August 24, 1891
A Good Man Gone
Chester D. Hubbard, whose death Wheeling and West Virginia are called upon to mourn, was a good man through and through. To say good things of him is only to present the man as he was in his family, in his business life, in his long and active connection with public affairs. What he engaged in he undertook conscientiously and with all his might, and when he had become advanced in years his energy was far above that of the ordinary man.
For more than three score years and ten Mr. Hubbard was a resident of Wheeling, which he saw grow slowly, solidly, surely, and for which he had a tender affection. He took a natural pride in the city and the State, for he had helped to make them both, each in a different sense. He had helped as much as anybody and more than most of his fellow citizens to advance the city in all that makes a city. He was in at the birth of the new State, from an attitude of unyielding opposition in the Secession Convention of 1861 passing logically to active championship of the movement to found a new commonwealth of the loyal West of the Old Dominion.
It was one of the traits of his strong character that he could do nothing by halves. Whether he was engaged in his daily business, in politics, to which he thought it the duty of every citizen to give close attention, or in the conduct of the educational enterprises with which he was so long associated, he gave to each in its season the very best that was in him. He was as wise in devising as he was energetic in executing, and his counsel was sought in a wide range of matters of moment. For this service he was well equipped by a naturally alert intelligence, by his liberal education, by his thoughtful habit, and by the scope of his busy career, from early childhood to the hour of his death passed in Wheeling.
He believed in the cause of the Union and planted himself solidly on that side. He believed in the Republican party, believed in its principles and its policies, believed in working for his party, in talking for it and in voting for it. There was something in him which drew to him the young men of the party, who counted him one of themselves.
In 1884 West Virginia Republicans were very much aroused by the Blaine issue. The party was unquestionably for the popular leader, but some of its strong men were of another way of thinking and were earnestly endeavoring to bring about the selection of delegates in other interests. Mr. Hubbard, fearing that those efforts might succeed, regarding a Blaine delegation from West Virginia as all important to the general success, went into the contest with all the enthusiasm that any young man could have brought to it. In the State Convention he was one of the leading figures in as spirited a debate as has been heard in any body in West Virginia. He took hard blows and returned them with interest, always in good humor and always in dead earnest. His years did not stand in his way nor did they give anybody advantage over him.
In truth it may be said of Mr. Hubbard that he had no old age, although he was in his seventy-seventh. He was an active force almost to his last hour. While his death was not sudden in the usual sense, he was so lately one of the active men among us that the chord seems to have been snapped while it was under full tension. His death does not make one vacancy it makes many vacancies, in Wheeling, touching the life of the city at many prominent points.
So closes a career which no father need hesitate to hold up to his son as an example of the model business man and citizen. If prayers avail for the rest of a soul this good man's sleep will be a sweet repose.