J. P Munro-Fraser.

History of Solano County...and histories of its cities, towns...etc. .. online

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two years in South America. In 1860 Mr. Hubbard proceeded to Santa
Clara, and there was engaged by the firm of Hobich & Bros., general
merchants, as clerk ; in 1862 he returned to San Francisco and entered
the office of the Provost Marshal, continuing there till 1864, when he
visited the Eastern States with his father and sister. At the end of four-
teen months he returned to California, and having resided for four months
at Benicia, he went to San Jose, where he was employed for the best part
of four years in the firms of T. W. Spring & Co., and N. Hayes. In 1869
he once more visited San Francisco, where he was appointed a Deputy
Sheriff. He visited Mexico and Oregon in 1870, and arrived in Vallejo
in the fall of that year, after which he proceeded to Napa, Humboldt bay,
the Sandwich Islands, and in 1871, returned to Vallejo, where he has
since permanently resided. He opened his present business in February,
1877. Is unmarried.

HUBBS, THE HONORABLE PAUL K., (deceased), one of that class of
Pioneers whose memory those who are left behind delight to honor, and
who labored to bring the State of California into the proud position of
being one of the foremost in the Union, was a descendant of another class
of Pioneers, his ancestors being of that band of Quaker families who
emigrated from England to America in Anno Domini 1650, and settled in
Rhode Island. He was born on March 27, 1800, near Woodstown, in
Salem county, New Jersey, and received his schooling in Philadelphia,
where he was well grounded in the necessary education of the period.
Early in life Mr. Hubbs essayed work on a farm, which in a sketch of his
life he describes thus : " My father again moving to the old homestead
and requiring all possible help, I had to leave the old frame school-
house, corner of Race and Juniper, and at eleven years old take charge
of a team and go through a course of agricultural studies ; more health-
ful I thought to the body than the mind. All the steam then that con-
tributed to the plowing was raised from the person of man and horse-
The reaping was done as in the time of Ruth. We shelled corn by hand
across an iron bar and done flail threshing on rainy days, nor was our
mowing accomplished by patent. Don't talk about good old times ;
those were weary days to the farmer — up before daylight to wade through
snow and sleet and slush and rain and ice to prepare and donate feed for


horses preparatory to a day's work, ending late in the evening. Yet the
toil and hardship of the day gave us good appetites and sweet sleep
preparatory to a renewal of the same lack of variety, save the change
from storm to sunshine and from sunshine to storm, and from intense
cold to man-melting heat. Thanks to Almighty God, the small com-
munities of those days were strictly honest, with rare exception. The
Bible and the newspaper were read with equal confidence in their truth."
Mr. Hubbs did not long pursue farming as an occupation, for he shortly
afterwards received a position in a wholesale dry goods store on No. 23
North Front street, Philadelphia, and while there it happened that Judge
Kinsay, after whom he had been named, had arrived in the city to pur-
sue his professional practice, and at once took young Hubbs in hand,
keeping him reading law or attending law courts during the evening.
About this time he entered into his first mercantile transaction on his
own account. He had been noticed by the mate of a vessel trading to
Porto Rico, who inquired how much capital he had at his disposal. The
reply was " nine dollars." With this sum his friend advised him to in-
vest in twelve barrels of apples, which he did ; his goods were taken by
the brig, and two months thereafter he found gazetted in the morning
paper of Imports " 20 bags coffee to Paul K. Hubbs." From his extreme
youth, then but 13 years, he had some difficulty in convincing the Cus-
toms authorities of his honesty ; eventually, however, his produce was
cleared, a position in the store was granted to him whereat he might dis-
pose of his consignment, which he soon did, realizing the sum of $140, to
him a fabulous outturn indeed. He was not carried away by this turn
of Fortuna's wheel, however, for with the proceeds of this venture he in-
vested still further, always attended with a reasonable profit. Mr. Hubbs
next visited New York for the first time, on certain legal business, which
place he reached by stage and steamer, the latter commanded by Cor-
nelius Vanderbilt, with whom he had a little passage of words, which
would appear to have made so deep an impression on the Captain that
the point urged by Hubbs was gained. At this period the British were
before Baltimore and Philadelphia was alarmed. Citizens were called
upon to throw up breastworks over the Schuylkill and other defensible
points in the construction of which he entered with the vigor of youth,
and shortly after, when on a collecting tour in Virginia, he saw the havoc
of war and the ruins of houses and homesteads occasioned by the hos-
tilities which then raged between the United States and the British. On
his return, through the failure of the firm in which he had served, Mr.
H. found himself out of employment, and after for a while suffering the
heartburnings and misery of seeking for work, answering advertisements
and seeing his little ready coin dwindling into insignificance, he was
taken into the counting-house of J. and M. Brown and M. D. Lewis, the


