hubbard city

Desperados in and Around Hubbard City, Texas

Desperados – The Life of Tom Varnell – and yes, he killed a man here in Hubbard.

The ARLINGTON JOURNAL, Arlington, Texas. Thursday July 30, 1903 –

Tom P. Varnell a somewhat notorious character was shot and killed at Abbott, Hill County, on the 26 of July, 1903, by Oscar Ferguson. Varnell had heretofore killed two men and served one term in the penitentiary. For years he has been one of the Hill county‘s bad men. Son of Isaac (Ike) A Varnell and Francis LaDocia Crawford.In 1880 at age 18 Tom P shot and killed A P Fisher in revenge for his father’s death in 1876. He shot and killed Jonas Hagar Land at age 21 in Hubbard City in 1883 after being caught by Land with his 16 year old daughter. After two years on the run he was captured in New Mexico and several trials later was convicted and spent 9 years in the Texas State Pen. He was released on Jan 19, 1902 and was pardoned at the recommendation of State Senator S C Upshaw, who had been his criminal attorney when he was convicted.

Six months later he killed a Mexican, Frenchy Rauls, in the Oklahoma Territory, and was sentenced to 10 years. The conviction was appealed, bail was set and Tom P returned to Texas.On July 26, 1903 he was shot and killed by Oscar Ferguson in Abbott, Texas, to “protect the honor” of Oscar’s sister. Oscar was tried for murder, but found not guilty. His father Isaac Alexander Varnell was murdered on New Years Day in 1876. His brother Isaac Napoleon Varnell was gunned down in 1867 at the age of 17 by a 16 year old. Death and misery followed Tom during his short life of 41 years.

Thomas Powhattan “Tom P” Varnell

BIRTH 13 Feb 1862 Hill County, Texas, USA

DEATH 26 Jul 1903 (aged 41)Abbott, Hill County, Texas, USA

BURIAL Hillsboro City Cemetery Hillsboro, Hill County, Texas, USA

PLOT Section 11

For the book about his life –…/dp/0984185739

Jonas Hagar Land is buried here in Hubbard in Fairview Cemetery.


The Importance of the Hubbard FFA Continues Today

Back in 1963 – a throwback to the FFA and how important this organization continues to be in the lives of the students here in Hubbard and throughout the country. Where would the world be with the farmers?

Did you know – The National FFA Organization, originally called the Future Farmers of America, was founded in 1928 as a national organization for boys in rural, farming communities. Its original purpose, the education of youth in agricultural fields of study, is still recognized through its current programs. Today, the mission of the National FFA Organization is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. Through educational programs the FFA teaches students how to become active in their communities and successful in their occupation. FFA membership includes junior high, high school, and college students and totals approximately 450,000. We are thankful that the Hubbard FFA program continues today.

This is an article CLIPPED FROM: The Waco News-Tribune, Waco, Texas, 01 Apr 1963, Mon • Page 11 – Kenneth Stoker of Mt Clam and Rodney Gerik of Hubbard and the champions steers.

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'HUBBARD WINNERS Stoker (above) fM. Kenneth Hubbard Lions below) chapter. The annual Club, throughout day. drew Exhibitors Rodney Hubbard High Future Farmers America brought stoc 080 showed bulls and with them.'

Covid Strikes Again But Doesn’t Get Hubbard Down

Usually, here in Hubbard, Texas, celebrations are in full swing during Magnolia & Mistletoe. From parades, to vendors, to music, to parties, to events… this has all been curtailed this year in order to prevent the spread of this horrible thing that has been a blight during 2020. Life doesn’t stop and we wanted to remind everyone of all the fun times from Hubbard past. If you have any photos or videos to submit: Enjoy the photos of Christmas Past here in Hubbard and more to come!


Cars, Not Just Cars, But Rare Cars in Hubbard

We know there are tons of car enthusiasts in Hubbard, and one of the largest collections was right here in Hubbard! Berta Leon, as you know, is the doll collector. She has graciously donated many vintage dolls to the Hubbard Museum (a must see). But did you also know that her husband, J. S. Leon, who is now deceased, was a big collector of vintage automobiles and housed many here in Hubbard? This is a wonderful article about Mr. Leon and his collection from the Corsicana newspaper. Berta Leon was also a former Mayor of Hubbard! – Corsicana Daily Sun – Corsicana, Texas 07 Dec 1975, Sun • Page 17

Thanks to Casie Freeman we have an idea of the extent of the car collection of Berta Hackney Leon and her husband. In March of 2019, the cars went on auction by Sotheby’s. What an amazing collection and my question is which one would you have if you could buy any of them? Mine would be the Silver Phantom – what about you? (Of course I love them all!) Link to the catalogue and photos of the collection.…/2019/am19/index.html


