HUBBELL, Stephen Charles

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HUBBELL, Stephen Charles (1841-1922), New York-born attorney and judge who began practicing law in New York in 1863. Hubbell and his first wife, Jane A. Work, were married in 1868. Shortly after the birth of their son, Charles Edward Work Hubbell (1868-1952), Jane Hubbell died. Father and son moved to California in 1869, first to San Francsico, then to San Bernardino in 1870. In 1873 Hubbell married Lora Althalia Loomis (1849-1922), and they had two daughters, Lora and Mary. The Hubbells relocated to Los Angeles, where he was active in multiple businesses and growth of the city. Hubbell became a founder of the University of Southern California, serving as its first treasurer; he was attorney for the street railway corporations of Los Angeles, including the First Street Railway Company and the Los Angeles Cable Railway; he was president and director of the National Bank of California. Hubbell was also one of three park commissioners first appointed by the governor of California to lay out the system of parks in Los Angeles. Hubbell eventually gave up practicing law to attend to his many business affairs, including Hubbell Oil Company. In 1903 Hubbell was president of the San Clemente Wool Company when it was purchased by Charles T. Howland and others in 1903.

Stephen Charles Hubbell (1841-1922)

Hubbell and his wife, Lora, both died in 1922. They are interred in Inglewood Park Cemetery. His son, Charles Edward Work Hubbell, became an architect and builder, and commodore of the South Coast Yacht Club.


http://www.cityprojectca.org/blog/archives/1429


In the News~

May 3, 1891 [LAT]: “Arrived — May 2, schooner San Mateo, Gonzales, from Clemente Island, 210 sheep to S. C. Hubbell.”


May 9, 1891 [LAT]: “Arrived. From Catalina Island, sheep, to S. C. Hubbell, May 7, schooner San Mateo, Sylvia, from Clemente Island, 20 tons wool, to S. P. Co.”


May 14, 1891 [LAT]: “Schooner San Mateo, Gonzales, from San Clemente Island, eight tons wool to S. C. Hubbell.”


March 25, 1892 [LAT]: “…The trial of this case was temporarily suspended at 2 o’clock for the purpose of taking up the matter of the contempt proceedings against Amos Abbott, the defendant’s brother, who went over to San Clemente Island after he had been subpoenaed as a witness in the case. Amos Abbott, upon being sworn, testified on his own behalf to the effect that he had been hired by Attorney S. C. Hubbell as agent for Oscar Macy to go over to the island, and as he had drawn $10 in advance, he was threatened with arrest if he failed to go over…”


March 29, 1892 [LAT]: “The hearing of the contempt proceedings against Amos Abbott was resumed before Judge Smith… The District Attorney, upon hearing that Amos had hired out as a sheep herder to Oscar Macy and was tending a flock of sheep on the island of San Clemente, obtained the consent of the Board of Supervisors… This however, was denied emphatically by S. C. Hubbell, Esq., the agent for Oscar Macy…”


August 9, 1892 [LAT/SCat]: “The beautiful yacht Nellie entered the harbor Friday and left for San Clemente Island in the afternoon. Captain Whittley was in command and the following party his guests: Hon. S. C. Hubbell, Albert F. Crank, Charles Hubbell, Max Lowenthal, Oscar Macy, F. P. Whittley and Mrs. Whittley, P. A. Howard and John Aiken. They go for business and pleasure, Messrs. Hubbell, Macy and Whittley owning the sheep that cover its many hills. They are to be gone ten days when they leave for the Catalina Isthmus.”


September 3, 1892 [LAT]: “Articles of incorporation were filed with the County Clerk yesterday by the San Clemente Wool Company, formed for the purpose of carrying on the business of raising sheep for mutton and wool, etc., with a capital stock of $50,000, all of which has been fully subscribed. Its board of directors consists of F. P. Whittley and Lucy Whittley of Avalon; S. C. Hubbell and Oscar Macy of this city, and Charles E. W. Hubbell of Compton.”


