Cow Stories: Claremont New Hampshire’s American Mammoth Ox and Hon Isaac Hubbard

Photograph print of a lithograph entitled, The American Mammoth Ox, Brother Jonathan. Collection is a photographic print.Series VII.1, Photographs, Box 7.1/2, file "II. Big Ox [1839]," USDA History Collection, Special Collections, National Agricultural Library.

Photograph print of a lithograph entitled, The American Mammoth Ox, Brother Jonathan. Collection is a photographic print.Series VII.1, Photographs, Box 7.1/2, file “II. Big Ox [1839],” USDA History Collection, Special Collections, National Agricultural Library.

My regular readers know, due to my blog title, that it is mandatory for me to throw in a bovine story from time to time. I came across a marvelous lithograph of a great ox, and heard a tale immediately mooing.

For those who don’t know the difference between various cattle i.e, cow, bull, steer, heifer or ox here is a quick guide. A cow is always female, and has given birth to at least two calves, and they have a visible udder. A bull is an adult male bovine, with his reproduction organs still intact. A steer is an adult male bovine that has been castrated. A heifer is a female less than a year old that has never produced a calf. An ox (or oxen if more than one) is a bovine trained for pulling carts, wagons or plows, also known as draft work. Although a female technically can be trained this way, usually the preferred gender for this work is a male And then of course there are stags, bred heifers, first-calf heifers, and free-martins, but I’ll leave those cattle for another day.

breeds of cattleIn 1832 a remarkable animal of the Shorthorn Durham breed was calved on the farm of the Honorable Isaac Hubbard of Claremont New Hampshire. It was about 100 pounds at birth, and at the age of 5 years (in 1837), this “fat bullock” weighed 2,910 lbs. [Note that today the average weight of a steer is 1,150 lbs]. Mr. Hubbard named him Olympus.

According to an 1869 copy of “Facts for Farmers,” by Solon Robinson and A.J. Johnson, “In October 1838, Mr. H.[ubbard] sold him, and he was conveyed to Hartford, Conn, and weighed 3,370 lbs. This steer was bought by Paran Stevens, since of great hotel notoriety, and was extensively exhibited in this country as “the largest ox ever seen.”

In 1840 this great show animal was renamed Brother Jonathan, and sent to England for exhibition there, where it attracted much attention. At that time he was “exhibited at the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, London, seven weeks, during which time 22,368 persons visited him including most every branch of the Royal Family, and the leading Agricultural Noblemen and Gentlemen.”

Claremont 1846

Main Street Claremont 1846, view from High Street.

The Mirror of Literature, Amusement and Instruction of 1839 called him the “American Mammoth Ox, Brother Jonathan” and went on to describe him as ” a magnificent specimen of strength and majesty, nothing but bone, muscle and flesh…” and that he was “a sight that will amply gratify the visiter [sic].” From there he was taken to France and Belgium, and exhibited as the great bullock of the world. Then was taken back to England and slaughtered, but not before his likeness had been captured in the lithograph shown here.

His first owner, Hon. Isaac Hubbard, had bragging rights for the rest of his very long life. According to the History of Claremont, New Hampshire, (and corroborated by additional research) Isaac Hubbard was the son of George Hubbard, a Revolutionary soldier, and was born in Tolland, CT, July 28, 1770. In 1778 he came with his parents to Claremont and settled on the farm in the southwest corner of the town, later known as the “Decker Place” on River Road. The house was later occupied by Isaac H. Long, a grandson of Isaac Hubbard, and the widow of Dr. I.G. Hubbard, a son of the subject of this notice.

Isaac Hubbard spent his whole life, after eight years old, on that farm. He was an extensive and successful farmer and stock raiser. He was selectman in 1811, 1812, 1816, 1817 and 1818; representative in the New Hampshire legislature in 1819 and 1821; prominent in the Episcopal church, and regarded as one of the solid and strong men of the town. He was a brother of Judge J.H. Hubbard of Windsor, VT. He died January 28, 1861.  His genealogy is immediately below.