leading firm of Philadelphia, with whom he worked as book-keeper
and afterwards as cashier, and at the end of a lease of
faithful service he was established by the firm, whose business
had greatly increased, in a branch of the house situated on the
south side of Market street, under the name of Paul K. Hubbs, in
which he was admitted" a partner, which in 1826, at the time of a great
crisis, was dissolved by mutual consent, and the assets divided. As a
proof of the marvelous uprightness and proper feeling of Mr. Hubbs, the
following anecdote is taken from his note book : " Nicholas Biddle, then
the great financial spirit of the United States, remarked one day to a
coterie at the Exchange, as I passed, 'There goes the sharpest man of
Market street!' I heard it, and it pained me. I sought almost imme-
diately an interview and remarked, 'Mr. Biddle, you have ruined me; I
heard your remark as I passed; we are all of us afraid of sharp men.
Say that I am industrious and know my business, but don't, I pray you,
ever call me sharp.' ' Well, Hubbs,' said he, 'this only convinces me that
I was right, but I am enlightened by the truism of your suggestion! ' " In
his manhood, though attending with strict devotion to the cares of his
business, the subject of this sketch found time to take a part in the
philantrophies of the time, which were then being largely cared for by
Mathew Carey, a name which will remain engraven on the early history
of Philadelphia as an advocate of American manufactures and home in-
dustry generally. In 1827, Mr. H. erected the first calico print works in
Pennsylvania at "The Lagrange," on the Pennepack near Bustleton, now
the twenty-third ward of the city of Philadelphia, and in 1828 we find
him acting as Secretary for " The Society of Internal Improvement
of Pennsylvania," having associated with him Chief Justice Tilghman,
Peter S. Duponceon, John Sergeant, John J. Borie, Charles J. Ingersoll,
and five merchants who formed an active committee of ten. It was dif-
ficult to obtain a Legislature willing to take hold of so vast an enter-
prise. Mr. Hubbs thus describes a session where a startling innovation
was mooted ; " The committee was assembled at the ' Indian Queen,'
Fourth street, one evening. The sub-committee reported the situation
above named. John Sergeant, (candidate for Vice-President with Mr.
Clay afterward), Chairman of Committee, in his seat and I at his side as
Secretary. We were busy about details, when Mr. Ingersoll came in.
He at once commenced : ' Mr. Chairman, I have a matter that I deem to
be of great importance to the committee ; I think we can eclipse New
York. I am reliably informed that transportation can be successfully
made at cheap rates by running wagons prepared for the purpose over
parallel bars of iron. The experiment has been successfully tried at an
English colliery, reducing their expenses two-thirds, with mere play for
the horses. Let us apply.' Mr. Ingersoll!' ejaculated Mr. Sergeant from


