Historical Marker #849 in Madisonville commemorates Hopkins County being named in honor of a War of 1812 veteran.
Samuel Hopkins, a soldier and politician, was born in Albermarle County, Virginia, in 1753. Hopkins fought in the Revolutionary War, where he saw active service at Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, and Germantown, Pennsylvania, where he was wounded. A lieutenant colonel of the 10th Virginia, he was captured by British troops at Charleston, South Carolina.
In 1797, Hopkins moved to Henderson County, Kentucky, where he served in the Kentucky House and Senate. He also served in the United States Congress. During the War of 1812, Hopkins was a major general of the Kentucky State Militia. Throughout 1812, he led Kentucky and Indiana troops against Native Americans in Illinois.
Hopkins died in 1819. When Hopkins County was formed in 1806, it was named in his honor.