1910 - Early 1920's

The Story of Hubbard

1910 - Early 1920's

    While adults earned a livelihood, there were always chores for children to do. Velma Scholl recalled family get-togethers:

There was always a need for help in the kitchen, particularly on the Wolfer farm. In the pantry there was a wooden sink, called a dry sink. The pump for water was just outside the door on the porch so it was quite handy. Al the farm we looked forward to the excitement of butchering day, as well as the day when we could help with the meals to serve the threshers. A special occasion was when we could go to the woods in a big wagon drawn by horses, and help get in the winter wood, already cut.

LOUIS MISHLER: Oh, and cut wood! Dad got wood in the four-foot lengths and us boys had to saw all that up with a bucksaw into 16 inch rounds and then split it and carry it in. We couldn't get out of that. Once in a while Dad would take us out weeding onions. He might grab us just as school was out and we'd weed 'til dark. In the morning we'd weed a while, then run in and eat a bit and run to school.

LESTER BARRETT: We usually got up at 5 a.m. or before. Always hadchores to do. Milkin'cows' feedin' pigs and chickens. Just common, daily stuff. Everybody around here had chickens and hogs. Most people here raised hogs for their own meat. Not too much cattle, for some reason. I know we always bought our beef. We'd raise hogs and do our own butchering.

Pa plowed gardens around here for a livin'in the spring of the year. He had a wood lot out east of Hubbard, about 12 acres. He'd cut wood and in the winter, we'd haul it to Hubbard and sell it - $4 a cord, cut and delivered

When I was a kid, my brother and I used to deliver papers all over town. In fact, at one time I carried three different papers. One was called the News Telegram. Then the Journal. The other one was The Statesman.

LENORE SCHOLL: In this block, on 3rd Street between H and I, were the three houses: mine, my grandparents and the Lee

Hershbergers, who has six children. At this home we did have a taffy pull orcookie baking. Mr. Hershberger owned the Seed Warehouse by the railroad tracks. Also a berry farm up the hill from Mineral Springs where now a filbert orchard grows. This is where Mother and we children worked most of the summer picking early strawberries, late strawberries, Logans, Black Caps, cherries. We walked there every day. There were over a hundred pickers. People came from Portland and all around They lived in a small tent city near the creek there.

FRANKLIN de LESPINASSE: I used to help fold papers at the Hubbard Enterprise, a weekly paper established in 1914. I also chopped wood for thefireplace, the living room woodstove, which we put in each year before the really cold weather began; kitchen stoves, and the office. That's the only way you heated in those days. And I used to work at the pharmacy once in a while, cleaning bottles. We reused bottles. It's a wonder anybody ever lived

EDWARD VOGET: I used to build a fire in the furnace at the bank. Every day during the winter months. I also had the first Oregonian route inHubbard Daily and Sunday. Id pick up the papers at the depot after they had been thrown off the train. I started with three customers and earned three dollars a month.


I always did the ironing. By the time I was old enough to iron, we had electric irons. I do remember all the things we starched Pillowcases - you had to starch pillowcases. To sprinkle them, you put a little cap on a bottle and sprinkled, then rolled them up. If you forgot them, they'd get mildewed You ironed all of your sheets. And boiled clothes. I can remember the big boiler. Mom had a big wooden stick to stir. Gram made soap. I remember a wooden frame. Once she boiled all this horrible stuff together, she'd pour it into this frame. Then we'd have these blocks. That soap was used only for clothes. The dish towels had to be absolutely spotless. We'd rub them on a wooden washboard, especially the white things. The clothes were washed with pride and hung out on the line. They did smell good And mended with great pride so that you didn't see the mend.

AGATHA VOGET ANDRUS: I worked at the creamery every day between 7 and 8:30 a.m. before school The butter was poured, then tamped into boxes held together with rods and lined with parchment paper. These butter blocks weighed one hundred pounds. We cranked them through a machine that had a stainless steel wire which cut the big block into one and two pound blocks. Id wrap those smaller blocks. We made 10 cents an hour.