September 3, 1892 [LAH]: “A new wool company. Yesterday the San Clemente Wool Company filed articles of incorporation in the county clerk’s office. The principal place of business of the company is in Los Angeles, and the directors are F. P. Whittley and Lucy Whittley of Avalon, S. C. Hubbell and Oscar Macy, Los Angeles, and Charles E. W. Hubbell, Compton. The capital stock is $50,000, all of which has been actually subscribed.”


September 3, 1892 [LAH]: “A new wool company. Yesterday the San Clemente Wool company filed articles of incorporation in the county clerk's office. The principal place of business of the company is in Los Angeles, and the directors are F. P. Whittley and Lucy Whittley, Avalon, S. C. Hubbell and Oscar Macy, Los Angeles, and Charles E. W. Hubbell, Compton. The capital stock is $50,000, all of which has been actually subscribed.”


August 31, 1894 [LAH]: “Judge S. C. Hubbell has returned from a fishing trip to San Clemente Island.”


April 13, 1895 [LAH]: “Marine news. Arrived — schooner Keywe. Moreglio, master, from Clemente, 16,000 pounds wool to S. C. Hubbell.”


April 20, 1895 [LAH]: “Marine news. San Pedro April 19, 1895. Arrived: schooner Keywe. Moreglio, master, from Clemente, with 45 bales of wool to S. C. Hubbell.”


June 4, 1895 [LAT]: “A story has reached Los Angeles in a roundabout way from San Clemente Island that a sloop named Crest was, on May 25, caught in a gale off Point Conception and blown to San Clemente. The crew suffered great hardships, and were finally rescued by S. C. Hubbell, attorney of Los Angeles, who is on that island, whither he went about two weeks ago.”


June 17, 1895 [LAT]: “Honorable S. C. Hubbell returned from San Clemente Island yesterday, bringing full confirmation of the wreck of the sloop, Crest, and the sufferings of her unlucky crew… The Crest had sailed from San Pedro for Pismo, a small seaport on the coast of San Luis Obispo County. Her crew consisted of Captain W. A. Harlow and two seamen, Wafton Warren and Harry Wilkerson, and a small white bulldog. They took with them a small quantity of provisions, and only ten gallons of water, as they had anticipated smooth sailing and a quick passage. Off Point Dume they encountered a northwester which raged with such a fury that it carried away the rigging, tore off the rudder and drove the small craft far out to sea… they drifted ashore at the lower end of San Clemente Island… As soon as the castaways had recovered somewhat from their sufferings they were sent to San Pedro on the company’s sloop in care of Captain Pete…”


August 2, 1896 [LAH]: “Sir: Your letter of June 17, 1893, to the honorable, the secretary of the treasury, proposing to lease San Clemente Island, California, has been referred to this office. In reply the board informs you that San Clemente Island is a lighthouse reservation. It is held for lighthouse and other government purposes. Answer has been made to similar applications that the board did not find itself able to recommend the leasing of the whole or any part of the island. Respectfully yours, F. A. Mahan, Captain of Engineers, U. S. Army, Engineer's Secretary.”

“Los Angeles, California. Sir: I am in receipt by reference from the department of your letter dated June 17, 1893, requesting information in regard to purchasing or renting San Clemente Island, situate off the coast of California. In reply I have to state that said island is, therefore, not subject to disposal. This office has no authority to lease or rent surveyed or unsurveyed land. Very respectfully, S. W. Lamoreaux, Commissioner.

Judge S. C. Hubbell is one of the sheep syndicate, which includes some of the wealthiest men of the city, and he was asked about his right to the island yesterday, but was rather reticent. He denied having any lease of the island or any title to it, but said that they had their sheep there by a right that they had purchased from sheep owners who preceded them, and while not saying so gave the reporter the impression that the company had some sort of a right which he did not feel like discussing. He admitted having 3000 sheep there, but declined to go into the details of the profits derived from them. In fact, very little light on the matter was obtained from Mr. Hubbell, except a denial of a rumor that the company intended to make a summer resort out of the island, which he laughed at as absurd, as the place is too barren and not supplied with enough water. The facts are, then, that a private company has been allowed the valuable right of making a sheep ranch out of the island, keeping its employees there, monopolizing the feed and making presumably thousands of dollars a year out of it, without paying anything for it, as the above letters plainly say that the island cannot be rented. There are a number of people who would like to know how the matter has been arranged with the federal authorities, if they have been, and if there is no understanding between the company and the department officials, have the latter been aware of the use that is being made of the property?”


