Sunday, September 7, 2008

Elisha Freeman Hubbard

Born to Marshall Moore Hubbard and Caroline Eliza Nickerson on March 5, 1838 in Ogden Township, Lenawee County, Michigan, Elisha Freeman Hubbard was one of the West's earliest pioneers. In the spring of 1861, he, along with a number of other young men, were called to accompany Captain Murdock to the Missouri River and meet a company of converts who were traveling from the British Isles.

In the company of the British Saints was a family by the name of Archibald, originally from Scotland. The father, James Robert, and son, James, had come west sometime before to prepare a home for the family. At this time Elisha met his future wife Agnes Archibald. She was twenty; Elisha was twenty-three. On arriving at Salt Lake City, they were married on September 21, 1861.

In 1861 Elisha was discharged from the service and the family moved to Grantsville, Toole County, Utah.

While living at Grantsville, he owned a sawmill business, with his cousins, the Barrus boys. In 1875, he sold his interest in the sawmill and moved his family to Grouse Creek, Boulder County. There, he went into the sheep business.

Because of the extremely cold weather and poor health of Agnes, Elisha was advised by a doctor to move to a warmer climate. He traded his sheep for teams and wagons and moved the family to Spanish Fork, where they stayed the winter of 1880-1881. In the early spring of 1881, Elisha and Agnes, with their family of four children, left Spanish Fork for St. David, Arizona. They arrived in Arizona May 5, 1881. The Nelson Bybee family, Daniel Kemp (a brother of Mrs. Bybee), and three single men accompanied the Hubbards.

Elisha set up a freighting business, making trips between Benson and Tombstone. On one of these trips, his son, Robert, went along. Robert fell from the wagon and was killed instantly. The shock proved too much for Agnes and, on August 14, 1881, she passed away.

After the death of his beloved wife, Elisha made the trip to Grantsville (Utah) to visit his mother. There, he met and married Almera Wilson, the daughter of Wellington Paul Wilson and Rebecca McBride.

The following summer, Elisha and his son Free (Freeman) went to the Gila Valley to run a thrasher. They then returnred to St. David and moved their families to the Valley, first settling in Pima.

Elisha and Free each bought forty acres of land across the Gila River, three miles from Pima, then homesteaded sixty acres more. Later, the community of Hubbard would be located there.

The next years were full for the Hubbard familiy. They cleared land, made a dam to get water from the river, dug canals, and eventually built a nice home in Hubbard.

Elisha bought a molasses mill, ordered from El Paso. When the mill arrived, the river was up and it had to be boated across. The cane crop was bountiful, enabling the family to make lots of molasses, which was greatly appreciated by their family as well as others throughout the Valley.

Elisha and Almera becaame the parents of a large family, in addition to Elisha's four children from his first marriage. The first ward in Hubbard was organized on January 27, 1900 with Elisha Freeman Hubbard serving as Bishop. (Previously, the community had been organized as a Branch on May 14, 1899.)

The Relief Society had been organized in the Branch by Stake President Andrew C. Kimball. With the organization of the ward, Almera Hubbard was sustained as Relief Society President.

Hubbard Ward was made up of Saints residing in scattered conditions on the north side of the river. It was located about four miles north of Thatcher, three miles east of Bryce, and four miles west of Graham. The Ward had a Relief Society, a Sunday School, a Mutual Improvement Association, and a religion class.

Elisha Freeman and Almera Hubbard served faithfully in the church and raised their family in righteousness.

(The above information was taken from PIOINEER TOWN, PIMA CENTENNIAL HISTORY, printed by the Eastern Arizona Museum and Historical Society Inc. of Graham County, Pima, Arizona, 1979.)

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