FRANCES LEFFLER BYERS: When I was older, I gathered the eggs. My dad raised chickens and sold eggs. I used to hate to gather the eggs. It seems like if I washed my hair and went out, that is when the chickens all flew. The eggs had to be cleaned We had these big double cartons, I think they held 24 dozen. Chickens weren't as polite as they are in this day and age and they didn't put them on wire screens. We cleaned the eggs, usually with a damp cloth.

Life may have seemed like hard work, but was uncomplicated for the young people of Hubbard. World War I changed that. Sons, brothers and young husbands, encouraged to join the military and fight the German Kaiser, soon found themselves in a strange country.

Tensions between neighbors intensified as U.S. involvement in the war progressed. Citizens of Hubbard competed with other valley communities in subscribing to the Liberty Loan fund. Total subscriptions were reported each week in the Hubbard Enterprise. By October 12, 1917, Hubbard had raised a total of $8100. Each subscriber and the amount loaned were listed in the newspaper.

For children, war was an exciting distraction:

LENORE SCHOLL: During World War I, the trains slowly came throughtown and stopped across from our houses. A number of times, we all ran over there to the dough boys as they were called then, who threw money, small coins on the grass to us.

FRANKLIN de LESPINASSE: I guess after the movie theater burned,movies were shown about once a week at City Hall. I can remember one,during the war or right after the war. The Kaiser had this big gun, a BigBertha. He pointed at the Allies and pulled the trigger. The shot took off and you watched that shell travel all the way around the world and it came down and landed right behind him and blew him up.

The women of Hubbard became active in Red Cross and the Women's Relief Corp. One issue of the Hubbard Enterprise reports that "as a result of the fine patriotic spirit and work of these good ladies the following articles have been knitted for the comfort of our boys at the front:

Mrs. Kester, 10 pairs socks, 1 scarf
Mrs. Long, 5 pairs socks, 2 sweaters
Mrs. Richmond, 5 pairs socks 
Mrs. Gibson, 4 pairs socks 
Miss Lena Kester, 2 pairs socks, 1 sweater, 1 scarf
Mrs. Wolfer, 2 pairs socks."

Norman Owings, one appreciative soldier, wrote home early in 1918 to express his gratitude toward his Hubbard supporters.

My dearest Parents:

I received your letters and packages all okay. so all is well. I also received the box the Hubbard auxiliary sent me and was very much pleased to hear from them and was most certainly glad to get the contents of the box, so please thank them for me. I would not know whom to write to or I would write and thank them. I may write to them anyway. Well, I am very well and hope you are all well. I have not been sick a day since we left Camp Mills... I have got to be a bugler now ... I am learning the French language very fast.

From your son,

Norman R. Owings


And another, Levi Miller, sent his impressions of a foreign land and a rather unsettling voyage.

Somewhere in France

Mr. R. C. Painter,

Dear Friend,

I just received you Christmas card today, and was very thankful for it; it sure seems good to get a line from home when you are so far away.

Well, we have finally reached the place, were sixteen days on the sea; had a nice trip and smooth sea all the way across. But when we hit the last channel it sure was different; 1,100 on our boat; three-fourths of them were feeding the fish, and I also. It sure was fierce storm, water flying clear over the boat, and lasted for 12 hours. But as soon as we hit land we all felt fine and ready for work again.

This is sure some great place, and some sights believe me; wish I couldexplain it to you, but dare not now, for our mail is all censored. The water is very bad to drink, and will be worse when the warm weather comes.

We are on outpost doing detached duty work; may be here for some time. It begins to look like this thing is about to an end, and I will tell you, old boy, it can't come any too soon, for I am getting anxious to plant my feet in home ground

We are having some fine music a few tents down the line; it sure sounds good to me.

I guess I have run down for this time so will say good night. Tell all of the folks hello for me. I am as ever, your brother,

Levi A. Miller


Echos of cannon fire, thousands of miles from home, could be heard within the Hubbard community. Some citizens of German heritage, still speaking the German language, became outspoken supporters of the German emperor. Others were merely suspected of sympathizing with him. Some residents of German heritage wanted no association with Germany. Mennonites were Conscientious Objectors.

The Hubbard Enterprise, making a point not to name names, reported that many people east of town were not contributing their share toward the war effort. Angry letters to the editor from east of town adamantly refuted that claim.

