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Hubbard, Gurdon S.

Born: 1802-08-22 Vermont

Died: 1886-09-14 Chicago, Illinois

At the age of sixteen, Hubbard signed a five-year contract with the American Fur Trade Company to work as a clerk. He worked in Michigan before reassignment to the Illinois Brigade of the company in 1818. He worked in the fur trade in Illinois and eastern Indiana, developing relationships with various American Indian groups. From 1832 to 1834, he served in the Illinois General Assembly as a representative from Vermilion County. In 1834, he settled in Chicago, where he opened a pork and beef packing business. In 1836, Governor Joseph Duncan appointed Hubbard to the Board of Commissioners of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. In 1848, Hubbard's main business, G. S. Hubbard & Company, built a $10,000 packing house in Chicago. Hubbard continued in the meat packing business, opened a warehouse, and also started a shipping company. He was a member of the Chicago volunteer fire department; an original incorporator of the Chicago Hydraulic Company, the city's first water works; and a director of the Chicago Board of Trade. He was involved in Whig and then Republican politics. In 1860, he was a Chicago alderman, and he was one of several Chicago businessmen and politicians who organized the 1860 Republican Convention in Chicago, which nominated Abraham Lincoln to the presidency.

Janice L. Reiff, "Hubbard, Gurdon Saltonstall," American National Biography, ed. by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 1999), 11:384-85; John Moses and Joseph Kirkland, eds., History of Chicago (Chicago: Munsell, 1895), 1:97, 115, 391; Lloyd Wendt, 'Swift Walker': An Informal Biography of Gurdon Saltonstall Hubbard (Chicago: Regnery Books, 1986), 9-448; John H. Krenkel, Illinois Internal Improvements, 1818-1848 (Cedar Rapids, IA: Torch Press, 1958), 41; A. T. Andreas, History of Chicago (Chicago: A. T. Andreas, 1884), 2:49.