the chair, ' we are just completing our well laid plans of success in mak-
ing a grand canal, and I hope you will not come here with your flights of
fancy.' ' Well,' says Mr. Ingersoll, 'dig your ditch, but I shouldn't be
surprised to see it some day covered by parallel bars of iron.' This was
the first I ever heard of railroads, and I took occasion to remark that
' such a thing might do in England, but our Pennsylvania frosts would
forbid it here.' We went on, and after wonderful log rolling obtained a
law and a canal and a final debt of $42,000,000 to Pennsylvania." In
1830 he visited Europe, staying at many of the most picturesque spots in
Great Britain, and happened to be in London at the time of the corona-
tion of King William IV., which is thus amusingly described by Mr.
Hubbs : " My banker was too late for Westminster Abbey, but obtained
me a stand in a parlor nearly opposite St. James' Palace, whence the
cavalcade would issue, and where the children of the Lord Mayor and
myself could see everything of the move. The Duchess of Kent would
not let little Vic, then some fourteen years old, go in the procession.
Earl somebody, one of Billy's naturals, fixed up the whole matter, and
Vic's place was not the right one, and she didn't ride then ; but she did
afterward, God bless her ! William looked very like old General Cadwal-
ader. The Queen had a square face and a princely Dutch nose indicative of
bad humor. They shouted, 'Long live King William the Fourth ! ' I
shouted, ' Hurrah for Billy Guelph ! ' I thought that was about the right
sort of American manner, and let it out." After his sojourn in England,
Mr. Hubbs crossed over to France with which he was much charmed, and
after visiting many places of mark he once more sailed to America in the
packet " Sally," commanded by Captain Pell, but as the voyage thither
was undertaken solely for the purpose of bringing his wife to share with
him the pleasures of sight-seeing, he once more sailed from American
shores. The port of destination this time was Marseilles, through the
Straits of Gibralter and up the Meditereanean, and again he landed
in la belle France ; and on April 4, his son Anthony was born in Lyons ;
and it was in this city that he received his first taste of Revolutionary
France, in the year 1834.
From this city, Mr. Hubbs made the tour of Europe. To follow him
on, which is impossible, for want of space ; and early in 1836 he took
ship for home from Havre ; but encountering a hurricane in the English
Channel, being saved from shipwreck on the rock-bound coast of Devon-
shire, as it were, by a miracle, he landed in New York without further
adventure, and proceeded thence to the home of his youth. The change
found in Philadelphia after so protracted an absence was very marked.
Men whom he had left struggling, he found in opulence ; while those who
were at the top of the ladder of commercial and financial fame had suc-
cumbed to make or mar no more. In 1837 Mr. Hubbs owned the Mil-


hausen Print Works, then located below the Navy Yard, in Philadelphia,
which were destroyed in September, 1839, by fire, through mismanage-
ment on the part of the fire company ; but with that rectitude of mind
which has always characterized his dealings, and that perseverance which
would stand no brooking, he paid off every dollar lost by the fire, and
bought in a large portion of the Pennypack Mills. Hereafter he took
part in the politics of the State, which led him into much prominence,
and in 1841 was elected Colonel of the Third Regiment, Pennsylvania
militia, which had a share in the subduing of the fanaticism that culmi-
nated in the church riots. In the midst of the great excitement of the
retirement of Henry Clay, whom Col. Hubbs in his sketch, eulogizes in
glowing terms, he was offered by Mr. Tyler, the Consulate at Paris, and
subsequently by Mr. Polk, the like position at San Francisco, which he
declined, for what were to him good and sufficient reasons ; and was pres-
ent in Washington during the excitement of the declaration of war
against Mexico. Mr. Dalles was then enthusiastic to procure California
as well as Oregon, then comprising what is now all west of the Missouri
between 42 and 49 of latitude ; and it was when in the Capital that he
was first introduced to General Winfield Scott, the veteran and accom-
plished Chief of the American army.
A new era now opened itself for Col. Hubbs. California had become
the popular talk of the Eastern States ; he had read Emory's Notes on the
country south from Salt Lake to California, and Fremont's Rocky
Mountain and California campaign ; then came reports of gold, he, there-
fore, for his star had not latterly been in the ascendant as regards finan-
cial success, determined to emigrate, his first idea being to attempt the
overland journey, which he agreed to undertake in company with his
cousin, Ira Burdsall, Frank Tilford, a Mr. Wingate and Bryant, the
author of " What I saw in California." Falling sick, however, this
journey was given up by him, but, nothing daunted, he wound up his
affairs, resigned his posts of honor, responsibility and trust and, notwith-
standing inducements of a flattering order being held out, he finally sailed
for California on May 3, 1849, in the ship " Susan G. Owens," his wife
and children accompanying him. His description of the scene on the
wharf is full of pathos and teems with humane feeling, clothed in words
which, though in prose, vie in interest with the immortal lives of Childe
Harold's Farewell from the halls of his youth. The good ship, with its
precious freight of human beings, proceeded on its journey and, with the
exception of one or two disagreeables, incidental to a long sea voyage
touched at Rio de Janiero and Valparaiso and arrived in San Francisco at
noon, on October 12, 1849. The first impressions of Californian life are
graphically described by his son, for Col. Hubbs did not live to finish the
sketch of his life with his own pen. In December, 1849, we find the


