VOICES OF KENT
Wilbur Ross Hubbard Oral History

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Record 5/16
Copyright HSKC and Tyler Campbell
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Collection ORAL HISTORY
Date 04/01/1983
Abstract Wilbur Ross Hubbard (1896-1993)

Born into a prominent Chestertown family, Wilbur Hubbard was educated at private schools in France and Maryland before attending Yale and Georgetown University Law School. He practiced law for only about 10 years, devoting his career as an executive in the fertilizer industry. At the time of his death, Wilbur R. Hubbard was known as the oldest Master of Foxhounds in the world.

He first rode a horse in 1900 at the age of 4. "I was crazy about horses from earliest childhood, and mother used to tell a story on me, that when I was about 20 months old, less than 2 years old, walking and beginning to talk a little….And one day mother came into the nursery and…I had her [the nurse] down on her hands and knees crawling on the floor, and I was sitting on her back riding a horse. And mother said, 'You've been at it ever since.' And here I am, 85 years later, and I'm still at it." Hubbard recalls everyone in Chestertown had a stable and pasture lot in those days for their horses and all the roads and streets were dirt. His knowledge of horses led to him being assigned to the field artillery during World War I, and he was sent to Fort Jackson to train new recruits to handle the guns and the horses that drew the caissons.

An avid preservationist, Hubbard was instrumental in organizing Preservation, Inc., which funded the restoration of many buildings in Chestertown. He learned about preservation from his mother: "She was a very unusual woman. She was just way ahead of her time. For instance, when she restored this house, Wideha1l, after we came home hone in…June of 1910, she went to work….Well, nobody was doing that in 1910…She spent a great deal of her time arguing with my father and the architect. My father just wanted to pay the bill and get the whole darn thing over with, and the architect wanted to do too much. He knew something about colonial woodwork and moldings and so forth, but he wanted to dress it up and show how much he knew, and mother kept saying no, I want to put it back as nearly as possible to the way it was originally. Well, that's modern restoration. Nobody was doing that then, and mother was so misunderstood that the ladies up and down Water Street…just didn't understand mother. After she got through she went around buying antique furniture, and they said, "Just imagine,Mrs. Hubbard spending all of that money to fix over that o1d house when she could have built a new one, and for less, and now she's going around buying second-hand furniture to put in it." Wilbur Hubbard coordinated the restoration of the Custom House, just across the street from Widehall, and donated it to Washington College upon his death.


Indexed. 5 original cassette tapes.
Interview date 04/01/1983
Media Compact Disc
Narrator Hubbard, Wilbur Ross
Object ID 2663
Object Name Disc, Compact
Title Wilbur Ross Hubbard Oral History
COPYRIGHT INFORMATION ~ Oral histories copyright Historical Society of Kent County. Images copyright Tyler Campbell. Duplication or publication only with permission.

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Last modified on: September 07, 2012