The Story of Hubbard


   The first month of 1991 brought America, once more, into armed conflict. This time fighting occurred in the sand dunes of the Persian Gulf.

One soldier from Hubbard, Raymond Bettis, responded to his younger cousin's Christmas letter:

January 9, 1991

Dear Sarah and Jens,

So it's snowing. I wouldn't mind coming over about now and playing in the snow with you. Here we are in the middle of a sand storm. In fact I went out for a few seconds and came back in the tent and my lips and gums turned all brown from the dust ...

Christmas even here is my favorite time of the year. When Christmas is in your heart it will go with you everywhere, and with it all the joys of Christmas past & Christmases yet to come. Love, Ray

P.S. Could you stop by my mom house and give her a Merry Christmas hug & kiss for me, and tell her I'm doing real good.

War with Iraq began January 17, 1991. A few days later yellow ribbons appeared on each of the 50 trees along the Commons.

1991 is the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Hubbard. It is a time to reflect on the things that have made Hubbard a unique town. And to ponder the things that have remained unchanged. The train still runs through Hubbard. Hop yards continue to surround the community. Strong minded citizens still speak their minds. Neighbors continue to help one another and the entire community, by volunteering their time and skills.

Centennial year is a time for area residents to look closely at their town and see it through the eyes of newcomers. Mary Sue Evers is the minister of the Hubbard Community Church. Her first observations of the town of Hubbard:

Probably my first outstanding impression of Hubbard was one of surprise. When I was interviewing in November and December of '89, several times I had to turn around at the south end of town because I had missed it!

From the highway, all you see of Hubbard looks like a backwater place. Once you get off Highway 99, it's different. Sometimes I think Highway 99 is kept the way if is to keep Hubbard a secret from the rest of the i world!

I think it would be a wonderful place to live, especially if a person had a family and wanted to raise them in a community-oriented place, a place where there is still space and empty lots.

Looking over a span of 100 years, Hubbard citizens can celebrate improvements and new growth within their town.

JUAN RUIZ: When we first moved here, there was only a little grocery store-and washeteria. Now there are two stores. We have Key Bank. We've got a pharmacy. We have a doctor here. It's nice. We've got a traffic light, and we have crossing arms for the railroad tracks, which we didn't have then.

BARBARITA RUIZ: The City Park is nice. And the Barendse Park, where we planted a tree in our son, Leo's memory. Oh, another thing! I am very, very happy about Hubbard, is that we have such beautiful volunteers! We have a lot of help in Hubbard. It is very, very nice.

Ronald LaFollette, 1991 Mayor of Hubbard: The police force is doing a good job and we have better equipment than we had a few years ago.

JOE DRYDEN: Compared to what we started with in 1978, the Hubbard Fire Department and the citizens of the fire district can be extremely proud of what they are going to get in the way of a new medical unit. It's a very nice, four door. We will all be inside the rig, seat belted in. At a cost of about $65,000. Made possible by the citizens. The rural board came up with $56,000 and a group of firemen raised donated funds and were able to come up with the rest.

BOB BENCK: In terms of the numbers of volunteers, maintaining twenty to twenty-five volunteers is an accomplishment for a town this size. A lot of communities are beginning to have difficulty finding volunteers.

Currently, Les Barrett and Frank Fobert are two of the oldest members who have put in more than forty years on the department. Most volunteers average five years. We have a nucleus now that has ten years or more. To have individuals dedicate themselves that long is a tribute to community service.

Centennial year, while celebrating improvements and applauding volunteers, is a time for community residents to closely examine and resolve existing problems and to plan for the future of their hometown.

BEVERLY JORY KOUTNY: Some of the junk got picked up off 99E, but there is still an awful lot of it there.

My big dream is to see a bicycle path from Hubbard to the school. And for walking. It would be a blessing. That is something that would have to be coordinated between the county, the city. Maybe federal highway funds or something.

JOE DRYDEN: In the years to come, during the time that Bob Benck is Fire Chief, we will see a drastic improvement in the quality of fire protection and enforcement of the laws, which will help in planning department fire safety.

The old Hubbard is gone. When I am 70 years old, there will be a different Hubbard Maybe we'll have two stop lights!

BARBARITA RUIZ: I would like to see the water rates go down.

MARY SUE EVERS: I worry about some of the youth in town. And the drugs coming up from Woodburn and the youth who don't have solid family structures. I would try to get some programming going at the church to draw them in.

RONALD LAFOLLETTE: I would like to put up a sign at either end of town saying, "This is a drug-free town."

We have nothing here for youth. That is something John Busey and I will work on.

We need to find a way to lower water rates. That has to be done if we are going to bring businesses in here.

Beginning with a new decade, I would hope that we can set a path for the city to grow, but grow slowly. I would hate to see Hubbard lost the flavor it has right now. It's nice to go out here on Sunday morning and hear the church bells ringing. It's what makes it a pleasure to live here. Hopefully, we'll always keep that.