Colonel, along with his eldest son, en route to the San Jaoquin valley,
finally reaching Stockton one week after leaving San Francisco. The
description of the city of Stockton, as it then was, is worthy of being-
quoted : " The inhabitants were employed : some in gambling, others in
prayer, and every diversity of occupation. Some of those who were the
strongest advocates of temperance, when in the Eastern States, might
here be seen dealing out liquor with greater vigor than all the others of
the same profession. Shoemakers by trade would here be lawyers by
occupation. The mud was knee-deep, and most of the inhabitants ap-
peared as though they liked it too well to brush it off, and to wash their
faces or comb the hair, that they considered was a once-a-month job." In
this canvass cosmopolitan city, the Hubbs', father and son, purchased a
camping outfit of frying-pan, bean-kettle, coffee-pot, cups and plates of tin,
butcher knife and other necessary impedimenta and started for the Stanis-
laus river, which they reached on the second day, crossing at Hyslop's
Ferry and camped at Texas Jack's ranch, where they were entertained by
" Big Mouth Bill," " Three-fingered Jack," and others of like kith. Here
he located 640 acres of land, three miles above Texas Jack's, opposite
Cotton's Ferry, and named it Camp Washington, the ford being called
Hubbs' Ford. These acres are now known as the rising town of Oakdale.
Here a house of six feet square, composed of rushes, closed in on the
eastern and southern sides, was erected ; and, though it did not keep out
the wild beasts, with which the country then abounded, it served the
necessary purpose of a shelter. These two carefully nurtured gentlemen
here commenced the veritable hardships of a pioneer's life, trees com-
menced to drop under their untiring axes, a vegetable garden was planted
and then he sent for his wife and children and went to Stockton to re-
ceive them, but the usually trim Colonel was scarcely recognizable in his
slouch hat, grown beard and carelessly tied neck -handkerchief . The warm
and affectionate heart still was there, however, and as proper arrange-
ments as could be made in those days were perfected, and the family pro-
ceeded to their home on the Stanislaus, Mrs. Hubbs being the first white
lady to cross its waters, where they were received with much joy by their
eldest boy. So great a novelty was the appearance of a lady on the
Stanislaus, that the news of her arrival spread like wild-fire, and she was
visited by hundreds of rough looking miners who, notwithstanding their
uncouth exterior, held soft and warm hearts within, and would feel quite
homesick in the presence of the fair gentlewoman. While he lived in
Tuolumne county, which then swarmed with horse thieves, assassins and
outlaws, their house was often the haven where the outraged traveler
sought protection, which was always obtained, while in the sketch from
which this memoir is condensed, we gather that that desperado, Joaquin
Murietta, was, under an assumed name, a constant visitor at his house ;


judge of the surprise on recognizing the head of the outlaw as the same
individual who had so often petted his children and partaken of his
In 1850, Colonel Hubbs entered public life in California, as Alcalde, or
Justice of the Peace, for Tuolumne ; and, in the following year, he was
elected to the Senate, by the Democratic party from Tuolumne county,
and, in December, 1851, he with his family arrived at Vallejo, then the
State Capital, ready to enter upon his Senatorial duties. Col. Hubbs fol-
lowed the fortunes of the Legislature on its cruises in search of a perma-
nent location ; he fought hard against every bill which favored the removal
of the capital, as he considered it an unnecessary expense to the State.
To him is the credit due of introducing the Bill entitled " Providing
Revenue for the support of the Government of this State," one of the
most popular bills of the time, although it had some enemies. He was also in
connection with the Honorable Frank Soule, the framer of the bill which
was enacted and which formed the basis of the existing laws enCOUrag-
ing the system of education for the young at general expense, which is
so great a, pride to the State. Col. Hubbs was President, pro tern., of the
Senate, and, while occupying the Chair of that body, performed an act
for which, to this day, the citizens of San Francisco feel grateful, for
having saved much to her, as also it did to the State, when the first of
the bulkhead scheme's bill came up on its final passage. His was the
casting vote which was given in favor of the city of San Francisco and
against the project of throwing the whole water front of that city into
the hands of speculators. Colonel Hubbs was one of the most industri-
ous of Senators, he worked earnestly in the cause of education, for which
he was afterwards rewarded by being placed at the head of the Educa-
tional Department, State Superintendent of Public Instruction ; but it is
not only in this sphere alone in which he shone, the Acts he laid before
the House are too numerous to mention in this place, suffice it to say that
they were all devised for the benefit of the State. He had at heart the
design to enact just and wholesome legislation, that served alike for the
best interest of the agriculturist as well as the miner ; while he had the
forethought to make the foundation for the preparatory necessities of the
large influx of population which afterwards found its way to the shores
of California. During his tenure of office as State Superintendent of
Public Instruction, the number of schools in the State, in three years, in-
creased from twenty to three hundred and sixteen, while the advance in
attendance was from three thousand three hundred and fourteen to
twenty-six thousand one hundred and sixty. Many of his friends desired
to renominate him for a second term, while others wished that he should
become a candidate for the United States Senate, both of which he de-
clined, favoring an intimate friend, Andrew J. Moulder, to be his successor.


