Illustrated Atlas Map of Menard County, Illinois 1874
Published by W.R. Brink & Co., of Illinois

Malkom Hubly
Page 34

Is a native of Switzerland. His father, also called Malkom, lived in the Canton Schwytz, and by two wives had fifteen children, of whom the subject of our sketch was the third son. Seven are still living. The father was a man of good business qualifications, and followed at different times the pursuits of a farmer, baker, and tavern keeper. He was shrewd and energetic, and one of the best artisans in the community in which he lived. He died about the year 1865.

Young Malkom was born in the Canton Schwytz December 6, 1826. His early education was obtained in the public schools. Being a very quick and precocious lad, he made rapid progress in his studies. He remained at home until eleven years of age. His father then entered him as an apprentice at the trade of a blacksmith. Only a year and a half was spent at this occupation. One Christmas eve, while at work, through the carelessness of a fellow apprentice his had became disabled so as to prevent his working at the trade. His father then kept him at home for about two years, during which time he was mainly busy in tending and feeding cattle. It was while in this employment, thus early in life, that he acquired that fondness for dealing with cattle, which has alike characterized his subsequent career and contributed much to his success in life.

At the age of fourteen he left home, and, going into a neighboring Canton, began working by the month, at the rate of forty cents a month for the first six months. For the six months following he received forty cents a week. Having an offer of fifty cents a week, he left his former employer and began work for another man. After working at that rate for three months, his wages were increased to seventy-five cents, and after another year to a dollar a week.

Hearing of the opportunities offered to young men of energy in America, he determined to emigrate to this country, but subsequently changed his mind, and remained two years longer in Switzerland with his old employer, whom he had now worked for altogether for a period of eleven years. At the end of this time he again resolved to come to the United States, and, bidding farewell to the old, familiar scenes of his childhood, he set out on the journey on the Christmas eve of 1853. He reached the sea at Havre, France, on the following sixth of January, and five days after embarked for America. After paying his passage, he had left but little ready money. The vessel was two months in making the voyage, and March 11, 1859, he landed in New Orleans.

The yellow fever was then prevalent in the city, and in consequence he only remained overnight, and the next day, securing a passage on a steamboat, set out for Cincinnati. The young woman who afterwards became his wife and her brother were with him, and the cash assets of the whole party on their arrival at Cincinnati only amounted to twenty francs in gold, equivalent to about five dollars of American money. For five days, work was sought in vain. Fifty cents had already been paid to a drayman for hauling their trunks from the steamboat to the boarding-house, the party following on foot, and bankruptcy already hung over their heads. On the fifth day, however, a man from Butler County, Ohio, made his appearance, and hired all three to work on his farm, at twenty dollars a month. Their bill for board on leaving was five dollars, and Mr. Hubly had only four dollars and a half with which to make payment.

He was married to the young lady who had been the companion of his travels, Catharine Wiget by name, the ceremony taking place at Hamilton, Ohio, in April, 1854. His capital at this time consisted of only fourteen dollars, a fact which we mention in striking illustration of the success which attended the subsequent labors of his life. Mr. and Mrs. Hubly continued in the employment of the Butler County farmer for three months. With the accumulations of his wages he bought a little furniture, rented a house, and set up house-keeping for himself. He went to wood-chopping and cutting rails, getting fifty cents a cord for the wood and forty cents a hundred for the rail. The next spring, that of 1855, he worked around on a farm by the day, chopping wood at intervals. He received about seventy-five cents a day for his labor. The next winter again went to work at wood-chopping.

In March, 1856, he left Ohio, coming by way of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to St. Louis, and thence by railroad to Springfield. He had saved up some money, and upon reaching Springfield his cash capital amounted to one hundred and twenty-five dollars. He tried to get work on a farm, but failed. He then went to work in a brick-yard. He continued in this occupation for three months, during which time he would regularly have made seventy-eight days of labor, but by night-work and over-work he made, and received wages for, one hundred and thirty-eight days in all. A better record at brick-making was, perhaps, never made by any other man.

In August, 1856, he changed his place of residence. He settled in Irish Grove, Menard County, and there became a farmer. He continued there for six years. In 1872 he removed to Salt Creek, and there, in addition to his ordinary farming operations, began cattle-feeding. He now has a farm of over two thousand acres, all paid for, and under a fine state of cultivation. His success has been in proportion to his industry. All that he has now has been the result of his own energy and enterprise, and the record of his life forms a worthy example of honest, persevering toil, and shows what may be accomplished from small beginnings. His residence is a fine brick building, recently erected, one of the finest farm-houses in central Illinois. Mr. Hubly and wife have had two children, who are characterized not only by the plain, practical common sense of their parents, but by varied accomplishments. Mrs. Hubly is one of the most practical and amiable women in Menard County. She has lent a helping hand to her husband in his endeavors to secure a competence, and it is by the mutual exertions of the two that they are so happily situated in life. Though of foreign birth, Mr. Hubly is ardent in his attachment to his adopted land. He is a useful and valued citizen. His success well illustrates the opportunities for advancement afforded to citizens' of foreign birth by the fertile soil and energetic life of the "New World."


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Illinois Ancestors