In 1850, the following was printed in The Collected Works of Sir Humphry Davy, Discourses delivered before the Royal Society, Elements of agricultural chemistry, pt.1, by Sir Humphry Davy, Smith, Elder and Company, 1850, page 294:
Mr. Isaac Hubbard, of Claremont, N.H., writes: “Cattle are extensively raised here–perhaps, nowhere are they better than on the Connecticut river. Average value at 3 years old, $25 to $30. They are usually sold the following summer or fall, and driven to Brighton market. We have the Durhams, Ayrshires, Devons, and several other foreign breeds–of these the Durhams are usually most esteemed. Many of the native cows are good milkers. A cross of the Durham with the native breeds raises good working cattle, perhaps the best for all purposes. The Ayrshires have been lately introduced, and are highly recommended as milkers. The Devons are small, sprightly, and active, making good working-cattle and fine beef. They are preferred by man


George Hubbard of England, who immigrated to the American Colonies. He m. Mary Bishop, dau of John and Anna Bishop, who d. in Guilford CT 14 Sep 1675. He located first in Wethersfield CT and in 1639 removed to Guilford CT. He was one of the original proprietors of that town, and died in Guilford CT in 1661
Children of George & Anna (Bishop) Hubbard:
1. +John, b. abt 1630 England

John Hubbard, son of George & Mary (Bishop) Hubbard, b England about 1630 and came to the American Colonies with his parents in 1633. He m abt 1649 to Mary Merriam. He lived in Hadley several years and moved from there to Hatfield and d. at the house of his son Isaac in 1702. He owned what was known as the “Hubbard Lots” or three mile lots bordering on the Connecticut River at South Glastonbury CT. Children below mentioned in his will, probated August 1702 showed 7 of the 9 living.
Children of John & Mary (Merriam) Hubbard:
1. Mary Hubbard
2. +John Hubbard, bapt 12 Apr 1655 in Wethersfield CT
3. Hannah Hubbard, b. 5 Dec 1656 Wethersfield CT, d. 1662
4. Jonathan Hubbard, b. 3 Jan 1658-59 Wethersfield CT; d. Concord MA
5. Daniel Hubbard, b. 9 March 1661 Hadley MA; d. 12 Feb 1744 Hatfield; m. Esther Rice
6. Mercy Hubbard, b. 23 Feb 1664 Hadley MA; m. 22 Oct 1685 Jonathan Boardman
7. Isaac Hubbard, b. 16 Jan 1667 in Hadley MA; d. 7 Aug 1750 in Sunderland MA; m. Anne Warner. Commissioned capt of the 7th military Company in the town of Windsor about Oct 1749. His daughter Sarah Hubbard, d 8 Dec 1757, m. 15 Aug 1749 to George Harris of New London CT and Canaan NH. He b. 21 Aug 1720 at New London CT, and. 1791. He m2d) 2 Dec 1760 Ann Lathrop. He moved from New London CT to Canaan NH in 1766 with Thomas Minor, Joshua Harris, John Scofield, Samuel Jones and Samuel Meachem, all CT men and the first settlers.
8. Mary Hubbard, b. 10 April 1669 Hadley MA m. Daniel Warner
9. Sarah Hubbard, b. 12 Nov 1672 Hadley MA; m. Samuel Cowles

John Hubbard son of John & Mary (Merriam) Hubbard, bapt 12 Apr 1655 in Wethersfield CT, d. abt 1748 in Glastonbury CT. He m. abt 1676 to Mary Wright, daughter of Thomas Wright who lived on Wright’s Island in the Connecticut River. He was a member of the legislature from 1700-1724. He owned the “Hubbard Lots” which his father left to him. He owned 365 acres in 1713. In 1704 he was called sergeant and was on the school committee, and allowed to build a saw-mill on Roaring Brook. From 1700-1724 he served as representative to the legislature.
Children of John & Mary (Wright) Hubbard:
1. John Hubbard, b. 1677 Glastonbury CT; m. 1708 Mary Kimberly
2. +Isaac Hubbard, b. 1679 Glastonbury CT
3. Sarah Hubbard, b. 1683 Glastonbury CT; m. Abraham Hollister, son of John & Abiah Hollister of Wethersfield; had 9 children.
4. David Hubbard, b 1685 Glastonbury CT; m. Prudence Goodrich
5. Ephraim Hubbard, b. 1695 in Glastonbury CT; d 1780