VIRGIL PEACE HOSTETLER: I recall my mom telling me there was a big bad feeling between some people in the community who had to send their sons to war and the Mennonites.

I know there was what you would call abuse today. Some of those people got beat up pretty bad I was born on the day World War I ended

Everybody got all excited and named me Peace.

The war ended November 11, 1918, As the good news whirled around the globe, shouts of joy resounded so loudly they are still heard in memories today.

FRANKLIN de LESPINASSE: I was five or six years old on Armistice Day.There was a big celebration down on the commons. Somebody had an anvil or two anvils, put some blasting powder in between them and blew it up. Made big noise. I remember Grant Dimick had a couple of pan lids he was clashing together like cymbals.

FRANCES LEFFLER BYERS: I remember World War I when the Armistice was signed My folks packed us up and took us into town and there was a big celebration. I think they burned the Kaiser in effigy between the railroad tracks and Main Street. The carted us off to Painters and there were some older kids who kind of looked after the younger kids while the parents went to celebrate. I just remember there were lots of people up and down the streets. The streets were full, hilarious time.

Following the jubilant celebration, Hubbard's young men began returning home from "Over There." The Hubbard Enterprise lists 72 men who had served their country in the military. A service flag was dedicated at a movingly patriotic program. The newspaper reports the hall was filled with an applauding audience while the ladies chorus sang "The Long, Long Trail" and "Keep The Home Fires Burning." Eventually, a war memorial was erected at the center of D Street where it now meets Pacific Highway. Knitting needles were retired or put to use on projects closer to home. By spring of 1919 new promise sprouted in gardens, while peace relaxed the relationships of neighbors.

Manton Carl lives on the property his parents cleared when they settled on the outskirts of Hubbard in 1915. He calls it the Pudding River Ranch. On the ridge overlooking the Pudding River, Manton's home and property are surrounded by hundreds of trees he and his wife have planted. Walking through the woods and around a duck pond, Manton describes his farm as it was during his childhood:

My dad and his brother had a cheese factory in Coos Country. My dad and mother were 38 or 39 years old when they came here. There had been no one here besides the Indians. My parents cleared a little land and put up a tent and lived in that tent for three years. In that time, my brother and I were both born.

I grew up almost like an Indian, I guess. From the standpoint that I'd like to have been an Indian. I wandered the woods whenever I had an opportunity. We worked awfully hard, but we had times when we were very young that we didn't work full time. From the earliest age, the woods were here and the river and creek and I knew where all the springs were, the flowers and all that.

There used to be grouse. The Rough Grouse would be drumming on the logs and you'd hear that. They are a beautiful bird. Bob White was very common. There was lots of land clearing so there were lots of stumps. California Quail would come in and now they are not too common. The Chinese Pheasant was introduced here in the valley about 1910 and there were lots of pheasants. When I was a kid, they were numerous. Ducks would come in here down in the bottom land by the thousands. We had several hundred in here last week,migrating north now. We have geese that land occasionally now that I havegeese to call them in. Canaries, very seldom see canaries. Meadowlark.Killdeer, and in the way of waterfowl, there used to be lots on Snipe. Thereare afew left, but not very many.

Whether a person lived in town or on a farm, there was always plenty of work to be done. Harvest brought everybody together, neighbor helping neighbor.

FRANCES LEFFLER BYERS: When they threshed, first the binder came in and made bundles. They set them upright so that if it rained, the heads were up. Then they put the bundles on and when the put them on the threshing machine, the whole bundle went in. It was a steam engine that ran these threshing machines and the men used to come about 5 a.m. to get it started so there was plenty of steam. So they were there for breakfast too. The neighbors helped each other. The wagons were continuous. They'd haul the grain in and dump it in the bins. The kids were always around, and the dogs.

Hops, the flavor factor in beer, proved to be green gold for early Hubbard area farmers. Rich valley soil yielded bountiful harvests. Nearly all the surrounding farms had at least ten acres in hops. Harvesting became a community endeavor. Children helped. School classes didn't start in autumn until the harvest was complete.

