Simon Tubbs—born in Connecticut in 1756.
I was born in Canaan, Connecticut, in 1756. 1756, I said. That's before the United States was a country! In fact, I was a part of that struggle. When I was 21 years old in 1777, I enlisted as a private in the Continental Army. First I served in the Second Connecticut Regiment, commanded by Colonel Hemen Swift.
Was I a good soldier? You decide. George Washington ordered each regiment commander to pick four clean, honest, well-behaved, sober, well-made men from each regiment to serve as the Commander-in-Chief's personal guard. The war went on for eight years, and in all that time, only 300 men were chosen for this, and I was one of them. We were the first American soldiers to have the letters USA, instead of our regimental numbers on our brass uniform buttons.
We trained with the army at Valley Forge all winter. Major Generals von Steuben and Lafayette worked with us. Then we were used as a demonstration unit to help train the rest of the army in von Steuben's fighting methods. We guarded George Washington and the army's money and papers.
I fought in the battle of Germantown, Pennsylvania, on March 19, 1778, and in the battle of Monmouth, New Jersey, on June 28, 1778. The battle of Monmouth was the first time the Continental Army held its ground with the British and showed them we could fight. Valley Forge was about as cold as I've ever been, and then the Battle of Monmouth was about as HOT as I've ever been! It was more than a hundred degrees and we were lugging muskets and ammunition bags full of lead. Both sides, the British and American, lost more soldiers to heatstroke than to musket balls.
One of the soldier's wives, Mary Hayes, brought water to us. There were other women, too. But that's how the legend of Molly Pitcher got started.
After we sent the British home, I moved to Vermont. I was one of the first settlers in Burlington, and I helped get the town of Essex started. I married Rosina Lawrence, and we had a son, Ira.
I was born in Essex, Vermont, in 1789.
I always wanted to be like my father. He was a man everyone respected. He didn't brag. He let his work and actions speak for him. He guarded George Washington! When our country went to war in 1812, I joined the fight for the United States just as my dad had done.
I played the fife. At that time, Americans didn't want to have a strong army. We felt that it was a better idea to have small fighting units in each settlement. I joined Captain Lowrey's Company Vermont militia. You might think a fife player wasn't really needed, but with the drummers we kept the men marching steadily when they had to move from place to place. During battles, a fife could be hear above the musket volleys, so I was able to relay communications from one part of the fight to another.
About the only reason people know about the War of 1812 these days is because Francis Scott Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner about the morning after the Battle of Baltimore, when he saw that the Stars and Stripes was still flying above the harbor and he knew the Americans had beaten back the British and won that battle.
It's hard to believe it, but the British actually burned down the White House during this war! Dolly Madison, the First Lady, saved George Washington's portrait before she escaped herself.
After the war I married Harriet Richards. I welcomed the peace of family life. We had three children: Thomas Emerson, Edwin Cornelius, and Erasmus.
We lived in Vermont near my parents. Our boys grew up in Essex. Then Thomas got a job with Hosea Bates, and that changed our lives.
I was born in Westford, Vermont, in 1803. I was the fourth of twelve children. I married my wife, Hannah, in 1826, and we had five children.
I enjoyed being active in service to the community. I was appointed Justice of the Peace, and then in 1848 I was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives. It was an honor to work for my district. I would have been happy to stay in Vermont, but I had my children to think of. They were grown up and searching for ways to make a living. Vermont was logged over and farmed out. Whole families were leaving, many of them for Wisconsin. We decided to move, too.
Thomas Emerson Tubbs:
I was eighteen years old when Hosea Bates hired me to drive a wagon for him. He wanted to move west, to Wisconsin. I knew him as a good man who was fair to everyone around him. He and his wife, Hannah, were kind people who enjoyed a good laugh.
Vermont was my home, but the land had been eroding ever since they first put the plow to it. Any good farmland that was left was so expensive, I couldn't think about buying it. The best chance for an ambitious person was in the west. A lot of Vermonters were headed for Wisconsin, and Hosea Bates and his family were with them. And I was, too!
