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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Richtmyer Hubbell, M. D.

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[This information is from pp. 40-44 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

Portrait of Richtmyer Hubbell, M. D.

Portrait: Richtmyer Hubbell, M. D.

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Richtmyer Hubbell, M. D., an able physician and prominent citizen of Jefferson, N. Y., was born in Gilboa, Schoharie County, N. Y., February 2, 1843, son of Jacob Richtmyer and Harriet (Pierce) Hubbell. The name Hubbell, which originated in Wales, is said to have been derived from Hubba, a Danish chief who camped upon a hill. It passed through several changes, including Hubbashill and Hubhill, before the present form of spelling was adopted.

Richard Hubbell, the immigrant ancestor, of whom the Doctor is a descendant in the eighth generation, was born in Wales in 1627. He arrived in New England in 1645, and in 1647 he took the oath of allegiance to the New Haven Colonial government. In 1664 he moved to Fairfield County, Connecticut, and in 1685 became one of the original proprietors of Fairfield township. He died October 23, 1699, and his remains were interred in Stratford burying-ground, now included within the limits of the city of Bridgeport. Richard Hubbell was three times married, and was the father of fifteen children. From him the line of descent is traced directly, through Samuel, Nathan, Peter (first), Peter (second), Matthias, and Jacob R., to Dr. Richtmyer Hubbell, the subject of this sketch.

Peter Hubbell, second, the Doctor's great-grandfather, who married Sally Hurlburt, removed with his family from Connecticut to Schoharie County early in the present century. His brother-in-law, Joseph Hurlburt, built the first store in the village of Gilboa, and resided on what is known as the Dr. Fanning farm.

Matthias Hubbell, Dr. Hubbell's grandfather, accompanied his parents from Connecticut when a boy, and during his active years he was Justice of the Peace and followed general farming in the towns of Gilboa and Blenheim. He married for his first wife Sophia Richtmyer, who was of German ancestry. The grandparents were buried in the old cemetery in Gilboa village.

Jacob Richtmyer Hubbell, Dr. Hubbell's father, was a lifelong resident of this county. He died in Sharon Springs, N. Y., November 11, 1896, aged just seventy-six years, and was buried in Jefferson. His wife, Harriet, was a daughter of Benona and Betsey (Davis) Pierce, of North Blenheim. Her father was a descendant of Captain Michael Pierce, who came over from England about 1645, settled at Scituate, Mass., in 1647, and was killed in a fight with Indians in King Philip's War in March, 1676, while commanding his company. This is the line of ancestry: Captain Michael (1), Ephraim (2), Ephraim (3), Mial (5), Job (5), Job (6), and Benona (7), father of Mrs. Hubbell. Benona Pierce was born in 1781, a son of Job Pierce, Jr., of Rehoboth, Mass., and died in 1855. His wife, Mrs. Betsey D. Pierce, born in May, 1789, died in September, 1881.

Jacob R. and Harriet (Pierce) Hubbell were the parents of six children, namely: Richtmyer, the subject of this sketch; Charles B., a furniture dealer and undertaker in Jefferson; Hiram P., a physician of Stamford, Delaware County; Elizabeth, wife of J. Perry Champlin, of Ruth, Schoharie County; Sophia, who married J. E. Preston, of Sharon Springs; and Fred E. Hubbell, who died September 23, 1892, aged about thirty years.

Richtmyer Hubbell acquired his early education in the district schools and at the academy in Roxbury, Delaware County, which he attended one term. At the age of sixteen he began teaching during the winter season, his summers being devoted to agriculture; and, having taught schools in Gilboa, Blenheim, and Eminence, he in 1863 began the study of medicine under the direction of the late Dr. A. A. Wood. In the fall of that year he accompanied his preceptor to Wisconsin, where he resumed teaching for a time at Almond, Wis., and also continued his studies with Dr. Wood and Dr. Guernsey, of Almond, Wis. In 1864 he enlisted as a Corporal in Company M, First Wisconsin Heavy Artillery, of which he was shortly afterward appointed clerk, and he served until the close of the Civil War. Returning to Schoharie County after his discharge, he subsequently entered the Philadelphia University of Medicine and Surgery, from which he was graduated February 21, 1866. Borrowing the money to purchase a team and medical outfit, he began the practice of his profession in Harpersfield, Delaware County, N. Y. For the succeeding eleven years his practice, which covered a wide circuit, extending into two adjoining counties, kept him constantly driving from place to place through all kinds of weather. While residing in Harpersfield he served four terms as Town Clerk and three terms as Supervisor. On December 25, 1876, Dr. Hubbell sold his practice, together with his real estate in Harpersfield, to his brother, Hiram P., and removed to Jefferson, where he almost immediately acquired prominence as a skilful physician and surgeon. Although his practice is large and his time exceedingly valuable, he has never been known to neglect the worthy poor, believing, as he does, that life and health are as dear to them as to those who are more fortunate; and, as he himself declares, if they are unable to pay him in dollars and cents, they have more than liquidated his claim upon them by their genuine gratitude.

He has frequently held the offices of president and secretary of the Eclectic Medical Society of the Susquehannah District, comprising the counties of Schoharie, Delaware, and Otsego, and during his professional career he has directed the preparatory studies of five students, four of them becoming skilful medical practitioners and one a successful druggist. Two of the five are now deceased. In 1880 he established the Jefferson Banking House, which he carried on for two years; and, when the present bank at Stamford, N. Y., was founded, he was requested to become its president, but his professional duties prevented him from accepting the office. His hearty co-operation is always to be depended upon in forwarding all measures calculated to be of benefit to the town. He was active in securing the present water-works system,together with a public fountain, the Jefferson Co-operative Creamery, and so forth; and he is using his influence for the establishment of a union free school, with academic advantages. He is actively engaged in general farming, raises Jersey cattle, and owns about two thousand acres of agricultural property.

On April 29, 1866, Dr. Hubbell married for his first wife Amelia S. Decker, of Gilboa, daughter of Jacob Decker and a sister of William H. Decker, Supervisor of that town. She died January 19, 1889, leaving four children — Frank J., Hattie A., Benona R., and Grace Greenwood. Frank J. is a prosperous farmer of Jefferson, and Hattie A. is the wife of Charles E. Nichols, an attorney of this town. The other children reside at home. On August 27, 1890, the Doctor married for his second wife Miss Rose E. Decker, his first wife's sister. Of this union there is one son, Fred D., born July 3, 1893.

Politically, Dr. Hubbell is a Republican, a protectionist, and a firm believer in gold as a monetary standard. He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, and has been a member since he was sixteen years old.

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