Isaac Hubbard, son of John & Mary (Wright) Hubbard, b 1679 Glastonbury CT. He m abt 1700 Hannah Dickenson. He received land from his father in 1725 and is supposed to have removed to Ellington CT and died there.
Children of Isaac & Hannah (Dickenson) Hubbard:
1. +Isaac Hubbard, b abt 1701
2. Hannah Hubbard, b. 1703

Isaac Hubbard, 2nd son of Isaac & Hannah (Dickenson) Hubbard, b abt 1701. He m. Hannah Goodrich of Tolland CT. He owned land in Glastonbury CT in 1736.
Children of Isaac & Hannah (Goodrich) Hubbard:
1. Isaac Hubbard, b. 1728; m. Prudence Nash; had dau Martha
2. George Hubbard, b. 1733, died young
3. Honore Hubbard b 1 Jan 1734, d. 31 an 1789; m. 1) 10 Feb 1757 Lieut. Stephen White, son of Dea Joseph White of East Middletown CT. He m2) Capt Thomas Wadsowrth.
4. Sarah Hubbard b 1735. She m. 15 Aug 1749 to George Harris, and had issue.
5. Hezekiah Hubbard b 1737; m. Mabel Hubbard of Hadley MA; children: Hezekiah, Mabel, Lucretia, Hannah, John
6 +George Hubbard, b. 1739 Ellington, Tolland, CT
7. Hannah Hubbard, b. 1742
8. Chloe Hubbard, b. 1744
9. Jonathan Hubbard, b 1746; lived in Berlin CT; m. Abigail Hills, and had children Richard, Abigail, Sarah, Benjamin, Jonathan, Lemuel.
9. Lucy Hubbard, b. 1747
10. Joseph Hubbard, b 1749
11. Lemuel Hubbard, b 1751

Capt. George Hubbard, son of Isaac & Hannah (Goodrich) Hubbard, b. 30 Nov 1739 Ellington, Tolland, CT, a soldier of the American Revolution, died 16 April 1818 in Claremont NH, buried Union Cemetery, Claremont NH. He married 10 June 1760 in Tolland CT to Thankful Hatch, dau of Jonathan & Thankful (Hinckley) Hatch, and granddau of Joseph & Mercy (Delano) Hatch. She was b. 24 Oct 1742 in Tolland CT, and d. 28 Oct 1802 in Claremont NH. They removed to Windsor VT, and in 1778 they removed to Claremont NH. She is also buried in Union Cemetery, Claremont NH. He was Ensign in Sage’s Conn. State Regiment in the 3rd Co of the 3rd Batallion from Jue 20-Dec 20, 1776, and First Lieut of the 2nd CT from Jan 1 to Dec 1777.
Children of George & Thankful (Hatch) Hubbard:
1. Calvin Hubbard b 1761 Tolland CT d. 1854-1856 Guildhall, Essex Co. VT; m1) Ruth Meacham; m2) Sarah Meacham. Lived in Springfield VT. Children: Calvin, Horace, Ruth, Anne, Laura, Pamelia, and Sarah.
2. Emile Hubbard, b. 13 March 1762 Tolland CT; d. 16 Feb 1843 Claremont NH
3. Chloe Hubbard, b. 13 March 1763 Tolland CT; d. 16 Feb 1843 Claremont NH; buried Union Cemetery
4. George Hubbard, b. 12 Feb 1765 Tolland CT; d. Weatherfield, Windsor Co. VT; m. Mehetable Tyler; resided Lebanon VT. Children: Fanny (who m. Zabina Marsh), Henry (who m1) Sarah Welch; m2) Cynthia Gould), Mehetable (who m. Aabina Marsh), Orin (who m. Catherine Weld), and Dr. Benjamin (who m. Abigail Bruce)
5. Jonathan Hatch Hubbard, b. 10 May 1768, d. Windsor VT
6. +Isaac Hubbard, b. 28 July 1770 Tolland CT
7. Goodrich Hubbard, b. 18 March 1773, d. 19 Feb 1774 Tolland CT
8. Elizur “Eleazer” Hubbard b 10 Jan 1775 Tolland CT; d. 16 Sep 1819 Davidsonville AK; U.S. District Judge in Arkansas 1809, lived in Windsor VT i 1819; m. Abigail Sage and had Gurdon, Elizabeth, Christopher, Mary, Abigail, and Hannah.
9. Ahira Hubbard, b. 13 Oct 1779, died 29 January 1861 [another source says died 15 Aug 1849 in Chicago IL]; he m. Serena Tucker. She b. 17 April 1788 and d. –. Child, Harriet L. Hubbard b 1812, d 1842 m. Richard Jones Hamilton. He b. 21 Aug 1799 and d. 26 Dec 1860. **SAR Application on Ancestry**
10. Pamelia Hubbard, b. 13 Apr 1781 Claremont NH, d. 1810