VELMA SCHOLL: I can remember picking hops as a child. We each had our little sack to pick in. We would pick them where the wire was down and when we came to a high wire, we would yell "wire down, wire down." Then there were other phrases which were used, "sack's full, sack's full" or "basketful " We would fill up the sack or basket and the weighman would weigh them and give us a ticket for the number of pounds. Many people from the city would take their vacations while picking hops.

FRANKLIN de LESPINASSE: When I was about five years old or so, mybrother was working in the hop fields. If you've been around a hop field atharvest time, you know what the odor is like. It's like nothing in this world.Very pungent and you get so hungry you just can't stand it. On this day, my brother forgot his lunch. My mother sent me and my sister to take his lunch to him. We got there and couldn't find him, but we found the Chinese manager who didn't speak English. We tried to communicate with him to leave the lunch for Bert, but he made all kinds of faces and said "Bert no work here. " We couldn't figure out what he was saying, so we went home with Bert's lunch and he didn't get to eat that day. He wasn't very happy about that!

LOUIS MISHLER: I picked hops in the Chinaman's hop yard until I wasabout thirteen years old. I think he would fire you once in awhile and all you needed to do was go start another row and you'd still be working there.

LESTER BARRETT: Years ago they had Chinamen who worked the hopfields; infact there was a colony of them. I think they were all men; I'm not sure. They smoked their opium. This opium and cocaine today ain't nothin' new.

VERA KOCHER YODER: The hop yard was always a social activity as well as a money-raising one. Seems like everybody went to the hop yard Part of the time we got less than a cent a pound for picking hops. Probably a dollar or dollar and a half a day was about as much as I could expect to make.

When I was little, I had to have on gloves, and every little hole had to betaped so that I didn't touch a vine at all. As I got older, I started just taping my thumb and first finger and found that I could pick better and really didn't irritate my hands as much as when I wore gloves. The vine is rough, not a thorn, but very abrasive, so that especially if it was wet it would cut into your hands badly.

We picked into baskets. Years before, when my mother was young, they picked into a hopper that was a long canvas container. When we were picking, we'd fill a basket and then call for a hop sack, and one of the field crew would bring a sack and empty the basket into it. When you got your second basket, you'd call for the weighman then he'd dump the second basket into the bag and weigh them. Two baskets would weigh approximately 50 pounds. Theywould be tied and you'd get a ticket and that could be cashed in at the end of the season. As the day progressed, the team and wagon would come and pick up the hop sacks. Later there was a tractor.

The hop is the flower and when we were picking by hand the wires were not as high as now. The vine was trained to the wire and then along the wire. Arms would hang down from the wires. These arms were the easiest to pick. You'd always get leaves, too, and of course the faster pickers picked more big leaves and stems than the slow pickers did.

We'd normally not cash in our ticket until the end of the season, or if we'd move from one grower lo another. When one field was finished they'd payoff. We'd hold our tickets until that time. Usually several growers would share a crew and the ones that had the earlier hops would pick first and then we might go to another grower.

When it was rainy, we'd quit picking, but if it just started to shower, we'd take a hop sack and stick one corner back into the other corner and put it over our head like a hood and cape and try to stick it out. If it looked like it was going to rain a while and then clear up, we'd go into the hop house and huddle around the stove and wait until we could go back out and pick.

I always wore overalls. Long sleeved shirts of course, because the vines would scratch your arms. I liked a straw hat to keep the sun off if it was hot.

As important as harvest is in an agricultural community, social life and recreation were not ignored in the town of Hubbard. City Hall, built in 1892 at 2nd and C Streets, served as a performing arts center. Known as the Armory, it proved a popular community gathering site.

VELMA SCHOLL: A place to be entertained was the big thing with CityHall. It was the center for Christmas celebrations, school activities, plays,roller skating, dances, medicine shows, etc. There was also a National Guardunit which practiced there. Everything went on at that place. The outside isunchanged. I believe the oakfloor is still there. My dad, city treasurer, kept a record of how much electricity was used for special events. When electricity first came to the area, the city charged something like 50 cents per night.

