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William Hubbard


William Turner Coggeshall, The Poets and Poetry of the West: With Biographical and Critical Notices 444-45 (Columbus, Ohio: Follett, Foster and Company, 1860)[online text]:

Born at the quiet rural village of West Liberty, on the southern border of Logan county, Ohio, on the seventeenth May, 1821, William Hubbard inherited nothing but an honest name, a healthy constitution, and a vigorous intellect. Deprived of a father's care at an early age, he grew up under the guidance of a widowed mother, whose exemplary virtues, strong good sense, and patient industry, left their impress on the mind and character of her son.

At that early day, the "log school-house" furnished almost the only means of education; but with this, and that home training which every mother should be competent to afford, William became well versed in all the usual branches of an English education.

Early in the year 1832 he took his first lessons in the "art preservative of arts"—the printing business—in the office of the Logan Gazette, a newspaper then edited and conducted, in Bellefontaine, by Hiram B. Strother. Here he served with fidelity, skill, and industry for seven years, when, early in 1839, he became the publisher of the paper, and continued as such for a period of six months. During all this time, as, indeed, in the years which followed, he employed his leisure moments in developing his literary taste, and in the profound study of the best writers of prose and poetry.

In the summer of 1841 he began his career as a school teacher in a district near his native village, in one of the ever-memorable, universal "people's colleges" of the times, the "log school-house." In this useful, but perplexing and ill-paid capacity, he continued most of his time, until the fall of 1845. Meantime, in 1841, he had determined to study the profession of law, and for that purpose became the student of Benjamin F. Stanton and William Lawrence, attorneys in Bellefontaine. His studies were somewhat interrupted by his duties as teacher, and by his literary pursuits, yet as he had made it a rule of his life never to do any thing imperfectly, he was not admitted to the bar until he had become a thoroughly well-read lawyer, in the year 1846.

In the fall of 1845, Mr. Hubbard was editor of The Logan Gazette, and, in 1847, becoming owner of the press, he has ever since been its editor and proprietor. As a political writer he has a wide and deservedly high reputation. Notwithstanding his duties as an editor, he was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Logan county, in 1848, and again in 1850, and, in that capacity, served with skill and ability for four years, when he declined a re-election.

In 1858 Mr. Hubbard received the nomination of the political party to which he belongs, as its candidate for Congress. He could scarcely hope for success in a district largely opposed to him politically, but though defeated, his vote was highly complimentary. In debates and addresses in that canvass, he added much to a local reputation as an orator.

Early love of books, a warm imagination, cultivated by study and by the beautiful scenery of the fertile valley of the Mad river, with a heart full of pathos and of ardor, all contributed to " Wake to ecstasy the living lyre," and turn his thoughts into eloquence and poetry. His first published poetical production was in January, 1838. We have never known a writer of so much genius with so little ostentation. He has never sought, but always shunned notoriety. His poetical writings, if collected, would make a good sized volume.

[Hubbard's death, 1872, is noted in C.L. Martzoloff (ed.), Poems on Ohio 130-132, at 130 (Columbus, Ohio: F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1911)(The Martzoloff entry includes the poem, "At the Grove of Simon Kenton")]

"Mr. Hubbard edited at diferent times the Dayton Daily Empire, the Marion Democrat and the Bucyrus Forum. Many of his poems have been published in the 'Poets and Poetry of the West' and 'American Poets,' two highly popular works of the time. Some of his ballads during the war were quoted in all parts of the country, and one was incorporated in the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, which appeared in Blackwood's Magazine, published in Edinburgh, Scotland." [History of Logan County and Ohio (Chicago: O.L. Baskin & Co., 1880)]