Mr. Fred William Hooper
On December 6, 1897, Fred William Hooper was born in a small rural town in Cleveland, Georgia. In his early years he worked on the family farm. He attended one semester in high school in Clermont. Woodlawn, a nearby school, was in desperate need of a teacher. Mr. Hooper passed the State Teachers' Test and became that teacher.
With an adventuresome spirit and a realization of the world, he bought a herd of wild horses and trained them. This was only one of the many things in which he was successful. He went through many phases of work - working as a barber, carpenter, concrete form builder, a boxer, a contractor and as a steel mill laborer - to mention only a few.
Realizing that he must draw the line somewhere, in 1937 Mr. Hooper bought 5,000 acres of farmland near Montgomery and stocked it with purebred Hereford cattle. The Circle H Farm, as it became known, produced a number of champion bulls and prize-winning livestock.
Mr. Hooper bought a racehorse, Royal Prince, who won forty nine out of fifty starts. This prompted him to buy a horse in 1943 - Hoop Jr.. A dream became a reality in 1945 when Hoop Jr. won the Kentucky Derby. Susan's Girl, another of Mr. Hooper's famous horses, became the leading money winning mare in American racing history and was three times an Eclipse winner.
In keeping with his interests - livestock and construction - Fred Hooper built Hooper Stockyards in Montgomery. He moved his racing stables to Ocala, Florida, where he and his wife, Wanda, resided until his death on August 4, 2000.
We give our thanks to Mr. Fred William Hooper for founding our great school, Hooper Academy!