April 28, 1897 [LAT/SP]: “The schooner Brothers, which left San Clemente Island on Saturday last with a cargo, had a rough voyage coming across the channel. She encountered a gale on Sunday evening, and, as she was about twelve miles out from here, the mainsail was rent into shreds. In her crippled condition she was unable to make this port, but made Long Beach. S. C. Hubbell, the owner of the vessel, who was onboard, managed to get to Long Beach and telephoned here for a tug, and the Wilmington Transportation Company’s steamer Falcon towed the damaged vessel safely into port.”


July 21, 1897 [LAT]: “Judge and Mrs. S. C. Hubbell and daughters and Dr. Brainerd will leave in a day or two for San Clemente Island for a stay of three or four weeks.”


July 25, 1897 [LAH]: “Judge and Mrs. Stephen C. Hubbell, with their daughters and Dr. Brainard, have gone to San Clemente Island, where they will remain two or three weeks.”


September 30, 1897 [LAT/SCat]: “S. C. Hubbell of Los Angeles, who is a monopolist to the extent of owning all the sheep on San Clemente Island, sailed over from there this morning in the Brothers, to take the steamer for San Pedro today.”


November 20, 1898 [LAT/SCat]: “The Nellie on her return trip from San Nicolas touched at San Clemente and took one of the owners of the big flocks of sheep on that island. Mr. Hubbell has been there continuously since last April and will surely enjoy getting into civilization again…”


November 20, 1898 [LAH]: “Dying by thousands. It is reported that the dry season is playing havoc with the herds of sheep on San Clemente Island, and the animals are dying rapidly owing to a lack of water and feed. Judge S. C. Hubbell of this city, is interested in the San Clemente Wool Company, and he states that within a month all of the flocks will be gone. The sheep are simply dying from starvation and thirst. There is no disease amog them, and in spite of this fact, the owners and shepherds are helpless to save them, as it is impossible to provide the animals with water or food.”


November 24, 1898 [LAT/SCat]: “Anent the proposition of taking stone for the construction of the harbor at San Pedro from San Clemente Island, Charles E. W. Hubbell, one of the owners of the sheep on that island, who spends the greater part of his time there, while at Avalon a few days ago gave expression to the opinion that Heldmaier & Neu are making a mistake in planning to get the material for the breakwater at San Clemente…”


February 27, 1900 [LAT/SCat]: “San Clemente is given over to sheep raising, S. C. Hubbell & Son owning the herds. Sheep shearing is now on, and they have some forty or fifty men there rounding up and shearing. Last season they lost a large number of sheep because of the drought, but they have fared better this season in respect to rain, and feed is plentiful. Some weeks ago, when no rain fell here, they had a copious downpour.”


January 7, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Several gentlemen who had drifted into Avalon got together last week and arranged a trip to San Clemente, lying about twenty-five miles southward from Santa Catalina. The island is government property, and is uninhabited, save by two young men, John and Robert Robarts, who have charge of some five or six thousand sheep belonging to S. C. Hubbell of Los Angeles, and Alec O’Leary, who has led a hermit life down near the east end for ten years past. The gentlemen were seeking adventure…”


