Rensselaer D. Hubbard

Citizen from Blue Earth County, MN

Rensselaer Dean Hubbard had limited education, and left home at age 15 to work on a survey crew for the Albany and Susquehanna Railroad. In 1851 he moved to California and worked on a farm in the Sacramento Valley. From 1857-58 he tried gold mining around the Humboldt River in Nevada and Fraser River in British Columbia, Canada. He moved back to New York in 1859, where he worked as a grocery clerk making $50 per month and was quickly promoted to manager at a salary of $160 per month.

During the Civil War, he tried to enlist in the Union Army in January 1863 but was rendered unfit for military service due to a severe attack of pneumonia. He then began farming tobacco in Sidney, New York for a few years, during which time he married Mary Esther Cook. The two moved to Corry, Pennsylvania in 1866 as he reentered the grocery business, this time with great success: starting with capital of $2000, he earned approximately $30,000 in four years. He then moved back to California in 1870 with plans of starting a bank, but due to an ongoing recession was unable to find favorable conditions. Hubbard then decided to move to Mankato.

Hubbard built a warehouse in Mankato and worked in the wheat market until March 1872. At that time he entered a partnership that started the Mankato Linseed Oil Company, of which he was manager for 11 years; after initial struggles the company found success. In 1878, he founded the Mankato Milling Company and served as its president until his death in 1905. The company became a major flour milling operation in the late 19th century and early 20th century, and changed names to the R.D. Hubbard & Company, then to the R.D. Hubbard Milling Company in 1894, and finally the Hubbard Milling Company in 1897. With partner George Palmer, he established a system of 42 grain elevators stretching across southern Minnesota and into South Dakota. The Hubbard Milling Company later expanded into livestock feed, pet food, and specialized feed products and still exists today as a subsidiary of the Canadian company Ridley.

He was the son of Oliver B. Hubbard and Lavina Chase. He was first married to Mary Esther Cook on 09 Apr 1863 in Maryland, Otsego Co., New York. He married a second time to Frances H. "Frank" Griffith on 07 Oct 1878 in Mankato, Blue Earth Co., Minnesota.

Blue Earth County, MN


Visit our county page and you will learn about the contributions made by the citizens from our town and county (founders, business people, volunteers, entrepreneurs and military veterans). Here you will find information about our town and county's points of interest, festivals/events and faith community. You also will find stories about the contributions made by farmers/ranchers located throughout our county and of course you will learn about the community organizations that have built and continue to build strong communities (chambers, community groups, and departments, etc) and much more when you visit the Blue Earth County, MN page.