When I married Hosea Bates in 1827, I thought we'd live in Vermont for all our lives and be buried there. But our children, all grown up, were frustrated by the lack of opportunities. They wanted to go west. We couldn't argue—they were right. We saw so many Vermont girls leaving the state to go work in textile mills in Massachusetts. Families were breaking up. We didn't want that. We packed up and moved to Wisconsin.
It was around 1850. The population of Wisconsin was ten times what it had been in 1840! A lot of the newcomers were from New England. By 1850, more than 10,000 Vermonters had moved to Wisconsin. We were ready to work. We knew how to make and grow things. We valued education and our faith.
When Hosea Bates offered Thomas a job helping him move to Wisconsin, we thought long and hard about it. Finally we decided to follow Thomas. We moved west sometime between 1850 and 1855.
Vermont is a long way from Wisconsin. There were different ways to get here. We probably came over land by wagon, but we could have come by boat. Can you believe that? It's hard to imagine this, but the Erie Canal made it possible to go from Albany, New York, to Chicago, Illinois, all by water. Then a traveler could take the Illinois and Michigan Canal from Chicago to the Illinois River, and then the Illinois River to the Mississippi, and then up river to Prescott, Wisconsin.
Your freeways of today are a lot faster!
I became active in my new community of River Falls. Hannah and I always enjoyed entertaining, and our house was full of young people. I was chairman of the cemetery association and I was elected president of the Pierce County Agricultural Society within ten years of our arrival here. Hannah and I never regretted leaving Vermont.
I'm Hosea and Hannah Bates's oldest son. I was born in Vermont in 1828. I married my wife, Marion Brackett, in 1851. We moved west shortly after that.
I followed my parents' example and became active in the community. I served on the school board and was a town supervisor. My father and I were founding members of the Greenwood Valley Cemetery Organization. Father was chairman. Several of us bought lots. I did not know how soon I would need mine.
I was born in Vermont but came to Wisconsin with my parents when I was a toddler. They liked to tell me how much fun I had on the journey. I always loved riding in boats!
Something happened—my little brother and I became ill in December of 1864, when I was twelve. It is hard to know what caused our deaths. There are vaccinations for most childhood diseases now, but when we were kids we could catch measles, mumps, whooping cough, diphtheria, you name it. It wasn't unusual for parents to lose their children. But it was never easy.
I was five years old and learning to read! I wanted to go to school. I had a dog and my dad let me ride his horse with him.
We died six days apart. We're buried here.
After our children died Hiram and I couldn't help but see them everywhere. My father lived in Illinois. He encouraged us to move there and finally we did. We did well—we had a nice farm, and I made friends in the community. We're buried there, with small stones near ours that bear the names of our children.
T. E. Tubbs
Well, I helped the Bates family move to Wisconsin. Then my parents and brothers and sister moved out here. It was great to have us all together again. We missed the civilization in Vermont—there were concerts and lectures almost every night. Here—well, not so much! But it was good to have the wide open spaces, and everything seemed so fresh.
My gosh, I felt like I was going to have a good life. I was good with my hands and I started making wagons and sleighs. Pretty soon I had to hire help, and soon after that I had a business that was a going concern! I moved it from out here in Glass Valley into River Falls.
The wagon factory kept me busy for about ten years, but then I could have my manager run it and I started selling insurance and medical products. I just loved selling things, going out and meeting and greeting and closing the deals.
Hey, how are you feeling? Tired? Achy? Got a cough? I have just the thing! The Elixir of Life! It will get you going. It cures colds, croup, and all diseases of the lungs.
What about your stomach? You're maybe a little nauseated? Kind of wish you hadn't eaten that whole piece of pie?
Don't worry! Try my Bilious Man's Friend. It's specially formulated to make you feel tip top in no time at all. It cures liver and kidney troubles, rheumatism, backache, indigestion, scurvy, worms, malaria, and prevents of appendicitis and rheumatism.
Rebecca Manning Tubbs
Well, you can laugh at my husband. I certainly did—I loved his big ideas and how he saw opportunity in everything. He was with me through some sad times—we lost two children. They're buried right here, our little darling boy Irving, who died of cholera, and then Fayette, who died when he was three weeks old.
