The town of Hopkinton originated perhaps as early as 1835. A young man by the name of William Nicholson came southwest from Dubuque seeking a site for a home. When he came to the south fork of the Maquoketa River, he found the place for which he was looking. Nicholson returned to Dubuque. He brought his father, two brothers and some livestock to locate at this spot, a few miles east of present Hopkinton. In that same year, Hugh Livingstone and his family heard of this area and moved here from Canada.
In 1841, the Carter and Jackson families came to the area. Mr. Carter and Mr. Jackson were the principal organizers of the town. They recorded the town plat in 1851 but the town was not incorporated until 1875. Some people wished to call it Hoptown, but Mr. Carter persuaded them to call it Hopkinton after Mrs. Carter's home at Hopkinton, Massachusetts.
Many settlers came in 1856 including Rev. W.L. Roberts, a very able and noted minister of the Covenanter faith. Through his influence many members of this religion located here.
The town progressed rapidly. Stores and several wagon shops were built. Then the people turned to education. An independent school district was formed. Then came thoughts of a college. In 1856 a committee of fifteen men were appointed to make plans. Chauncey Bowen gave $500 for the honor of having the college named after him. On September 1, 1859, the Bowen Collegiate Institute opened its doors. Later this four year college became a two year school and was renamed Lenox College. It operated until World War II took its toll of students. Lenox closed in 1946. The College Square is now owned by the Delaware County Historical Society.
From the advent of the college, Hopkinton continued to progress. The railroad came to Hopkinton in 1872. A bank was organized that year, also. A bridge was erected across the Maquoketa River so a saw mill could be established. Churches started. Soon there were Methodist, Presbyterian, Covenanter, and Christian Science with the Catholic church organizing in 1924.
The nationalities of the people were mostly Scotish, Irish, English and some German. People continued to move into town from many different areas so the nationalities are very mixed.