Walter Hubbard

by H. Phelps Arms The Connecticut Magazine,
June 1899, Vol V, No. 6, p 111-112

Anything relating to Walter HUBBARD, the founder of Hubbard Park, (a description of which the writer gives in the preceding pages of the present issue of this magazine) must naturally possess interest for those of our readers who have had the opportunity of seeing the work that he has accomplished in creating the beautiful pleasure ground, and who have enjoyed the benefits arising there from. We give, therefore, the following brief account of his life, confident that all will be gratified to learn something more of the man himself. From a volume of biographical sketches entitled "America's Successful Men," published in 1896, we have selected the following leading facts bearing upon his career:

Walter HUBBBARD was born Sept. 23, 1823, in Middletown, Conn., and is consequently a little more than seventy years of age. Mr. HUBBARD does not show his age, unless perhaps we except his show white hair. His robust health, his alert and active mind, and his quick and almost youthful manner occasions much surprise to those who learn that he has reached three score and ten years of his life.

The ancestors of the family emigrated to this country from England in 1633, and their descendants have furnished a most remarkable record in the Revolutionary War, over five hundred members from Massachusetts and Connecticut serving in that struggle. Capt. Jeremiah HUBBARD, the grand-father of the subject of this sketch, was one of the most active of them.

Like the majority of the youth of his day, Walter was brought up on a farm and was educated in the township schools in his vicinity and the Chase Preparatory School of Middletown. At the age of eighteen he secured a position as clerk in a country store where, by his thrift, his energy and his strict attention to his employer's interests, he was enabled to accumulate enough capital to embark in business for himself. This he did in 1852, opening a small store in Meriden, Conn., which he conducted until 1860. Mr. HUBBARD was married in 1852 to Abby, the daughter of Levi BRADLEY of Cheshire, Conn. She died a few months after her marriage. Mr. HUBBARD has ever since remained single. In 1854, in company with his brother-in-law, N.L. BRADLEY, Mr. HUBBARD founded the BRADLEY & HUBBARD Mfg. Co., of Meriden and devoted himself entirely to its interest after 1860. The firm so founded has since become the largest manufacturers of its line of goods in the world. Mr. HUBBARD is actively connected with many important concerns in Meriden, being president of The Meriden Gals Light Company, also of The Meriden Electric Light Company & The Meriden Trust & Safe Deposit Company. Besides these interests he is also interested as a director in many other local companies. He built The Winthrop Hotel of Meriden (one of the finest hotels in New England), being actuated in so doing, to confer a benefit to the city and not as an investment for himself personally. His gifts to the various charities of his city have been frequent. Politics, strange as it may appear, have never had any attraction for Mr. HUBBARD. He has never held, nor sought any public office. In 1883-4, Mr. HUBBARD went around the world and he has frequently visited Europe and various parts of the Untied States in other years. In person, Mr. HUBBARD is of medium height and of good proportions and weight. His personality is frank and straightforward, and he gives the observer the impression of a man who must be well liked by his associates. His pleasant and cordial manners win him friends wherever he goes. He is a member of the Union League Club, New England Society, American Geographical Society and many state & city organizations.