From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 1468
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902


   Joseph H Stubbs is an octogenarian and a worthy citizen of Sterling.  There is particular satisfaction in reverting to the life history of the honored and venerable gentleman whose name initiates this review, since his mind bears the impress of the historic annals of the state of Kansas from the early pioneer days, and from the fact that he has been a loyal son of the republic and has attained to a position of distinctive prominence in Rice county, where he has retained his residence until the present time, being now one of the revered patriarchs of the community.

   Joseph H Stubbs was born about three or four miles from Cincinnati, in Preble county, Ohio, March 19, 1821.  His father, Joseph Stubbs, was a native of Columbia county, Georgia, where he was born January 1, 1773, being a son of John Stubbs, who was a native of Pennsylvania and who died in Georgia.  He married Miss Rachel Maddock, of Pennsylvania, and they became the parents of eight sons and six daughters.  All but one daughter reached mature years, and of the thirteen, all but one were married and had families of their own.  About 1803 the family emigrated to Ohio, but the grandparents were laid to rest in Columbia county, Georgia.  Joseph Stubbs, the father of our subject, was twice married, and five sons and one daughter were born of this marriage.  All of the children reached years of maturity, but one son, Nathan, died at the age of twenty-one years.  At one time it was known that there were one hundred and eighty surviving members of the family, including children, grandchildren and first cousins of our subject.  The average age of his uncles and aunts on his father’s side was seventy-six, and John, the eldest, reached the advanced age of ninety years, while Joseph Stubbs, the father of our subject, was almost ninety at the time of his death.  The members of the family were husbandmen and millers.  They experienced all the hardships of pioneer life and bore their share of the work of reclaiming Ohio for purposes of civilization.  In the fall of 1804, when Joseph Stubbs was rearing his hewed-log house, a large flock of wild turkeys was seen, and sixteen of them were shot by the workmen, for the men in those pioneer days usually carried their guns to the field with them.  The journey to Ohio was made in covered wagons and Joseph Stubbs spent one winter in Tennessee before coming to the Buckeye state, in the spring of 1804.  When one of his brothers was returning home at night he recognized the bark of the old dog which had long been owned in the family and then he knew that they had arrived.

   Amid the wild scenes of frontier life Joseph H Stubbs, subject of this review, was reared.  He was a strong youth and at the age of ten years conducted a nursery; and when thirteen years of age he reaped with a sickle and bound and shocked fifty-four dozen sheaves of grain.  At the age of fifteen he cradled with the men and made a full hand in the harvest field.  He afterward engaged in teaching school for twenty years, taking up the profession when ill health prevented his further work on the farm.  He was first married on the 29th of April, 1841, the wedding being celebrated near West Elkton, Ohio, and Miss Keziah D Brown becoming his wife.  They traveled life’s journey together for fourteen years, after which Mrs Stubbs was called to her final rest, leaving four sons and a daughter.  He was again married on January 10, 1855, his second union being with Miss Elizabeth Hunt, of Clinton county, Ohio, a daughter of Robert and Ruth (Madden) Hunt.  By this marriage there were six children, of whom three reached mature years.  Of the children we enter the following record:  Sylvanus, a school-teacher, is married and has six children; Salmon P Chase Stubbs, who is a member of the corps of government surveyors in the Indian Territory, makes his home in Sterling, and has three sons and a daughter; William D, who died when a youth of twenty years, was at the time in camp in northwestern Indiana, having enlisted for service in the Civil war; Albert A, a farmer of Cowley county, Kansas, has two sons; Arah Ann died at the age of eleven years; Robert R, died at the age of nine years; Annie is the wife of James P Garnder, of Sedalia county, Missouri, and they have two children; Emma Belle, who became the wife of Elbert Henshall (Henshaw), died at the age of eighteen years, being survived only a short time by their infant child; and Mary Ruth is the wife of Eugene Compton, of Slaten, Missouri, and they have two sons.

   Mr Stubbs has been a resident of Kansas since 1866, having arrived in Burlingame, this state, on the 25th of March of that year.  He came to the west from Indiana, where he resided for three years, and on the last day of April, 1873, he took up his abode in Sterling.  Here he owned the first of the seven residences in the town.  During the greater part of the time he has spent in Kansas he has followed carpentering and building, but is now living a retired life.  Many of the structures which he has erected, however, stand as monuments to his enterprise and thrift.  He is one of the oldest settlers living in Sterling and has been actively identified with all the interests, both progressive and disastrous, which have occurred in the county through this period.  He has labored to promote the welfare and upbuilding of the county and was one of the first clerks of the district court, holding the office in 1874.  He has also served as justice of the peace.  In early life he was an Abolitionist, and when the Republican party was formed, to prevent the further extension of slavery, he joined its ranks.  Now he is identified with the Prohibition party.  Both he and his wife hold membership in the Society of Friends, and he has been a staunch and active temperance worker for many years.  He retains a most vivid recollection of the scenes and incidents of life in Kansas in the pioneer days, his remarkable memory being remarkably exact and retentive.  He has been dominated by the enterprising spirit of the west, which has been the most potent factor in forwarding the advancement of this section of the country.  In him are embodied the many virtues of the honored pioneers, - the steadfast purpose, unswerving integrity and untiring industry – to which the splendid civilization of America is indebted for its wonderful development and its glorious prosperity.