We always looked forward to the Christmas celebration at City Hall because they had two big Christmas trees across the front, near the stage. By the way, they were all lighted with candles. And then there was candy given out, always hard candy. And entertainment, singing and so forth.

FRANCES LEFFLER BYERS: Medicine shows were held at the City Hall. They would come through and have this medicine that was supposed to be a cure all for everything and they'd put on these vaudeville programs. I remember one year when Phyllis Brown was a year old or so. We had these tickets and voted for the most popular baby or girl and of course they wanted to sell their medicine, but I remember going to those as a source of entertainment.

They also had plays and everything at City Hall. When we were in 8th grade I think, we put an "As A Woman Thinketh. " We had more fun getting ready for that play. Mr. Dillon, our teacher, had a Model- T Ford and those of us who lived out of town especially, would pile into the car. The boys would lay on the fenders and he'd take us home after practice.

MARIE de LESPINASSE COVEY: Every year the whole town would gather for a Christmas program put on by the school children in the Armory. We'd start with the first grade in entertainment. The stage was properly decorated with a Christmas tree which had lighted candies on it. There were evergreen boughs around it and other greens.

This particular program we had a Santa Claus who was dressed up withcotton whiskers. He had his red suit and a pillow stuck down in front of hissuit. We children really thought it was Santa Claus. He came out with hiscandle. His feet sort of entangled with some ropes from the props on stageand he dipped down. His arm came up and he set his whiskers on fire! That is a scene I will never forget. He dashed the burning whiskers with one sweep of his hand, right into the area of some of the greens. Then he danced up and down and all the men who were close by jumped on the stage and started stamping and stamping to get the fire out. People stampeded for the door and my mother wrote in m baby book that "mom stampeded the opposite direction" to where the first graders were seated. We just sat there watching. It all turned out well. They got the fire out, but every child there knew that there was no Santa Claus because we all recognized the man. I don't remember one other thing about the program.

A second community gathering place, unique to the area, was Wolfer's Mineral Springs. Its sylvan surroundings provided a cool retreat for picnics, while a ball diamond invited competitive thrills.

VELMA SCHOLL: Grandfather loved that property, especially the springs. The attraction to the springs came about when Grandfather built it up from its source in the ground near meandering Mill Creek. The story was that in its natural state the mineral water was an attraction to the wild game, and possibly to the Indians camped on the hill above, where evidence of their being there was found.

Fourth of July was a big event in Hubbard. It attracted people from as far away as Molalla and by train from Portland and surrounding towns.According to one photograph, the first celebration was held in 1894.

In my recollection, there was always a parade in town which led to theMineral Springs Park for the picnic, program and ball games. Grandfatherhad built a regulation size ballfield with bleachers. The forested side hill a natural amphitheater with a stage for band music, vocalists, speeches and other entertainment. I remember vividly a Negro band playing "Alexander's Ragtime Band" with gusto.

MARIE de LESPINASSE COVEY: Pretty bad tasting water came bubbling out of a concrete fountain and people would gather and take home some water because it was considered very good for what ails you.

VELMA SCHOLL: When the Mineral Springs road was put through the Wolfer farm to Boones Ferry Road, it opened up public access to the Springs for the first time. A few years later, several Portland doctors, as a group, purchased seven acres including the springs. They cut the trees on the hillside where the picnics and programs had been held for years, and built a spa-type sanatorium. By advertising hotel accommodations and mineral baths, the Sanatorium developed a good business from Portland and surrounding cities for over 40 years. During that time, an Olympic size pool was built.

IVAN DEARMOND: Years ago the Extension Service held meetings out at the Mineral Springs. We stayed overnight because it was a pretty good sized hotel. People known from Portland came out there and stayed and took mineral baths. I used to take mineral baths there myself. It was a nice place. You'd drive up to it and go up some steps onto a big front porch that went into the lobby. It was a big lobby, great big fire place and a big dining room. Upstairs, I don't know how many rooms there were. The north side was equipped with baths, hot tub baths and steam room. When I first started getting arthritis, I used to go over there and take baths.

VELMA SCHOLL: Ownership of the property changed several times and ended in bankruptcy of this once popular and attractive facility. I am sure many Hubbard people will recall the Sanatorium diring its hey-day.