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No apparent relation between WWI vet, hardware family

In the May 15 stories from 100 years ago, you posted a letter from the Western Front from Frank W. Hubbard. Was he a member of the famous Hubbard Hardware family? Did he survive the war?

— Larry S., Jacksonville

He apparently survived the war, Larry, but not unscathed.

A quick search through archives showed that Hubbard was reported injured in the July 6, 1918, issue of the Mail Tribune.

A little more digging showed that U.S. Marine Pvt. Frank Wyllys Hubbard, who served in the 6th Regiment of the Second Division during WWI, died Jan. 19, 1929, according to his headstone at Eastwood Cemetery in Medford.

He left behind a wife, Osa, who died in 1986.

For those just tuning in, Hubbard wrote from the firing line in France to his parents, Henry Thomas Hubbard and Margaret Riley Hubbard.

“We can get tobacco here at the front, but no sweets, so if you get a chance, better send some chocolate bars,” Hubbard wrote from the front lines.

He was born in 1888 in Urbana, Illinois, according to an obituary database on the Jackson County Genealogy Library website.

It doesn’t appear that Frank W. Hubbard is related to pioneer Fortunatus Hubbard (1824-1894), born in East Rochester, New York, who incorporated a farm equipment dealership in 1884 that his sons would grow into the state’s oldest hardware store.

While poring through local historian Ben Truwe’s website about the Hubbard family, we found no indicators that any part of the hardware family hailed from Illinois. If an eagle-eyed reader points us otherwise, we’ll certainly update the story.

As for the hardware store business, after more than a century in the Hubbard family, it was sold to five siblings in the Seus family in 1988. With no one in the next generation of the family willing to take on the business, last fall the Seus family sold the business to employee-owned Dazey’s Supply out of Humboldt County, California.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.