1898 Biographies


    DEACON MANLEY HOBART. The great Empire State in its development and early settlement incurred a debt it can never adequately repay to its sister states of New England. New England! What a place for the birth of great men, and the rearing of true men, firm in the advocacy of liberty and ever constant for what they deemed right! The town of Brimfield, Mass., contributed many of the early settlers of the town of Homer, this county. Among these settlers, who did so much to shape the destiny of this section were Samuel and Dorothy "Hoar" or Hobart, the grandparents of our subject. They were of the same family from which are descended many of the influential and leading men of Massachusetts to-day, among whom we might mention Senator Hoar, the venerable representative of the Bay State in the Upper House of Congress.

    In the summer of 1798, Samuel Hobart had visited the locality of Homer, located his farm on the place now owned by John Scott, and put up a log cabin to accommodate the large family he was preparing to remove to this place. In the ensuing winter, with snow on the ground, he moved with oxen and sled from the old home in Massachusetts, intending to settle down upon their arrival in Homer in the log cabin he had built. When they arrived, it was found that the weight of the snow had broken in the roof, and so they accepted shelter with Deacon Peter Hitchcock, whose log house was the only habitation that lay between Mr. Hobart's place and the site of Homer village.

    Of the children of these pioneers, Gideon, the father of Deacon Manley Hobart, was nineteen when the family came to Homer. In 1806 he married Electa Wadsworth of the well known Wadsworth family, than whom there is no better known family in Central or Western New York. In the veins of this family coursed the blood of kings, and from the various branches have come some of the famous and great men of America. The children of this couple were: Amos; Sophronia; Manley, our subject; Horacel Orrin; Euretta; Celinda; Mary M.; and Clark E.

    Deacon Hobart was born on the home place in Homer, May 7, 1810, and from that time until his death, September 7, 1883, he was mainly engaged in agricultural pursuits. There are men who seem born to succeed no matter where their fortunes are cast. Deacon Hobart was one who rarely took a false step, whose every action would bear the closest scrutiny, and whose undoubted success in life was only second to his splendid record as an upright Christian gentleman. He never sacrificed his honor or integrity to gain a worldly advantage, no matter how trifling the principle at stake. When a young man, Deacon Hobart made public profession of his faith in Jesus Christ, and united with the Congregational Church of Homer. As a church member, he was positive in his attitude toward sin, and was wonderfully active in all church affairs. He was faithful to all his covenant vows, and was not a man to shirk one of his duties, which he performed with equal cheerfulness and zeal. He was very prominent in the Homer Church, and served as deacon from his election to that dignity in 1856 until he entered into his reward, and was received with the welcome plaudit of "Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." For a number of years he was president of the County Bible Society, and was foremost in the support of its interests. Although his ability and talents shone brightest in the service of the church, his worth was also recognized and his services utilized in other fields. He was a director of the Homer National Bank, and was elected as one of the town's supervisors a number of times.

    Deacon Hobart was united in marriage June 22, 1840, with Caroline A. Bries, a daughter of Captain Rufus Bries of Homer, who was a prominent man in religious circles, and one who took a keen and intelligent interest in all affairs of local moment. Four daughters were born to our subject, who were named in order of birth: Ellen F.; Clara A.; Alice B.; and Mary S. The eldest daughter married George D. Daniels of the firm of O. B. Andrews & Co. Clara A. became the wife of the late Lyman H. Heberd, whose biography appears elsewhere in this volume. Alice B. became the wife of Charles A. Skinner, a prominent and well-to-do druggist of Homer village. The youngest daughter married J. N. Knapp of Syracuse, N. Y.

Source: pages 485-489

    GEORGE A. HULBERT, of Marathon, has, in his life-time, covered a wide range of experience, and has known much of men and affairs in many fields of progress. He has been directly and indirectly connected with several lines of business, which have called forth the most earnest effort and steady industry. In every one of these interests which have claimed his time and attention, he has manifested the qualities that lead but to victory. At the present writing he is enjoying the results of his own thrift and the rewards of a life well and usefully directed.

    Mr. Hulbert was born in the village of Truxton, Cortland County, September 27, 1833, and is a grandson of Timothy Hulbert, who was born at Pittsfield, Mass., August 12, 1758, and who lived out a life of usefulness engaged in farming, dying at his home in Pittsfield at a good old age.

