Mrs. Osie Hopkins (Madeline's mother)
Mrs. Osie Hopkins rented the Capt. Sewall house in the 1920s during the years of prohibition. Local law officials turned a blind eye to bootlegging and rum-running operations, being more intent on keeping organized crime from outside the region interfering with local operators. Her landlords, members of the Martin Maloney family, were heavily involved in the development of the area. Martin Maloney was a principal in the syndicate that owned the Sunrise Inn. Many of the guests at the hotel expected alcoholic beverages to be available during stay, consequently the owners of the hotel bankrolled local rumrunners.
After Osie Hopkins' husband left her with four children to support she was able to provide for her family nicely by becoming a liquor wholesaler. Rum-runners dropped off liquor by water, and Mrs. Hopkins stored it in a vault where customers could drive to her home and purchase a supply for their needs. Local lawmen looked the other way.
Although there are rumors to the contrary, it would not be logical for Osie Hopkins to run any other business from her family home where she was raising her children. She was able to support herself and her children comfortably with her bootlegging operation. In 1925 Osie Hopkins was 46 years old with an 18 year-old son who helped her in her business. She had two beautiful daughters in their mid- teens and a seven year-old son.
The accounts of old-timers and property records reveal that Osie Hopkins owned land on Sewall's Point before she moved to Port Sewall. She also owned a commercial lot on Dixie Highway in Golden Gate during the time she was renting the Capt. Sewall house. In 1927, a corporation, Virgie-Madeline, Inc., was created to protect the family's assets. Osie Hopkins acquired ten acres between Palm Beach Road and what became Witham Field in the 1920s. She built a home there where she lived in pioneer fashion after her bootlegging days were over. There was an outdoor privy before other houses were built in the area. Chickens supplied eggs and an occasional dinner.
Osie Hopkins' older daughter, Madeline, married prominent pioneer businessman and aviator, Bert Krueger, on November 17, 1942. Bert and Madeline raised their two children, Theresa and Paul, in the big three-story Krueger home on today's East Ocean Boulevard on the east side the creek that bears the family name..
Although she operated outside the letter of the law, Osie Hopkins was a respected pioneer business woman of Martin County.
1.James Reardon, Jr. November 11, 1986, Taped interview by Sandra Thurlow.
2.Curt Whiticar, November 2, 1986, Taped interview by Sandra Thurlow. G. C. Whiticar to Sandra Thurlow, April 29, 2009. Letter and drawings documenting Osie Hopkins bootlegging operation.
3.Jan Fogt, "Fixture on St. Lucie bridge 'Tiny' Hopkins dead at 75," Stuart News, May 16, 1982, A-5.
4.Theresa Krueger Woleslagle, April 21, 2009, Conversation with Sandra Thurlow.