Welcome to the Greater Mankato on the Move Mobile History Tour featuring the R.D. Hubbard Family.
R. D. Hubbard arrived in Mankato in 1870 and quickly set about building a grand home in 1871. It was described as one of the finest homes in Mankato with its colored slate shingles and mansard roof. The house was without a woman’s touch for a brief time, after Mary Cook Hubbard died in 1877. The following year, Hubbard married Frances Griffith (often called “Frank”). Along with raising his son, Jay, the couple had two daughters, Katherine and Mary Esther.
Hubbard enlarged the house, adding servants’ quarters and an office, as well as a bay window in the parlor in 1888. After the carriage house was completed in 1890, the girls played in it, calling it “the new barn.”
The Hubbard’s hosted many community events and parties. In 1904, an elegant five-course dinner party entertained 65 students and teachers in honor of Katherine’s graduation from Mankato High School.
In 1910, Katherine’s wedding reception was held at the Hubbard’s House following her wedding at the Episcopal Church across the street. The house had recently been decorated with silk brocade on the walls and Tiffany lighting.
Much was written about the wedding in the local newspapers which shines light on the social status of the Hubbard’s.
“It was one of the most prettily appointed and elaborate weddings that has ever taken place in Mankato…” “Outside the church a canopy extended from the main entrance to the street, and it was under this that the guests and bridal party entered the church. A similar canopy was also extended from the main entrance of the bride’s home to the street.” “The reception following the ceremony was also a very prettily detailed affair. The beautiful home was handsomely decorated with cut flowers.”
Gifts the couple received: Mrs. Hubbard gave them a chest of silver, the groom’s father gave them a house in St. Cloud, and the groom’s brother gave them a baby grand piano.
The Historic R.D. Hubbard House is open for public tours as a historic house museum seasonally Memorial Day-Labor Day and special holiday tours in December. Visit BlueEarthCountyHistory.com to learn more.