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Roman Hubbell family papers, 1899-1982

MS 322

Collection Summary

Creator: Roman Hubbell Family
Collection Name:Roman Hubbell family papers,
Inclusive Dates: 1899-1982
Physical Description:6 linear feet
Abstract:The papers in this collection are arranged in five series: Family History and Reminiscences, Correspondence, Business and Financial Records, Photographs, and Printed Materials. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence to and from Roman and Dorothy Hubbell relating to their family, friends and business ventures. Primary correspondents include anthropologist, Gladys Reichard, and Commissioner of Indian Affairs, John Collier.
Collection Number: MS 322
Repository: University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections
University of Arizona
PO Box 210055
Tucson, AZ 85721-0055
Phone: 520-621-6423
Fax: 520-621-9733

Biographical Note

Roman Hubbell (1891-1957) was the second son of John Lorenzo Hubbell (1853-1930), noted pioneer Indian trader and founder of the J. L. Hubbell Trading Post at Ganado in Arizona Territory, 1876. The area surrounding the trading post eventually became part of the Navajo Reservation. Over the years Don Lorenzo, as he came to be called, opened additional trading post locations in New Mexico and Arizona and gained fame as a trader in Navajo rugs.

Don Lorenzo's two sons, Lorenzo, Jr. (1883-1942) and Roman succeeded their father in carrying on his trading post operations; and Roman developed a reputation as an advocate for the Indians in their relations with the federal government. After the death of Roman's first wife, he married Dorothy Smith (1899-1993) who assisted in the management of the family's business interests. Dorothy continued to run the trading post as a museum after Roman's death in 1957, until it was purchased by the National Park Service as a designated National Historic Site in 1965.

Scope and Content Note

The papers in this collection are arranged in five series: Family History and Reminiscences, Correspondence, Business and Financial Records, Photographs, and Printed Materials. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence to and from Roman and Dorothy Hubbell relating to their family, friends and business ventures. