Hubbard, Bela, 1814-1896

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Born in Hamilton, New York on April 23, 1814, Bela Hubbard was the son of Thomas H. Hubbard. He came to Detroit in 1835. Bela Hubbard married Sarah E. Baughman of Adrian, Michigan on March 2, 1848. After his admission to the Michigan Bar in 1842, Hubbard practiced law for a time with Charles Collins, but he soon gave up the law to devote his time to real estate. Hubbard was selected as assistant geologist of Michigan by Douglass Houghton when the geological survey of Michigan was reorganized, 1837-1840, and was the author of several books about Michigan. He died in Detroit on June 13, 1896.

From the description of Bela Hubbard papers, 1835-1903 (Detroit Public Library). WorldCat record id: 436873380

Lumberman, real estate operator, and geologist.

From the description of Bela Hubbard papers, 1837-1893. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34418631

Bela Hubbard is noted as one of the pioneer geologists of Michigan as a result of expeditions undertaken, while in his twenties, with Douglass Houghton, Sylvester Higgins, and William Ives. For the rest of his long life, he occupied himself as a Detroit land speculator and lumber dealer.

Hubbard was born in Hamilton, New York, in 1814, but moved as a child to Utica, New York. In 1834 he graduated from Hamilton College, and soon thereafter moved to Detroit to join his brother Henry in managing the family's farm and land agency. Hubbard was active in the Detroit Young Men's Society, serving as corresponding secretary and, in 1845, as president.

In 1837, shortly after the Michigan Legislature established a geological survey to conduct a comprehensive study of the state's natural resources, the new state geologist, Douglass Houghton, appointed Hubbard his assistant. Hubbard served the Geological Survey from 1837 to 1841. Major field work undertaken by Hubbard for the survey included a coast survey of the Lake Huron and Michigan shores of the Lower Peninsula, done with Houghton in 1838; surveys of Wayne and Monroe Counties, also in 1838; and a survey of the Lake Superior coast and the copper region of Keweenaw Point with Houghton, in 1840. After 1840 the work of the Geological Survey was reduced, and Hubbard left the agency.

Hubbard returned to Detroit in 1841 to study law. He began writing a column in the Western Farmer , becoming the editor in 1842. The journal ceased publication in 1843.

In 1843 Houghton proposed that the U.S. land survey of the Upper Peninsula be combined with the state geological survey of the area. The following summer he contracted to perform the combined surveys. After Houghton's death in the fall of 1845, the surveys he had contracted to do were taken over by Hubbard and others. Hubbard surveyed the Huron Mountains area of Marquette and Baraga Counties with William Ives in 1845 and 1846. He also surveyed parts of Houghton and Ontonagon Counties in those years with Sylvester Higgins. Also in 1846 Hubbard edited and published with William Burt a report on the copper region based on Houghton's notes from his 1845 survey.

After 1846 Hubbard left the field of geological survey, concerning himself more with the family land business. In 1854 he entered the lumber trade. Hubbard died in 1896, and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit.