Love Field

Love Field – Most of us have taken a commercial flight from there and never thought about its’ history at all. Did you know that Love Field was commissioned on October 19, 1917 as a training base for the U.S. Army Air Service during World War I and that the airport is named for Army Lieutenant Moss Lee Love, who perished during flight training? It wasn’t used for commercial flights until the 1930’s. These pilots used no special safety equipment and performed daring stunts in these fragile machines that had only just been invented. I don’t know how many of these men lived or died in WWI, but they were most certainly brave! In 1918, they gave a show, and wouldn’t you give almost anything to be there? (Photos – DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University)



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CALLING FOR ENTRIES! With only 2 editors on this page, finding the historic photos from in and around Hubbard can be a chore. Now is the time to share your vintage Hubbard Halloween Photos! We have a giveaway soon! We are at 999 (scary) followers. SUBMIT THOSE PHOTOS to You must also share the post and be a follower. You will then be placed in a drawing for a gift basket from local merchants as well as an ORIGINAL NEW DESIGNED TEE SHIRT (description of other goodies and pics to follow). HALLOWEEN IN HUBBARD – CALLING ALL PHOTOS! We will be watching you! This includes YOU! (Please include name and phone with email so we know how to contact the winner!) Entries accepted until October 31, 2020.


Churches of Hubbard – United Methodist Church of Hubbard

Did you know a famous architect from Dallas planned and built Hubbard United Methodist Church? His name was James Edward Flanders. He built hundreds of buildings including the Navarro County Courthouse. The contract for construction of the extant Methodist Episcopal Church South of Hubbard was awarded to L.J. Kauhl in November, 1910 for a bid of $20,000. Construction began just over a month later and by the following July the exterior was almost complete. The members expected a completion date of September 1. The church was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1991.Two, very small quarter round balconies are in both rear corners of the church. The rear wall extends completely across the back of the sanctuary but can be lifted by turning a single small crank. Catwalks in the attic permit the lowering of light fixtures so bulbs can be changed. The church contains over a hundred stained glass windows. The Hubbard church is an important one because it shows a break from Flanders use of the traditional Akron plan and the exterior is unlike any other known Flanders churches. Hubbard is very lucky to have an architectural gem created by one of Texas’s most famous architects! If you would like to read more about J. E. Flanders this is an excellent site.


A Typical Hubbard Home in 1915

HUBBARD HISTORY — This was the home of Ward R. Dean in 1915. It was on a postcard that “Kittie” wrote home to Massachusetts August of 1915. “Kittie” appeared to be studying music (there was a music college here in Hubbard at the time). She was sailing out of Galveston and appeared to be going back home. From what I can tell from census records, this house was located at 208 Bois D’ Arc here in Hubbard. It appears to no longer be here. (If any one knows any different, please let us know). Mr. Dean was a cotton buyer and is buried here in Hubbard at Fairview Cemetery. He passed away when he contracted pneumonia in 1918. He was 43.

The “Real Postcard” thing was a huge deal from 1905 to about 1917 (ish), and lingered on until about 1930. Many of the inks and chemicals used in the postcards came from Germany, which explains the decline in interest about 1917.

[House of W. R. Dean], postcard, 1915; (…/metapth1212784/m1/2/…: accessed October 14, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Private Collection of T. B. Willis.

308 Bois D’ Arc – Hubbard, TX?
Fairview Cemetery, Hubbard, TX

The 1976 Bicentennial Madness (Even in Hubbard, Texas!)

In the USA, The Bicentennial was a big event! 1976 and our wonderful Country was 200 Years old. I was in elementary school at the time (in SC not Hubbard), but I am sure the excitement was shared all over the USA! National pride and the history of our country was at the forefront even in Hubbard! The articles I found in the Waco paper suggested there was a big celebration. The Hubbard Garden Club planted trees and at the celebration, Justice Sam Johnson was to speak recognizing that Hubbard was a “Bicentennial City.” Does anyone remember the celebrations here in Hubbard or wherever you were at the time? As I recall we began preparing in 1975 through 1976. They called it the “Bicentennial Madness”. I guess it was – everything was red, white and blue. Even Ford put out a special edition truck – don’t you wish you had one now! Where were you and do you remember?

The Hubbard Garden Club planted trees!
Justice Sam Johnson was to speak!
T-Shirts like this were everywhere!
Ford had a special edition truck – Bicentennial Madness was everywhere! It was wonderful!