Mary Ann Watson Hubbard

Mary Ann Watson

Transcription (by Dixie Hansen, Saint Paul, MN) of a transcription (by John E. Hubbard, Rochester Hills, MI) of a transcription (by John W. Willoughby, Hartland, WI).  [Dixie: Note that I have left what appear to be some minor typos and oddly placed commas  intact –as I don’t know whether they were “writos” in the original or were introduced by a later transcriber.  The 2-letter alpha codes for U.S. states were almost certainly not in use in 1895, so presumably those abbreviations were substituted into this record by a transcriber or the newspaper publisher].

Note that the author is Mary Ann (Watson) Hubbard, b. circa May 1820, daughter of Benjamin B. and Ora (McCall) Watson.  She was married to Jedediah Hubbard, b. 20 March 1816, son of Chauncey and Annis (Brainerd) Hubbard. Chauncey was the son of Deacon Jedediah Hubbard and his wife Martha Stocking, one of the earliest settlers to Windham, Greene Co. NY

From the July 1, 1976 Evansville (WI) Post:

Pioneer Wife Had No Regrets in Traveling Westward

(Editor’s Note: The following account was written by Mary Ann Hubbard and was published in the Evansville Badger 81 years ago in November, 1895.  It’s the story of a young couple that traveled from Windahm (sic), NY, eventually arriving at Union, WI, where they settled on a farm on Brooklyn-Evansville Rd. From Windham they traversed by covered wagon to Syracuse, where they rode a boat down the Erie Canal to Buffalo, NY.  By steamer they arrived in Cleveland, OH and lived there for nine years, before arriving by covered wagon at Union in 1845.  Mrs. Hubbard is the great-great-grandmother of John Willoughby, 15 Garfield Ave., who provided the Post with this account.)

Editor of the Badger-

You may wish me to join the ranks of the old settlers.  I was born in Woodbury, Litchfield Co., CT.  Lived there until I was twelve years old, then went to Windham, NY.  In 1836 on the 24 of May I went to Tully, NY.  On the 15th of September, 1836, I was married to Jed Hubbard of Windham at Otisco.

We were a rather youthful couple; Mr. Hubbard wanted six months of being twenty one and I was four years and two months younger.  We took our bridal tour in a stage from Tully, NY to Syracuse and then went on board a canal boat to Buffalo (a journey of a week).  There we went on board a steamboat, Michigan, and landed at Cleveland, OH, November 1.  We went to Mr. Hubbard’s brother’s home, four miles south of Cleveland.  This brother had cleared twenty acres of heavy timberland and built a log house.

Mr. Hubbard brought a team and a wagon and went to drawing wood to Cleveland which was very profitable work.  The plan was for us to board for twelve shillings a week at his brother’s.  I boarded one week, then I thought I was not helping to get a home, so I said to my sister-in-law: “Will you let me help you a little around the house for my board?”  She told me she would gladly do so.  We stayed three months.  Then we moved to a log house 14 x 16, having two windows and a fire place, a little pantry and what many did not have, a mantle over the fire place.  As our furniture was not very elaborate (we had a table, bedstead, bed and six chairs) Mr. Hubbard would bring me from time to time from Cleveland something to furnish our house, and when he brought me home a pair of brass candlesticks, I put them on the mantle shelf and they looked so nice.  I was that proud that I really felt above my neighbors.

The big decision

In 1840 Mr. Hubbard came to Union, Wisconsin, and stopped all night with Mr. Boyd Phelps, they went the next day to Jug Prairie, and located 160 acres of land where Mr. Ellis lives at present.  He returned to Ohio again, but in 1845 we made up our minds we would have a home of our own, and in August we started with our team and covered wagon and our three little boys aged seven, five, and three respectively, for our home.  We stopped every Sunday and rested ourselves and team, lived in our wagon and cooked our meals by the roadside.  When we neared Sandusky, OH, we saw cars for the first time.  A few miles out of Chicago we were overtaken by two men who said they were going to Rome Corners (now Oregon), WI to settle.  They were the Messers. Hayes, from La Porte, Indiana.  When we got back to Rock River, we crossed on Hume’s bridge and camped on the bank for the night.  Mr. Hayes shot two prairie-chickens and I made biscuits and baked them in my little tin oven we had with us, and we had quite a feast.  (By-the-by, that little tin oven served me to bake biscuits in three time a day for two years).  We stopped as we came into Union, at Mr. Henry Spencer’s for a drink, then went to Hiram Griffith’s where Mr. Munger now lives.  His was the only house to be seen.  Taking a south-west direction we came out at Mr. Longbournes, who had build on land joining ours, we stayed there three days.  Mr. Hubbard traded with Mr. John Griffith for eighty acres, giving in exchange his one hundred and sixty acres, his team and wagon for eighty; it had a house and well, sixty acres broken and fenced, five acres of wheat, five of corn, and on-half acre of potatoes.  Mr. Hubbard also bought twenty acres in the grove, paying two hundred dollars for it, thus getting one of the best farms in Rock County.  Mr. Hubbard, used to say, he always wanted it to be owned by a Hubbard.  I own it at present and as there are eleven grandsons I don’t think there is any danger of the name becoming extinct.  As we now had a home of our own, I was happy.  My husband was very homesick the first year but I never had a homesick day in my life.  We had just enough money to buy a cow, which we paid for five franc pieces, then we had a little change for postage, which cost us twenty-five cents a letter.      Yours, M.A. Hubbard, Union, WI

November 25,1895.

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