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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Frank B. Hubbell

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 243-244 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Frank B. Hubbell is the son and business successor of the late Ray Hubbell, who probably did more to advance the economic and civic welfare of Northville than any other citizen of his generation. Ray Hubbell was born in southeast Putnam county, New York. He got his start as a manufacturer by patenting an oilcloth binding to be used under stoves, which he manufactured for a good many years after 1880, the year he opened his factory in Northville. For about twenty years his business was so fully protected by his patent rights that he was the sole manufacturer of this product and sold his goods all over the world. This business brought millions of dollars into Northville and of course millions were spent in maintaining the concern. In 1910 Mr. Hubbell sold out his oilcloth binding business to the Painesville Metallic Binding Company of Painesville, Ohio. Long ere that, however, he had turned his attention to other enterprises as an outlet for his energy and capital. He operated an excelsior mill here and brought the first pulpwood factory to Northville. In 1883 he began the manufacture of gloves, being the first man in the village to engage in what is noted as the chief industry of Fulton county, and continued actively in this business until his death on July 18, 1921, at the age of seventy-two. He was a prominent Mason, being a member of Fish House Lodge, No. 298, F. & A. M.; Sacandaga Chapter, No. 116, R. A. M.; Holy Cross Commandery, No. 51, K. T.; and Cyprus Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He gave generously of his attention and ability in promoting various measures for the village welfare, and was town supervisor for three or four terms and in 1891 was elected president of the village of Northville, in which office he served several terms at different times. It is largely due to his efforts that the village possesses its present excellent water system, for he went to Albany, borrowed the necessary thirty-two thousand dollars at three and a half per cent, and installed the system. The village has just recently paid up the last of this loan. Various other public improvements found in the late manufacturer a hearty supporter. He was the chief instigator of the macadam road from Northville to Gloversville and built the first cement sidewalk in the village. It is interesting, also, to note that he was the first man in the community to own an automobile, a Ford machine, costing two thousand dollars. Ray Hubbell was married to Emily T. Beecher of Edinburgh, Saratoga county. Their son, Frank B. Hubbell, was born on the 6th of May, 1877, in this village. Mrs. Hubbell died in October, 1914, at the age of sixty-seven.

Frank B. Hubbell, the subject of this article, grew up in Northville, where he was a pupil in the public schools and continued his education at the Fairfield Seminary and the Clinton Liberal Institute of Fort Plain. He prepared for a business career by taking, in addition, a commercial course in the Albany Business College. At the conclusion of his school days Mr. Hubbell went on the road as a traveling salesman, selling oilcloth binding for his father for eight years. In 1900 he became a partner of his father in the glove business and has had the management of the concern ever since, becoming sole owner at the time of his father's death. Mr. Hubbell has made an outstanding success of this business and is recognized as one of the leading glove manufacturers of the county. The firm name has always been that of Ray Hubbell & Company. The output of the factory is astrachan, suede and cape gloves, which are sold exclusively to the jobbers through two traveling salesmen who cover all the principal jobbing centers in the country. About forty people are regularly employed in the factory, while from seventy-five to a hundred glove sewers take work outside to do in their homes.

Mr. Hubbell was married to Miss May E. Simmons in November, 1919. Mrs. Hubbell's parents were long residents of Richfield Springs. Her father died when she was a baby, and her mother, Mrs. Margaret Simmons, passed away in Richfield Springs on the 6th of November, 1924. The Hubbells are identified with the Presbyterian church and Mr. Hubbell is a republican in politics. Their home is on Bridge street, Northville.

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