    A son of the preceding, and father of the subject of this sketch, was Timothy Hulbert, Jr. He came into life at Pittsfield, October 2, 1789, and was reared in that beautiful eastern home. He came into Central New York about the year 1810, settled in Truxton, and there resided until his death, May 20, 1848. Timothy Hulbert was by trade a carpenter and joiner. In that line he did a wonderful amount of business, and much of his handiwork stands to-day a monument to his careful workmanship and honest efforts. Prospering in his trade, he became the owner of a fine large farm, and attained prominence and high standing in his chosen section of country. His political affiliations were with the Democratic party, of which he was a very ardent supporter. He represented his town for years on the board of supervisors, and was at one time a leading candidate for the nomination of Member of Assembly, his outspoken honesty of purpose alone preventing his selection. During his active years he organized a military company, of which he was made captain. His commission, dated April 8, 1822, was signed by Governor DeWitt Clinton, and his company was assigned to the 124th Regiment, State Militia. In the Methodist denomination he was a moving spirit, being a trustee of the local church. Mr. Hulbert was married when a young man to Mehitable Minor, and to them a family of eight children came, namely: Emily Eliza, born March 24, 1818; William, December 26, 1819; Paulina, March 9, 1822; LaFayette, June 29, 1824; Jerome, February 23, 1829; George A., our subject, September 27, 1833; Marvin M., November 7, 1835; and Edwin Murray, January 2, 1838.

    George A. Hulbert attended the local schools, and entered Cortlandville Academy in 1851 with a view of preparing for Yale University. For various reasons, each of considerable weight, his plans were modified, and, upon leaving the academy, he began the study of law in the office of Judge Daniel Hawks, the county judge and surrogate of Cortland County. He afterwards went into the office of H. and A. L. Ballard to prosecute his legal studies, and then read law with Judge Charles Mason at Hamilton, Madison County, N. Y. Advanced studies took him to Ballston Spa, Saratoga County, where he entered the Law School and pursued the course for one year. He then completed his professional education at the Albany Law School, and was formally admitted to the bar in 1854.

    Mr. Hulbert located first in Hornellsville, Steuben County, and opened a law office. After fourteen months spent in that city, he removed to Chicago, Ill., where he entered toe office of John H. Kedzie, and remained with him about a year. Then he returned to the East, and began a mercantile business in Onondaga County. In 1864 Mr. Hulbert came to Marathon, and, with his brothers, went into a wholesale produce business under the style of William Hulbert & Brothers, with headquarters in New York City. Their business prospered beyond their fondest expectations, and they found themselves the proprietors of the most extensive butter and cheese business of that busy metropolis. Associated with his brothers, William and Jerome, now deceased, for thirty-two years, he purchased from the farmers and marketed products which footed all the way from three hundred to five hundred thousand dollars annually. At his brother Jerome's death, he abandoned the produce business and returned to the practice of law. Now a man of ready means, he erected the Hulbert Block on the corner of Main and Broome streets. It was built in 1887, and is a four-story brick building of fine architectural appearance, and heavily constructed throughout. The ground floor is devoted to stores, and contains three spacious ones. The second floor is used for office and residence purposes, while the third is given over to a splendid auditorium, fitted up with a stage and other theatrical and operatic appliances. The block fronts sixty-five feet, with a depth of fifty-five feet, and is on the most prominent corner of the village.

    Politically, Mr. Hulbert is a Democrat of the Stephen A. Douglas stamp. He was through the Civil War a strong Unionist, and a believer in the rights of freedom for all mankind. He votes from principle, and permits no man to advise him against what he believes to be right. He has never sought office, but yet has been supervisor of the town, and has served as justice of the peace for twenty-three years. He is also a notary public, with seal. His wife was Mary S. Smith, daughter of Richard and Mary W. (Hinkley) Smith. Richard Smith was a native of New Bedford, Mass., and was in his day a well-known sea-captain. Mr. Hulbert is in every respect a man of force and influence. He has a fund of experience to draw upon that is of a superior order. His judgment and foresight have been brought to a keen edge from contact with the shrewdest kind of business men. A man of affairs, he takes a broad and liberal view of all things, and in the busy and jostling world he has proven his capacity to live and thrive with the best of them. As a prominent man in his profession, and as a representative citizen of Cortland County, we present, on a preceding page, Mr. Hulbert's portrait, executed from a recent photograph.