We had two children who lived, though, a boy and a girl, and life was really looking up for us. We attended the Methodist-Episcopal services out here in the valley. Then when the new building went up in town, Thomas played a big role in getting the bell for the steeple. It was one of his several businesses!
Thomas E Tubbs
Yes, I sold church bells. And fire extinguishers, and of course the insurance and the medicines. I started a printing office so I could print up my labels and advertisements. My businesses grew and grew, and I grew with them—I gained a hundred pounds over what I weighed when I arrived in Wisconsin! I'll tell you what, though—I never had a minute of discomfort from it because I made free use of the Elixir of Life and Bilious Man's Friend! And you should, too!
Rebecca Manning Tubbs
You see what I mean? It was hard to keep him down. But for all his selling fire extinguishers and insurance, one night in January, 1876, there was a fire on Main Street in River Falls. Most of the buildings were burned, including ours. And can you believe it? My husband the insurance man had it insured for $1000—but the replacement cost was $3000! Oh, I could have choked him.
Thomas E Tubbs
Well, my dear, yes, that was a bad time for us. But the medicines pulled us through I kept making new formulations—these were old family recipes from Vermont, you know, and very effective. We got back on our feet. We built a house next to our house at Third and Walnut in River Falls—that's where I had the print shop and the medicine factory. Oh, we did fine!
Listen, folks, life is for living! You can't live well if you don't feel well! I've got remedies for what ails you. Aching muscles? Try my Excelsior Liniment. If it's more than your muscles hurting you, try a shot of Ready Relief to Pain. It's a beautiful day, and if you can't see it very well, try my Magic Eye Water! I've got Sticking Salve, Condition Powder, whatever you need. How's your horse? I can help you there, too!
(Enter here an official-looking man or woman dressed in a suit from about 1918. S/He addresses the crowd:)
The United States Government hereby charges the Tubbs Medicine Company with fraud. These medicines manufactured by the company are a bunch of hokum, folks. Bilious Man's Friend, for example—it's just sugar, water, alcohol, and a little rhubarb juice.
Thomas E Tubbs
Ah, folks, that might be true. You know, rhubarb is a powerful stimulant … (gets the eye from the official and trails off)
At any rate, I died in 1894. My son Willard took over the company—he's the one who had to face these charges. His company was fined one hundred dollars. And they had to stop making some of the medicines.
But we helped a lot of people over the years, and I'll tell you what, it's important to take care of your health and have good insurance on top of that! If you need a fire extinguisher or a church bell or a nice sleigh, come and talk to me!
On November 30, 1863, a meeting was held at the District #2 schoolhouse for the purpose of organizing a cemetery association. Twelve men were present. They chose the name and title of Greenwood Valley Cemetery Association. Hosea was chosen as Chairman. At the meeting, lots were purchased. Hosea is listed first. 2
According to a biography of Hiram, in 1855, Hiram and Marion and one child came west to Pierce County , WI and established a farm. Remained for the next 12 years. He was active in the community. In Wisconsin, Hiram served on the school board and was a supervisor of his township. 25
Hiram was one of the founding members of the Glass Valley Cemetery Association, present at the organizational meeting on 3 Dec 1863. He purchased a lot (Lot 21). 2
Shortly after the cemetery was established and his lot was purchased, two of his children, Armina and Charles died and were buried there. 2
Hosea was very active in service to the community. In Vermont, he was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Westford, Chittenden Co. 15
In 1848, he was elected to serve in the VT House of Representatives representing his area: Westford, Chittenden Co. 16
He was captain of a military company in Vermont. 1
Vermont to Wisconsin
Hosea and Hannah and their family moved to River Falls in the mid-1850’s. ( 1854 per his obit – 1855 per her obit.) A bio of Hiram gives the date of 1850. Whatever the year was, they were here in June of 1855 for the Greenwood census.
- Marriage and family:
Hosea married Hannah Bowman in Westford, VT in 1826. 3, 4 Hannah was the daughter of Ebenezer and Hannah Hammond Bates. 1
Hannah was born in Westford, Vermont in 1805. 4 Married Hosea in 1827. 3. 4
They had 5 children: Hiram, David, Maria, Helen Jane (AKA Jane/Jennie) and Sylvia Ann: 3,4