MS0153 The Hooper Collection

Summary Information

Title: Hooper Collection
Collection No: MS 0153
Creator: Hooper, Joseph O. and Hooper, Elizabeth Hargett
Collection Dates: 1934-2006; does not include all years
Extent: Approximately 5 cubic feet
Abstract: This collection includes materials collected or created by Joseph O. Hooper and his wife Elizabeth Hargett Hooper.  These materials include information regarding the following organizations: United Steam Fire Company No. 3, Fort Detrick Fire Department, Masonic organizations, and Mutual Insurance Company.  There are also general firefighting manuals.  This collection also contains information about Joseph’s military service as well as the Hoopers’ personal affects.
Language: All records are in English.

The Historical Society of Frederick County
Preservation Center
24 East Church Street
Frederick, MD 21701

Date Published: April 15, 2011
Author: The guide to this collection was written by Lisa Norton.
Encoder: N/A


Joseph O. Hooper (born April 1, 1916-died July 2000) was captain in 1940 of the United No. 3 Fire company, and then resigned to accept the position of paid driver within the company. He would later hold the position of captain again from 1950-1951.

The United Steam Fire Engine Company No. 3 has been in place for over 160 years. In November of 1845, former members of the Washington Hose Company formed The United Hose Company in Frederick. By 1847, the City gave the company $430 toward the purchase of a lot, the site of the present fire house on South Market Street. Many may recall the term ‘swamper,’ which originated because the building on South Market Street was located near a swamp. The company officially became the United Steam Fire Engine Company in 1878.

Joseph later became employed in the Facilities Division of the Fire Department at Camp (Fort) Detrick as a firefighter and driver-operator.  In 1978, he was employed as security officer at Litton Bionetics—a government contractor conducting cancer research at Fort Detrick.

Joseph Hooper enlisted in the army on December 17, 1942 and served until the closing of the war (WWII).  He participated in the invasion of Normandy with the 81st Chemical Battalion attached to the 29th Infantry.  He received 3 purple hearts and was awarded the Normandy Medal of Liberation (from his obituary in Frederick News Post).   He was awarded his purple hearts for wounds incurred on 31 August 1944 in France and 22 March 1945 in Germany. He married Elizabeth Hargett on June 28, 1943.

Joseph was also a member of the Freemasons. The Columbia Lodge No. 58 was organized in 1815. Hooper entered as an Apprentice on February 20, 1956; became a Fellow Craft on March 19, 1956, and finally became a Master Mason on April 2, 1956.

Elizabeth Hargett Hooper joined Mutual Insurance Company in 1947 as a clerk-typist; she became assistant secretary in 1961 and secretary in 1973.  She won outstanding employee award in 1980 from National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC).   She also was a member of the Order of Eastern Star No. 79, Frederick Cedarettes, Women’s Auxiliary of Frederick Memorial Hospital and the Evangelical Reformed Church.

Joseph was a graduate of Frederick High School Class 1934.  Elizabeth was a graduate of Frederick High School Class 1939.

The Freemasons are a fraternal organization. Members share a variety of beliefs, which include a constitutional declaration of belief in a supreme being.

The Cedarettes of the Tall Cedars of Lebanon is an appendant body of the Freemasons. It is geared more towards social interactions, which is also indicated through their motto: “Fun, Frolic and Fellowship.”

The Scottish Rite is also part of the Freemasons and is a place where a Master Mason may join to be further exposed to the ideas of Freemasonry.

The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world that allows both men and women to join. In order to join, men must be Master Masons and women must have specific relationships with Masons, such as being a wife or a daughter.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains an extensive amount of information regarding activities, policies, and procedures concerning Masonic organizations and firefighting companies, such as the United No. 3 Fire Company and Fort (Camp) Detrick, and Frederick Mutual Insurance Company.

The collection contains several pamphlets from Masonic organizations such as Order of Eastern Star, the Freemasons, Cedarettes, and Tall Cedars of Lebanon.

The collection contains a large collection of books and manuals describing standards in chemical, nuclear and biological warfare as issued by the War Department spanning from 1940s to 1960s.

In addition the collection contains several firefighting manuals, pamphlets, and instructions that would have been in use by fire companies in 1930s to 1950s.  The collection also contains Joseph Hooper’s notes on these topics.

The collection also contains personal items and information regarding Joseph Hoopers military service. These include memorabilia from Frederick High School and one of Hooper’s Purple Hearts.

These materials were collected by Joseph Hooper and his wife, Elizabeth. They were members of or worked for each of the organizations represented.


The collection is arranged into the following series:

Series I: Firefighting

Sub-series: General

Sub-series: Union Steam Fire Engine Company No. 3

Sub-series: Fort Detrick


Series II: Masonic Organizations

Series III: Photographs

Series IV: Postcards

Series V: Military Service

Series VI: Mutual Insurance Company

Series VII: Personal

*The arrangement scheme was imposed during the processing of this collection due to the absence of a usable original order.

Controlled Access Terms

Personal Names:

Hooper, Joseph O.

Hooper, Elizabeth Hargett

Corporate Names:

United Steam Fire Engine No. 3

Fort Detrick

Mutual Insurance Company


Fire fighting


Order of the Eastern Star

Purple Heart


Frederick, MD







Fire fighter
Access and Use

Access Restrictions:


An appointment must be made with the Archivist to these items.  No additional access restrictions are in place.


Acquisition Information:

Donated by Bryan Main, nephew of Joseph Hooper


Appraisal, Destruction and Scheduling Information:

All files in this collection are appraised as retain permanently.


Preferred Citation:

Hooper Collection, MS0153, Archives and Research Center, The Historical Society of Frederick County.


Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Lisa Norton in 2011. Further additions are possible in the future from Bryan Main.



Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce must be obtained from the Historical Society of Frederick County, Frederick, Maryland 21701


Related Material:


“A Look Back,” Frederick Magazine, April 2009.

“Timepiece,” Frederick Magazine, May 2015.