At the death of his wife, which took place on September 30, 1856, Colonel
Hubbs retired from public life and, having visited Puget Sound, he set-
tled at Port Townsend, Washington Territory, following his profession of
attorney and counsellor at law ; he succeeded in building up a large prac-
tice and was known throughout the Territory as one of its most eminent
lawyers and statesmen. In 1860, he was elected to the Territorial
Council, representing the counties of Jefferson, Claim Island and What-
com. In the following year he was chosen President of the Council and,
in 1866, he was prominently spoken of as a probable candidate for
Congress ; business, however, called him to California, and he ultimately
located at Vallejo. While a resident of this city, he was one of its mov-
ing spirits, he occupied many positions of trust ; to him is due, in a great
measure, the establishment of an Episcopal Church in Vallejo. On Tues-
day, November 17, 1874, at noon, he was, to all appearances, well, shortly
after he was taken ill, and at five minutes to two, in the afternoon of that
day, he died, honored by all ; respected by all ; loved by all, and without
an enemy.
Colonel Hubbs married Miss Eliza Hedelius, in 1830, daughter of Capt.
Hedelius, who fought with Paul Jones on the Bon Homme Richard, to
join whom he ran away from an English University. They leave Paul
Kinsey, born near Nashville, Tennessee, on September 20, 1832. He is
now a resident of Washington Territory. Anthony was born in Lyons,
April 4, 1832 ; is now book-keeper in the State Controller's office at Sac-
ramento ; Virginia, born in 1841 ; Charles Henry, born September 17',
1843, now of Vallejo. In 1857 Col. Hubbs married secondly Margaret
Gilchrist, at Benicia, by whom he had Bayard Ingersoll, born Octobe'r 19,
1858, and Helen May, born May, 1862.

HUBBS, CHARLES H., third son of the Hon. Paul K. Hubbs, was born in
Pennypack, now a portion of the City of Philadelphia, on September 17,
1843, and accompanied his parents, in the ship " Susan G. Owens," leav-
ing Philadelphia May 3d, and 1 arriving in San Francisco October 12, 1849-
He first attended Doctor Vermehr's school, then the only one in that city.
During the legislative sessions of 1852 and 1853 was Page of the Assem-
bly, being Chief Page in the latter year, with Virgil C. Bartlett and Wil-
liam Fosbender as assistants. During these sessions he received ten dol-
lars a day as compensation, and out of the salary saved, a sum of twenty-
five hundred dollars, which was invested for him by his father, the inter-
est paying for his schooling and other necessaries. Was educated at the
Collegiate Institution, Public School, and High School of Benicia, and in
1857 entered the telegraph service as messenger in the Benicia office. During
the fall of the year he came to Vallejo, for the purpose of instructing W.
W. Chapman in the art of telegraphy, and in April, 1858, when the


Northern Telegraph was being constructed from Marysville to Yreka, by
Messrs. Strong and Hubbard, he accepted a position on that line, being
the first operator at Tehama, where he taught Charles Harvey. While
there was promoted to be Chief Operator on the line. From thence he
proceeded to Horsetown, where he was preceptor in telegraphy to Judge
James N. Eby, and after Frank W. Blake at Weaverville, Trinity county,
whence he returned home, having resigned his position. He next went
to Shaw's Flat and there received propositions to proceed to Napa to
open the office of the line which was being extended from Vallejo to that
city. This he, however, only held for a few weeks, when he was called
by his father to accompany him to Washington Territory. In 1865, when
James Gamble, the General Superintendent, was extending telegraphic

Online LibraryJ. P Munro-FraserHistory of Solano County...and histories of its cities, towns...etc. .. → online text (page 41 of 57)