Henry Fitch Hubbard was the son of Robert Morris Hubbard (1830–1918) and his first wife, Sarah Blunt Ross (1831–1879). Henry was born in 1859 in St. Louis and died at home, 5272 Westminster Place, in 1903.

In 1889, Henry married Sarah Edwards Rowe (1862–1914), a daughter of Edward H. Rowe (1826–1919), a St. Louis jeweler and watchmaker, and Sarah Edwards (1824–1906), both of whom were emigrants from Ireland to St. Louis. Sarah was a schoolteacher until she married Henry. They were madly in love, as attested by letters which have survived. The couple had one child, Dorothy Hubbard (1890–1978).

Henry started his career as a hardware salesman in 1877, when he was eighteen. He joined the Simmons Hardware Company of St. Louis in 1884 and worked there until his death. Simmons was a large national hardware wholesaler, and Henry rose in the ranks as a salesman, becoming a large shareholder in the company before he died.

Henry Hubbard, who was an only child, and his father must have been extremely close. Their lives in St. Louis were nearly parallel: they belonged to the same social and golf clubs and heritage societies, and lived next to each other in both St. Louis, on elegant Westminster Place, and, in the summers, in neighboring houses at the Auburn Colony in South Harpswell, Maine. Their comings and goings were frequently reported in the St. Louis newspapers.

In 1903, Henry died suddenly at age forty-three of pneumonia, complicated by typhoid fever and “la grippe,” or influenza. He was buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery.

He left a simple, one-page will in which he made a few small bequests, but otherwise his entire estate was divided evenly between his wife Sarah (Rowe) Hubbard, and his twelve-year-old daughter, Dorothy.

Though the estate was large, it was encumbered by very significant debts to three banks. The assumption is that the loans paid for purchases of stock in various companies including the Simmons Hardware business. Henry’s premature death shattered the family’s plans to continue their upward career path and their social advancement in St. Louis.

Many of the estate’s assets, including Henry and Sarah’s large house on Westminster Place, were sold to cover the debts. Sarah’s father-in-law, Robert M. Hubbard, bought Sarah a smaller house on Westminster Place, and she and their daughter Dorothy lived there in reduced circumstances. Sarah was still able to send Dorothy to Mary Institute and later to Wells College in Aurora, New York, almost certainly with the help of Robert Hubbard.

Just a few weeks before her daughter’s wedding to Irvin Augustus Sims in the fall of 1914, Sarah (Rowe) Hubbard died of a stroke at her summer home in Maine. She was just fifty-one years old. Her body was returned to St. Louis for burial in Bellefontaine Cemetery.

Written by McKelden Smith
March 2022

© 2022 St. Louis Genealogical Society


Henry Hubbard
Henry Hubbard
Photo in the collection of McKelden Smith
Used with permission
Sarah Edwards Rowe
Sarah Edwards (Rowe) Hubbard
Photo in the collection of McKelden Smith
Used with permission

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Last Modified: 24-Jul-2022 11:08