November 10, 1901 [LAH]: “Sportsmen must keep off the island. Wool company claims exclusive rights there. Happy hunting ground in mid-ocean is forbidden to hunters and fishermen without a permit — strange land on which animals learn to live and thrive without water. Sportsmen who in future may visit San Clemente Island will miss the hospitality that was wont to be extended them at the little happy hunting ground in mid-ocean. Instead of the welcome that sportsmen for many years knew could be counted upon, there will meet their eyes forbidding signs, telling that trespassing is not allowed and warning all to keep out. San Clemente, the home of the wild goat, the fox; where the abalone flourishes and whose waters teem with fishes, is a Paradise lost. About one year ago the island came into possession of the San Clemente Wool Company, a Los Angeles Corporation, whose president is S. C. Hubbell of this city. The island was leased by the government of the United States to the wool company. A yearly rental of $1000 is paid for the exclusive use of the island. For several months the new management made no attempt to keep out hunters and fishermen; but as from time to time it was discovered that sheep owned by the company were being slaughtered by the campers, and all words of warning went unheeded, the order forbidding anyone to land on the island was posted. Mr. Hubble said yesterday that there was no help for it; many parties of fishermen and hunters came to the island, he said, ostensibly to fish and hunt, but they were working a loss on the company by killing sheep for meat. Chinamen went to the island to take abalone, that thrive on the rocks in tide water. Fishermen who plied their trade on the banks near the island made their camps there, and sportsmen from this city and other places on the coast went over to pot wild goats, that are numerous. 'With parties of fishermen and hunters landing nearly every week, and each party killing one or two sheep, you can see at once that we were heavy losers,' said Mr. Hubbell. 'We claim under our lease to have exclusive use of the island, including the beach. There has been much controversy in the courts over the right of land owners to lands lying between high and low tide, but I think that it is well established that such lands may be owned. The Santa Monica Beach Company made a fight on this point, and the courts decided in their favor and they now claim ownership of the beach. The island is a ranch bounded on all sides by the ocean. We have the right to forbid trespassing within our boundary lines.' San Clemente is about 30 miles south of Santa Catalina Island. It is 24 miles long and 2 to 2-1/2 miles wide. There is no fresh water on the island, except small pools that form in the rocks after a heavy rain, and that lasts but a few weeks. The thousands of sheep that are owned by the wool company become in time able to survive without water, finding water in grasses and herbs. Sheep that are bred on the island thrive and never know that they are missing an element that is popularly supposed to be indispensable to animal life.”


January 29, 1902 [LAT]: “Captain F. P. Whittley, owner of the yacht Nellie, which plied about the waters between San Pedro and Santa Catalina Island, and one of the best known men on the coast, died at his residence in this city yesterday. Forty-eight years ago, when he was but 6 years old, Captain Whittley came from Ensenada with his parents, and landed on the island, which ever since has been his home... Captain Whittley owned property at both Catalina and Wilmington, and held one-forth interest in the Banning Wool Company, with perhaps 20,000 sheep ranging over the mountains on the island, according to his last estimate. He was the pioneer resident and sheep raiser of Catalina, having years ago gone into the business—having grown up with it, perhaps, with his father’s flocks. He owned flocks, comprising thousands of head, at various times, on Santa Catalina, San Clemente and Socorro islands. For a number of years he was associated with S. C. Hubbell of this city in the San Clemente Wool Company, but sold out several years ago, when they were ranging 12,000 sheep. He had been, at one time and another, associated with almost everybody who had sheep interests on any of the islands named...”


June 22, 1902 [LAT]: “The scow Brothers, Captain Whitten, arrived in port Thursday with a cargo of sheep from Charles Hubbell, San Clemente Island.”


September 28, 1902 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. S. C. Hubbell, lessee of San Clemente Island, and president of the San Clemente Island Wool Company, and Miss Lora A. Hubbell, registered at the Hotel Metropole today.”


October 16, 1902 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Mrs. S. C. Hubbell and daughter, Miss Lora Hubbell, of Los Angeles; Mrs. A. R. Loomis, Mrs. Hubbell’s mother, and sister Mrs. M. F. Le Roy of Manchester, Iowa, have been visiting the island for a week and returned to Los Angeles today.”


February 1, 1903 [SBMP]: “A bill aimed at Catalina Island landing regulations, but bearing on all of the islands of the California coast, has been introduced in the California legislature by Senator Hubbell. Should the bill become a law, any person may visit Santa Catalina Island, regardless of the arbitrary rule of the Wilmington Transportation Company and its kindred corporation, that unless the visitor goes there on the company’s steamers he must pay $2.50 before he will be permitted to land. It will probably have the effect of creating competition in the business of transporting visitors to and from the island, and may cause an increase in the number of such visitors, and thus add to the popularity of the island as a pleasure resort…”


August 18, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon… S. C. Hubbell, lessee of San Clemente Island, and president of the San Clemente Island Wool Company, is at the Hotel Metropole. The Meteor made her usual Monday trip to the island of San Clemente this morning with the following party: R. T. Whittlesey, J. A. Larraide, George D. Henck, Glenn Whittlesey, H. G. Williams, O. Lawler, Los Angeles; Grangier Hyer, Ontario; Mrs. William O’Brien and Mrs. Dawson Hawkins, Colorado Springs; Charles J. Barnes and Henry B. Ruggles, Redlands.”


