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I. E. Hubbard

Isaac Hubbard
I. E. Hubbard



By C. Aubrey Hearn

Isaac Edward Hubbard was born in Cleburne County, Alabama, about twenty miles south of Anniston, on February 16, 1861. His father, William Edward Hubbard, who was born in Hall County, Georgia, entered the Confederate Army a few months later and died of yellow jaundice in a Confederate hospital in Mobile, Septeaber 2, 1862. He was buried in the cemetery of the Methodist Church near Chulafinnee (Cleburne County), Alabama. His mother, Dollie Hanes Hubbard, was born in Hall County, Georgia [ed.: other information indicates that she was born in North Carolina], and died in 1915 at the age of eighty-four.

I. E. Hubbard was the youngest of seven children. Two of them died during the war. During this period and the Reconstruction years that followed, life in the south was hard, often precarious. The farm on which "Ike," as he came to be called, lived until he was about thirty was largely self-sustaining. The mother directed the work of planting and harvesting. She sometimes had to plow. She made the cloth and the clothes her children wore. The strictest economy was practiced.

About 1891 Mr. Hubbard bought his mother's farm, sold it at a profit, and purchased another in Clay County. He ran a blacksmith shop with his brother Billy for several years. They made wagons.

Ike had little formal schooling. Until he was eighteen he went to school three months in the summer. Then for one term he hired a man to take his place on the farm, and went to school for nine months.

On his Clay County farm Mr. Hubbard also had a store. He sold his property there in 1893 and moved to Heflin. With his brother William Asbury (Billy) he operated a livery stable and a blacksmith repair shop. The firm bought and sold mules and horses. The business prospered, but Ike had his eyes on Sand Mountain. He sold his share of the business to his brother and, in August 1903, moved to Albertville. He lived there for the rest of his life, nearly thirty-nine years.

I. E. Hubbard married Sarah Jane Bean, born July 18, 1860, who lived on a neighboring farm in Cleburne County, on December 29, 1881. Five children were born to them: Della Jane, January 10, 1884.; Thomas Coleman, June 8, 1886; Asa G., March 8, 1890; Beulah Estella, July 24, 1892; Myrtle Louceil, July 29, 1897. Mrs. Hubbard died December 21, 1936. All of the children survive except Tom, who was killed in an automobile accident September 14, 1941.

Mr. Hubbard entered the mercantile business in Albertville in January 1904, with Bob Harris. Some months later he went into business with Sam Lovern and Tom McNaron in the old Albertville Trading Company, incorporated in 1910. It was for many years one of the largest business firms in Albertville. The company did a large credit business. In the depression years collections were bad and the store closed in 1933.

The famous cyclone which visited Albertville April 24, 1908, and killed sixteen people, was vividly remembered by Mr. Hubbard. A plank blown by the wind hit his right leg, bruising it badly. For several weeks he could not walk except on crutches.

While still living on his mother's farm in Cleburne County, I. E. Hubbard joined the Baptist Church. He was about twenty-five at that time. He was a lifelong Democrat. He took a lively interest in elections, and was a close student of national affairs.

As a businessman, Mr. Hubbard was recognized as one of the best in Marshall County. His judgment on business affairs was sought by many, and his opinions were highly respected. He gives the credit for his success in business to his mother. "She was a good financier. We always owned land, never rented it. Most of the things we used on our farm were made at home. I attribute my business success to my mother," he told me a few months before he died.

Mr. Hubbard always worked hard until his retirement from business. His theory of financial progress could be stated thus: Character is the basis of credit. Avoid heavy indebtedness unless for real estate or something as valuable. Save at least some of all that is earned, and invest it in safe securities.

Mr. Hubbard was a pioneer. He was of hardy ancestry, and was reared under a wise mother's guidance during trying times. He was educated chiefly in the school of experience. He was a pioneer businessman in Heflin and in Albertville. I. E. Hubbard was quiet in manner, simple in habits, and unostentatious. I never saw him ill-tempered, flustered, or impatient. He was just in his business relationships and had no truer friends than his customers. His motto might have been "Life's enduring values rest upon integrity," for he exemplified this truth.

For a number of years Mr. Hubbard had been in ill health. His farm-hardened constitution and strong will to live had enabled him to survive several crises. He died at 5:30 A. M., Sunday morning, February 15, 1942, in the home of Mrs. C. L. Hearn. Had he lived another day he would have been eighty-one.

The funeral was held Monday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock at the residence of Mrs. Hearn. Rev. E. W. Hagood, pastor of the First Baptist Church, officiated, assisted by Rev. L. L. Hearn, of Birmingham. Pallbearers were: C. Aubrey Hearn, Glenn Hearn, Kermit Hearn, Joe Ed Hearn, Jack Hearn, Harry Campbell, Gordon Hubbard, James Ford, and George P. Walker, Jr.

He was buried by the side of his wife in Eastside Cemetery.