The Word Carrier of Santee Normal Training School, March – April (1916), page 6.

A Poem

by Agnes Pond

I am very old today,

My three score years and ten

Have long since passed.


I am feeble, old and deaf.

And all my world is dark to me.

The things that once

I loved so much

The skies, the hills, the vales,

The grass so green,

All – all are lost to me.


The dear delights

of my loved friends

The loving glance, the tender smile

I never more can see.


And yet, amidst this gloom of mine

I have a beacon fair and bright,

A precious boon,

my Father’s promise true,

Of everlasting life.


And when my life on earth is done

And I no more am here,

I’ll dwell with Him,

in realms above,

And never more be blind.


Agnes Carson Johnson Hopkins Pond

Age  84, circa 1909

Agnes Hopkins Pond
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