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The following was written by a Hubbard descendant, and published in the book "One Thousand Years of Hubbard History," compiled by Edward Warren Day (also a Hubbard descendant) and published by Harlan Page Hubbard in New York City, New York in 1895. The article may be found on page 416.


"One Thousand Years of Hubbard History" is the title of a book now in press and to be published in New York. Though this takes the family back two centuries beyond the Norman conquest and in Norseland, what good is it? they are bound to trace to and can not trace beyond the original Mother Hubbard.

The publication of the above editorial in the St. Louis Star Sayings led a well-known newspaper writer, a Hubbard descendant, to sharpen his pencil and write the following about what is probably the oldest nursery rhyme in existence. The publisher of this volume, in common with all other descendents of the name, duly bore his share of raillery about his maternal ancestry. He found it the best way to join in the rhyme in a jolly way. That seemed to take the edge off from his companions fun somewhat. He therefore feels at liberty to insert this bit of humor, according to those who do not appreciate the keen points and bright satire on all who would travesty the name the privilege of removing the pages from the book.


Manifestly it would be abortive to present a genealogical history of the Hubbard family without recognizing the fact that the illustrious tribe had a maternal as well as a paternal progenitor. In fact, it would be worse than that, for while the fierce sea king, Hubba, thundered down the corridors of time for a short distance, and then slid off un-noticed into some of the by-ways of history that are only trodden by the tireless footsteps of antiquarians and such, the old lady who bore the full name of Hubbard, from the first, has ambled along on the broad highway of public attention, quietly and quaintly, leading her dog and making no disturbance. Hubba was prominent for a time. She is prominent for all time. Her history is briefly told in the books. To the world, more familiarly, it is repeated more often than that of many heroes and heroines who achieved more startling feats than she. Not even truthful George, the heroic child with the hatchet, is more often mentioned or better remembered than is Old Mother Hubbard. It is very unfortunate that we have no data to present of her lineage. Some sensitive relative, we understand, destroyed the records. She doubtless had parents, but who they were is not apparent. She had family ties, unquestionably, else the tribe of Hubbards would hardly be as numerous as it is. Of these family ties, however, tradition tells us nothing. After the manner of nearly all of the chroniclers of antiquity who wrote contemporaneous history, those who wrote of her contented themselves with recording those salient facts in her life story which best illustrate the prominent and attractive traits of her character.

From the meager details of this most admirable woman's history, which are all that remain to us, it is, however, altogether impossible to obtain a comprehensive idea of what she must have been, and of the influence which she unquestionably exerted on the people and the manners of her era. What that era was it is, unfortunately, impossible to say. The rude rhymes which perpetrate her noble deeds have been handed down from generation to generation, until looking backward, we are utterly unable to imagine how remote was the period of her life. Certain allusions, as those to a cupboard, to a tailor, to linen, and the like, make it certain that some measure of civilization had been attained before she died, if, indeed, she can be said to have died in any true sense of the word. The unquestionable antiquity of her story, however, proves that that civilization must have been immature. This being demonstrated, it is easy for the careful student to see that she was no ordinary person, as, of course, she would not be, being a Hubbard. In the first place she was notable for being old at the period when the historian's attention was first attracted to her. She was, in her youth, no social reformer or agitator, else she would have attracted notice sooner. She never occupied a box at the opera, could not ride a bicycle, and was indifferent upon the subject of "tariff reform." Her placid, and well-ordered life had proceeded, doubtless on conventional lines, so quietly and under such social discipline, that it was not until after her family had grown up and gone out to people the corners of the earth, as they have since done, that she became in any way notable. Of course, she had had a family. The existence of that family today is sufficient evidence of that fact, but, aside from their existence, the fact that she was Mother Hubbard is proof positive. A person can not be a mother without having progeny. When we first learn of her, however, she is living alone, save for one faithful retainer.

Mrs. Hubbard had a dog. It was not merely that she was kind to animals generally in an era when cruelty to the lower orders of creation was almost universal, but she had adopted this particular dog for her own. Doubtless her motherly bowels yearned for the little ones whom she had reared and who had gone their several ways after growing into blooming womanhood and lusty manhood. A dog was not much, but he served as a solace to her desolate old age. The dog was hers. Whether pug, water-spaniel, or one of other aristocratic lineage, history saith not. He was probably just plain dog. Upon him she lavished all the kindliness and tender affection which had made her house a nest of refuge to those numerous young Hubbards whom she had lost. She hunted for bones for him when her own larder was empty. She sought to array him in purple and Irish linen. She went, weeping, to provide him with proper sepulture when she believed him defunct. She would have done for him anything which lay in her power, and it was this patient, long-suffering affection of her loving heart that not only educated the dog into the doing of remarkable stints, but caused the historian to immortalize her name by simply recording some few of her deeds.

Such in brief was the character of the Mother of all the Hubbards. Slight and trivial as the records may seem, they are clear indications of some of the traits that have made the race notable. That these traits are hereditary no Hubbard can doubt, and there is none that can fail in filial, not to say grand-filial, respect for his great progenitress.

Her simple and touching annals have inspired not only the historian but the pet and artist, and to close this volume without an appropriate mention of her well-rounded out life would manifest such a marked lack of fair play and gallantry towards the fair sex that coming generations would feel injured beyond repair at such uncalled for and conspicuous omission.

Templates in Time