To the brave pioneers of the early ’60s and ’70s Idaho owes, in a large measure, the prosperity she now enjoys, as a state. Among those hardy souls and courageous hearts who then believed in her future, and by long years of toil and undaunted perseverance assisted nobly in the development of her resources, is the subject of this article; and no one is more worthy of representation in the annals of the state.
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The ancestors of Norman S. Hubbell were respected American citizens for many generations. He was born near Burdette, in what is now Schuyler County, New York, October 29, 1837, and his parents, Walton and Rebecca Emily (Cure) Hubbell, were likewise natives of the Empire state. The father was a millwright by trade, an excellent machinist and a good businessman. At one time he was the drum major of a militia company in his own state. He lived to reach his seventy-second year, and died, loved and respected by all who knew him. The wife and mother was summoned to the silent land when she was in her sixty-fifth year. Of their eight children but two survive.
The education which N. S. Hubbell acquired was such as the public schools of his boyhood afforded, and from the time he was sixteen until he was twenty-five years of age he gave all of his earnings to his parents, reserving only what was necessary to his support. On the 12th of June, 1862, he started west from Omaha, bound for the Pacific coast, and on the 3d of the following October reached his destination at what is now Baker City, Oregon. From that place he and two companions went to Auburn, Oregon, prospecting for gold, and though they found good claims they were obliged to leave them, as the Indians were so hostile that their lives were constantly menaced. In the spring of 1863 Mr. Hubbell came to Boise basin, where he found employment at six dollars a day, and the next winter he returned to Oregon. After a few months he again came to this locality and for a few years he worked at freighting, mining and other occupations, at anything whereby he might earn money honestly. From 1868 to 1871 he was engaged in the butchering business at Union, Oregon, and at the same time he bought, sold and raised cattle extensively. The country becoming overstocked with cattle, prices declined, and Mr. Hubbell retired from the business in 1873. Returning then to Boise City, he opened a meat market here and also owned one at Wood River, but these enterprises did not prove successful. Then for some years he was interested in sheep-raising, which he continued until 1898. He now owns forty-six acres of land, situated a mile and a half west of Boise City, and here he still makes his home. He built a comfortable house and planted a prune orchard and various other fruits. He is still financially concerned in the raising of sheep, and at this writing has between eight and nine thousand head. The flock is in charge of his son Walton, and some seasons of the year the sheep graze on the ranges and need no feed, while some winters the cost of keeping them is considerable. Mr. Hubbell owns stock in the Artesian Hot & Cold Water Company of Boise City and has invested in other local plants.
In his habits of life Mr. Hubbell is strictly temperate, upright and just in all his transactions. He was postmaster and a justice of the peace in Oregon, but has never sought nor desired public office. Fraternally, he belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and politically he has been a life-long Republican.
The marriage of Mr. Hubbell and Miss Cynthia Elizabeth Reynolds was celebrated August 14, 1870. Mrs. Hubbell is a daughter of C. F. Reynolds, of New York state, and she was born and reared in the same town as was her husband. In all his joys and sorrows she has been a true helpmate, cheering and strengthening him with her wifely devotion. She is a valued member of the Methodist church of Boise City. Of the five children born to our subject and wife, one, Nora P., died at the age of seventeen months. Clara Rebecca is the wife of John McMillan. Walton is managing his father’s sheep, and Reynolds, the next son, is in charge of the McMillan sheep ranch in the same locality. Norman S., Jr., is a student in the local schools.