1950 - 1970

The Story of Hubbard

1950 - 1970

   The twenty years between 1950 and 1970 are characterized by slow, steady change in and around Hubbard. Hop yards continued to be a familiar sight. Hop poles, straight and unyielding, stood like soldiers at - attention. Methods of harvesting changed over the years as horse drawn wagons were replaced by tractors. Hazel Claypool Friend has worked during all stages of hop productions. Hazel reminisces:

I had a friend, Hap Pulley. His wife always worked in the hop yard and she wanted me to start working in the hop yards, too.

There was a tractor pulling something that got us up high enough to tie. That was a real challenge to do that. After we got them going up the wire, every so often we'd have to strip or trim some of the branches off. And of course in the fall, we'd pick them. I started to pick by hand.

In later years they had a machine that picked the hops. Hap's wife and I got to ride the machine,- and, as the men would cut the hops off the wire, they'd fall down on the chute and onto the machine and come sliding down. She and I would have to stand there and pull a hook to hook the vine. On the other side, it went up and picked the hops off.

It has been over 100 years since the first hops were produced in the area. Their importance to regional identity remains undiminished. Frank Fobert, life-long farmer and now exclusive hop grower, reflects on his experience:

Well, I started with 10 acres and I kept growing. My brother used to farm, truck farming, on the same place. In 1965 I proceeded to buy a used picking machine that the October storm had blown over, moved it from St. Paul over to here, and at that time I went on my own. Been on my own ever since. We now have 200 acres.

The wires used to be right straight over the hop row. When the picking machine came about, we put the wires over the middle of the row so we can pick them the opposite direction. We had kids up there with knives who would cut the vines and they cut toward each other. They were liable to cut each others hands, but with the picking machine we turned around and went down the wire.

Hops is mostly used for beer. Hops flavor the beer and contribute to the foaming. We sell to a broker. The broker sells it to the brewery. A few hops are used in yeast, or in medicine.

All our early hops, called the aroma hops, go to Anhauser Busch. The later varieties, called a higher alpha variety, and are sold to any brewery around the world. With a high alpha hop, it doesn't take so much hops in the brew to make do what a hop will do. We harvest the middle of August. Late ones come on about the first of September.

In the hop business, we make a lot of our own machinery. We are mechanized. You see the portable in the parade? That would take the place of a hundred pickers. A hundred people! The one we use today pickes as much as four hundred people!

Frank's experience of growth and expansion in the hop business was paralleled by other specialty growers.

IVAN DEARMOND: We bought the big farm at Hubbard, 1300 acres. There was only 800 acres cleared and we cleared the balance, my brother and me. With a bulldozer, and there was a lot of handwork. We'd pick up sticks and pile them up, then burn them.

My brother and I were grass seed growers. We had about 1000 acres in grass seed I think we were the first in the Hubbard area.

While small family farms were becoming a way of the past in rural community, the downtown face of Hubbard was also experiencing change.

ROY KENAGY: I think the biggest change is Hubbard used to be all along 3rd Street.

BEVERLY JORY KOUTNEY: I think the closing of the businesses in town has been a major change. The move to the malls has been very dramatic. I still remember when the restaurant in town, the Homestead, was a half hardware store and half grocery store. Across E Street, where there is a vacant lot, was the Red and White grocery store. It had one side dry goods and on the other side, groceries. So there were two grocery stores, side by side. We really had a downtown. You could go down to the main street and really shop. I bought baby shoes there, took my prescriptions in to have them filled.

LEONARD BIZON: The Post Office is the center of any community. It used to be located on 3rd, just north of where the Homestead Restaurant is now. You can still see the concrete foundation. The old building was falling apart and a program was started to replace the old buildings. When it was moved to the new location at lst and G that was it,-the end of town. It's true. It happened. And then when anything new was built, it went closer to the highway. Happened in other towns the same way.

Droopy in their old age, numerous wood buildings which had been constructed early in the century, were removed during the mid-1960's. The Odd Fellows hall and Dr. Schoor's hospital building were two which were dismantled. The Hubbard School was replaced at a new location.

HOWARD JONES: I was on the school board when we closed the Hubbard School and built North Marion. The high school was up on the top floor, the grade school down below. When the high school let out, they just hit about every other step and bang, bang, bang, bang! The teachers couldn't leach at all. And the big boys were a bad influencefor the small kids and wejust decided something had to be done.

Woodburn wanted to take us in up there, which we didn't want to do. On the way home from my folks one evening, Mary and I got to talking. I said, White school has already come in to Hubbard, but there is Broadacres, Donald, Butieville and Aurora. Why can't we take all these and make a school out in the middle somewhere, out in the country. Then the kids couldn't run to the store all the time, like they were doing."

I went to the school board meeting the next time and presented it to them. The year I was chairman, probably. Manion Carl and Marvin Barrett were on the board with me and they liked the idea. So we went around and checked with all the school board members in the other districts and talked to them.

MARY JONES: It also was getting big enough.

HOWARD: Yeah. There wasn't room. There were only four rooms on each floor. Each teacher had two classes.

ALICE SHRADER: While North Marion was being built, first grade class was held at the Hubbard Community Church. We were there for two years. There were two classes and nothing but a big heavy curtain divided the rooms.

While the new North Marion school was a benefit to the district, not everyone felt the move to the country was a benefit to the town of Hubbard.

VELMA SCHOLL: I believe when the school, all grades, was relocated out of town about two miles in the country, Hubbard lost much of its identity as a thriving community. No longer did students come to and graduate from Hubbard, they became North Marion students; address: Aurora. So a sense of local pride in all school problems and activities by students and their parents suffered by comparison. This is not to say the move to consolidate was not a good idea, for several smaller districts benefitted, but for the town ofHubbard, it seems to me, it has proven otherwise. Without the students andtheir activities in our midst, supported by satellite business, housing, andsocial life, we are not a complete entity.

Service organizations also suffered.

MANTON CARL: The old gatherings and so forth, there was an attempt to revive them, like having an auction or twofor the volunteer Fire Department. And I led the Boy Scoutsfor awhile. We tried to get a little community service club. There was just not much interest. The Pythians and the Odd Fellows began to deplete. The old timers stayed with it until they were gone, but there were not many new joiners.

The Hubbard Fire Department remained a strong organization. Plays put on by the firemen and their families, as well as dances, continued to be held at City Hall. Firemen continued to put out fires. In 1964, firemen answered a total of fourteen calls which included two auto fires, six house fires and eight grass or field fires.

BEVERLY JORY KOUTNY: I can remember dances when Edward and I were first married Fireman's dances. Nobody came to the dances early.They started at 9p.m. Nobody came before 10 or 11 p.m. They were partying other places, and then they'd drift into the dances. Every fall they'd have a Hunter's Dance and then a Sweetheart Dance on Valentine's Day. I think this was on Valentine's Dav, when there was afire on A Street.

All the firemen, in their best outfits, rushed off to the fire. The fire was in an upstairs apartment and it was quite ajob climbing all over the roof. They got the fire out and came back to the dance. Several of them went home and changed because they had gotten dirty, wet and muddy. In that day and age they did not have uniforms. Edward had his next best outfit on when the fire whistle went off again. The mattress had caught fire again at the same location.

Back at the hall, the women were sitting around talking to one another, the band was playing, and the men were off at the fire. Finally, the men were called back a third time in their third outfits. The dance was over! The band went home. The next day was Sunday and Edward had nothing to wear to church.