Hon. Isaac Hubbard, son of George & Thankful (Hatch) Hubbard. b. 28 July 1770 in Tolland CT. He died January 28, 1861 in Claremont NH; He married 1st) Caroline Jones. She d. 1 Dec 1803 and is buried in Claremont NH He m2) 1805 Ruth Cobb, daughter of Samuel & Ann (Steel) Cobb. She was b. abt 1781 in Tolland CT and d. 14 Feb 1861 in Claremont NH. In 1778 removed with his father and family to Claremont NH. He was selectman several years, and representative [see bio below]. Succeeded his father on the farm in the southwest corner of Claremont known as “Governor’s Farm” later own by his grandson, Isaac Hubbard Long. HE WAS THE OWNER OF BIG CATTLE [read story above].
Children of Isaac & Caroline (Jones) Hubbard:
1. Caroline Jones Hubbard, b. 1802; m. 6 Sep 1829 in Claremont NH to Charles Fred Long, son of Simeon-7 & Jane (Crowell) Long, Jonathan-6, John-5, Robert-4, Samuel-3, Robert-2, Robert-1, John. He was b. 27 May 1801, and d. 16 May 1869; buried Union Cemetery, Claremont NH. [Editor’s Note: Charles F. Long is a distant cousin of mine].
Children of Isacc & Ruth (Cobb) Hubbard:
2. Amos Hubbard, b. 1807; m. Caroline Fiske
3. Sarah M. Hubbard, b abt 1810, d 17 April 1899 Claremont NH; m. Joel Clapp.
4. +Rev. Isaac C. Hubbard, D.D., b. 13 April 1813 Claremont NH. He married Elizabeth D. Stimpson. He had children: William, George, Ruth and Charlotte.

The Rev. Isaac C. Hubbard, D.D., was born in Claremont, April 13 1813, and was a son of Isaac Hubbard, Esq. He graduated at Trinity College in 1839. He passed from college into the General Theological Seminary, New York, where he spent two years, and finished the prescribed course of study with Bishop Carlton Chase. While studying with BIshp Chase he officiated as lay reader at Drewsville and Bellows Falls, Vt. He was ordained deacon in Trinity Church, Claremont, June 25, 1845. He served his deaconate at Vergennes, Vt., and received priest’s orders from Bishop Chase in March 1847. The first four years of his priesthood he was rector of a church at Potsdam NY, then for several months he was assistant of the venerable Dr. Muhlenburg, in the CHurch of the Holy Community, New York. In March 1852, he became rector of St. Michael’s church, Manchester, NH where he remained until February 1866. The field was a missionary one, demanding great self-denial, patience, energy and wisdom, and involving a large amount of work. The growh of the parish was real and lasting. The great visible work of Dr. Hubbard was the erection of a beautiful stone church and comfortable rectory. In 1866 by reason of mental and bodily exhaustion, he was compelled to resign his parish, and retired to his portion of his late father’s farm in Claremont for rest. In August 1867 he was sufficiently restored to accept the rectorship of Trinity Church, Claremont, where he remained until Easter 1875. He died on 30 March 1879.


This entry was posted in Cow Stories, Creatures, History, New Hampshire Men and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Cow Stories: Claremont New Hampshire’s American Mammoth Ox and Hon Isaac Hubbard

  1. Pingback: New Hampshire’s Cow Appreciation Day | Cow Hampshire

Leave a Reply