Source: pages 89-91

    JEROME HULBERT, deceased, was in his lifetime a very prominent and respected citizen of the village of Marathon, and he is still held in the most revered memory as a true Christian gentleman, the records of whose work in his lifetime should entitle him to the most tender remembrance. Mr. Hulbert was born February 23, 1829, in Truxton, this county, and died in Marathon, December 17, 1884. His parents were Timothy and Mehitabel (Miner) Hulbert, and his grandfather was Timothy Hulbert, Sr., who was born at Pittsfield, Mass., August 12, 1758, and who lived there all his life, dying in that town at an advanced age.

    Timothy Hulbert, the father of our subject, came into this life in Pittsfield, Mass., October 2, 1798, and moved into Central New York about the year 1810, settling in Truxton, where he resided until his death, May 20, 1848. He practiced the trades of carpenter and joiner, and in those lines did a wonderful amount of business, much of his handiwork standing to-day in testimony to his careful workmanship and honest efforts. Prosperity coming his way, he eventually became the owner of a fine large farm, and attained prominence and high standing in his chosen section of the country. He was a Democrat of the most uncompromising type, and was an ardent and unhesitating supporter of whatever emanated from his party. He represented his town on the board of supervisors for years, and was at one time a leading candidate for the nomination of Member of Assembly, his outspoken honesty of purpose alone preventing his selection for that position of honor and responsibility. During his younger years of activity he organized a military company of which he was made captain. His commission, dated April 8, 1822, was signed by Governor DeWitt Clinton, and his company was assigned to the 124th Regiment, State Militia. In the Methodist Church he was a moving spirit, being a trustee of the local society. His marriage to Mehitabel Miner resulted in eight children, namely: Emma Eliza, born March 24, 1818; William, December 26, 1819; Paulina, March 9, 1822; LaFayette, June 29, 1824; Jerome, our subject, February 23, 1829; George A., September 27, 1833; Marion M., November 7, 1835; and Edwin Murray, January 2, 1838.

    Jerome Hulbert received a common school education, and in accordance with the edict of his father, that all his sons should learn a trade, learned the trade of a harness maker, but did not follow that occupation very long, except to perfect himself in all its details. About 1855, he embarked in the wholesale produce business, and continued in that line of industry until his death. He was eminently successful in all his ventures, and enjoyed the full confidence of the agricultural communities.

    Mr. Hulbert married Mary Roe, a daughter of Sylvester Roe, and to them was given one child, Ella Roe, who Married Mr. Ernest M. Hulbert of Cortland. Politically, our subject was a pronounced Republican, and deeply interested in the cause of good government, and unalterably opposed to the rule of party bosses, and the consequent corruption of politics. With all the interest manifested by him, Mr. Hulbert never sought office. He was a very active member of the Presbyterian Church. For many years he was the beloved superintendent of the Sabbath School, and was also president of the Young Men's Christian Association. He was public-spirited, and ready at the first call to engage in any work, which would contribute in greater or less degree to the prosperity and welfare of the town or village of Marathon. That he was held in the highest respect is attested by the fact that upon the occasion, when all that was mortal of this good man was about to be laid in the grave to await the resurrection morn, all the business houses of the village closed in deference to his memory. His home life was beautiful. He was loyal, loving, and most indulgent to the members of his family, and no pleasure was quite complete that his family did not enjoy with him. One thing quite unusual was that all who had business relations with him felt that he was their friend, and that he was working for their interests as well as his own; all were sincere mourners at his death, feeling that they had lost a friend in whose honor and judgment they had never hesitated to place the most complete confidence. At one time, having bought a butter-dairy of a man, on whose farm there was an unpaid mortgage, the butter market advanced to a marked degree, thus realizing for Mr. Hulbert a profit on his butter, that he divided with the man from whom he had bought the farm, mush to that person's astonishment. Mr. Hulbert was quick to act in an emergency, energetic in his habits, and never relinquished a thing unfinished. He always carried to a successful termination all that he undertook. His judgment was keen, and he was rarely, if at all, deceived in the value of things. All in all, he was a man of rare attainments of mind and soul, who left a decided impress on the town, where he resided the most of his life.

    We are indeed pleased to be able to present on a preceding page a steel plate portrait of Mr. Hulbert, who merits well the distinction of having the place of prominence in this collection of biographies and portraits of leading citizens of Cortland County.

Source pages 11-13

All biographies are from Book of Biographies - Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of Cortland County, NY
Biographical Publishing Company - Buffalo, NY - 1898
Biographies Page
Cortland Co, NY Page

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