September 8, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The San Clemente Wool Company, of which Judge S. C. Hubbell was president and general manager, has been transferred by purchase to a company composed of Charles T. Howland, an attorney of Los Angeles, and Frank, Henry and Oscar Werner. Frank Henry is not related to the two others, who are brothers, and have recently arrived from Germany. The parties making the purchase have just returned from San Clemente, where they spent a week inspecting the island and the company’s affairs. There are supposedly from 12,000 to 15,000 sheep on the island with a large ranch house, barns and corrals, and several auxiliary stations about the island. San Clemente Island is about the size of Santa Catalina, but is comparatively level, its greatest drawback being its deficiency of water, requiring wells and windmills to furnish water for the sheep. The island is leased from the government for a term of years at a nominal figure, and the industry of sheep-raising should be one of profit.”


September 20, 1903 [LAT]: “The Pasadena Star recently published the following correspondence from Avalon: The San Clemente Wool Company, of which Judge S. C. Hubbell was president and general manager, has been transferred by purchase to a company composed of Charles T. Howland, an attorney of Los Angeles, and Frank Henry and Oscar Werner. Frank Werner is not related to the other two, who are brothers, and have recently arrived from Germany. The parties making the purchase have just returned from San Clemente, where they spent a week inspecting the island and the company’s affairs. There are supposedly from 12,000 to 15,000 sheep on the island, with a large ranch house, barns and corrals and several auxiliary stations about the island. San Clemente Island is about the size of Santa Catalina, but is comparatively level, its greatest drawback being its deficiency of water, requiring wells and windmills to furnish water for the sheep. The island is leased from the government for a term of years at a nominal figure, and the industry of sheep raising should be one of profit. It has always been a wonder to many people how the San Francisco company, which has leased this ‘lighthouse reservation’ for a number of years at a nominal price from the government, has been able to secure it in this manner; also as to why the government needs such a big island for lighthouses, when there are many settlers who would be glad to go and make homes there. There is something mysterious about the attitude of the government authorities in San Francisco in regard to this island, and now that investigations are in order, a little investigation into this subject might do no harm.”


May 15, 1905 [LAT]: “…An important change in the yacht lists was made yesterday. George Rice sold Gardner design Edna to Charles Hubbell, son of Judge Hubbell. This transaction has been in the way of being settled for some time, and was finally put through yesterday. It is said that the price was $800, and the purchase is generally considered an advantageous one to the buyer, as the Edna, although an old boat, is supposed to be still in excellent condition… The Edna was brought across from Boston waters some years ago…”


August 15, 1907 [San Pedro Daily News]: “A. Vignola Drops Dead. A. Vignola, who died at Ocean Park yesterday, was well known in San Pedro, in the early days. "Vig", as he was generally known, owned the sloop Keywe, and was one of the first of the old Pioneer Band, and was interested in sheep raising when Catalina was a pasture ground. He was one of the first to recognize the future possibilities of Avalon, and was laughed at when he predicted that Catalina would be the people's pleasure ground before he died. This was in the late seventies, and it is a pleasure to note that he lived to enjoy the fulfillment of his prophecy. He was one of the first to hold barbecues on the island, and his death will recall many memorable feeds to the minds of ex-Judge Hubbell, Oscar Macy, Dr. Crawford and a score or more of the old timers who enjoyed his hospitality.”


December 15, 1922 [LAT]: “Judge Hubbell dies. Judge Stephen C. Hubbell, resident of Los Angeles county for the past fifty years, the man through whose generosity the city came into the possession of what is now known as Westlake Park, died yesterday morning at the family residence, 1000 Arapahoe Street, following an illness of only two days…”


August 13, `930 [TI]: “Chas. E. W. Hubbell [son] and guests, schooner Douchess. Mr. Hubbell has just purchased the Douchess and will again be one of the old cruising bunch as of yore.”