From the guide to the Bela Hubbard papers, 1837-1893, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Burt, William Austin, 1792-1858. Staff notes from the Houghton Geological Survey, 1838-1848. State Archive of Michigan
creatorOf Houghton, Douglass, 1809-1845. Douglass Houghton papers, 1829-1845. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Higgins, Sylvester W. Map of Jackson County / S.W. Higgins, topographer to Geol. Surv. ; C.C. Douglass and Bela Hubbard, assistant geologists. State Archive of Michigan
creatorOf Michigan. Geological Survey. Senate Journal number 16 and House Journal number 8, being the third and fourth annual reports of the State Geologist, Douglass Houghton. State Archive of Michigan
referencedIn Joseph Beal Steere Papers, 1861-1941 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Carroll DeWeese digital map collection, 1838-1926 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Lucius Lyon papers, Lyon, Lucius, papers, 1770-1934, 1833-1851 William L. Clements Library , University of Michigan
creatorOf Houghton, Douglass, 1809-1845. [Maps, published under the direction of Douglass Houghton]. State Archive of Michigan
creatorOf Sager, Abram, 1810-1877. Abram Sager papers, 1838-1876. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Hubbard, Bela, 1814-1896. Bela Hubbard papers, 1837-1893. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Marquette County Historical Society. Marquette County Historical Society papers, 1848-1909 (scattered dates). University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Ten Eyck, Jacob. Michigan land records, 1831-1864 Detroit Public Library, Detroit Main Library
referencedIn Douglass Houghton Papers, 1829-1845 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
creatorOf Burt, William Austin, 1792-1858. Reports of topographical and geological surveys, 1845-1848. State Archive of Michigan
referencedIn Marquette County Historical Society (Mich.). Marquette County Historical Society papers, 1848-1909 (scattered dates). University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Steere, Joseph Beal, 1842-1940. Joseph B. Steere papers, 1861-1941. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Higgins, Sylvester W. [Map of Sanilac County, Michigan]. State Archive of Michigan
creatorOf Bela Hubbard papers, 1837-1893 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Barbour, John H. Papers, 1832-1881. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Hubbard, Bela, 1814-1896. Lake Huron, coast of, manuscript maps. State Archive of Michigan
creatorOf Sherzer, William Hittell, 1860-. William Hittell Sherzer papers, 1874-1929. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Hubbard, Bela, 1814-1896. Observations on geology of Lake Superior Region, 1845, under the direction of Douglass Houghton. Marquette County Historical Society
referencedIn Davis, Alexander Jackson, 1803-1892. Papers, 1826-1877 1826-1854. Winterthur Library
creatorOf Higgins, Sylvester W. Map of Washtenaw County / S.W. Higgins, topographer to Geol. Surv. ; C.C. Douglass and Bela Hubbard, assistant geologists. State Archive of Michigan
creatorOf Hubbard, Bela. The Helderberg-Oriskany contact of the Broadhead Gap section. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Houghton, Douglass, 1809-1845. Records from and relating to Douglass Houghton, 1827-1952. State Archive of Michigan
creatorOf Barbour, John N. John N. Barbour correspondence, 1845-1846. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Hubbard, Bela, 1814-1896. Bela Hubbard papers, 1835-1903 Detroit Public Library, Detroit Main Library
creatorOf Bradish, Alvah, 1806-1901. Alvah Bradish papers, 1794-1900. Detroit Public Library, Detroit Main Library
creatorOf Higgins, Sylvester W. Map of Calhoun County County / S.W. Higgins, topographer to Geol. Surv. ; C.C. Douglass and Bela Hubbard, assistant geologists. State Archive of Michigan
referencedIn Russell, Israel C. (Israel Cook), 1852-1906. Israel Cook Russell papers, 1883-1904. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Thayer, George W. Lucius Lyon papers, 1770-1934, bulk 1833-1851. University of Michigan, William Clements Library
creatorOf Higgins, Sylvester W. Map of Lenawee County / S.W. Higgins, topographer to Geol. Surv. ; C.C. Douglass and Bela Hubbard, assistant geologists. State Archive of Michigan
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Fur Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Barbour, John H. person
associatedWith Barbour, John N. person
associatedWith Bradish, Alvah, 1806-1901. person
associatedWith Davis, Alexander Jackson, 1803-1892. person
associatedWith Detroit Young Men's Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Detroit Young Men's Society. corporateBody
associatedWith DeWeese, Carroll. person
associatedWith Douglas, Columbus C., 1812-1874. person
associatedWith Higgins, Sylvester W. person
associatedWith Houghton, Douglass, 1809-1845. person
associatedWith Ives, William. corporateBody
associatedWith Marquette County Historical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Marquette County Historical Society (Mich.) corporateBody
associatedWith Michigan. Geological Survey. corporateBody
associatedWith Russell, Israel C. (Israel Cook), 1852-1906. person
associatedWith Sager, Abram, 1810-1877. person
associatedWith Sherzer, William Hittell, 1860- person
associatedWith Steere, Joseph Beal, 1842-1940. person
associatedWith Thayer, George W. person
associatedWith Thayer, George W. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Monroe County (Mich.)
Oakland County (Mich.)
Cliff Mine (Mich.)
Oakland County (Mich.)
Porcupine Mountains (Mich.)
Sault Sainte Marie (Mich.)
Hillsdale County (Mich.)
Michigan--Detroit
Calhoun County (Mich.)
Keweenaw Peninsula (Mich.)
Upper Peninsula (Mich.)
Michigan, Lake
Michigan
Ionia County (Mich.)
Lenawee County (Mich.)
Sault Sainte Marie (Mich.)
Hillsdale County (Mich.)
Keweenaw Peninsula (Mich.)
Mackinac Island (Mich.)
Barry County (Mich.)
Branch County (Mich.)
Ionia County (Mich.)
Monroe County (Mich.)
Huron, Lake (Mich. and Ont.)
Clinton County (Mich.)
Mackinac Island (Mich.)
Macomb County (Mich.)
Cass County (Mich.)
Lapeer County (Mich.)
Barry County (Mich.)
Clinton County (Mich.)
Kent County (Mich.)
Berrien County (Mich.)
Huron, Lake (Mich. and Ont.)
Lenawee County (Mich.)
Michigan, Lake.
Berrien County (Mich.)
Plymouth (Mich.)
Wayne County (Mich.)
Lapeer County (Mich.)
Cliff Mine (Mich.)
Kent County (Mich.)
Shiawassee County (Mich.)
Michigan
Upper Peninsula (Mich.)
Wayne County (Mich.)
Superior, Lake
Calhoun County (Mich.)
Branch County (Mich.)
Cass County (Mich.)
Porcupine Mountains (Mich.)
Macomb County (Mich.)
Plymouth (Mich.)
Subject
Mines and Mineral Resources
Travel
Fishing
Fishing--Michigan
Real property
Land use
Salt industry and trade--Michigan
Mines and mineral resources--Michigan
Weather
Fishes
Geology--Michigan
Real estate agents
Travelers
Salt
Land use--Michigan
Geology
Indians of North America--Michigan
Indians of North America
Fishes--Michigan
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1814-04-23

Death 1896-06-13

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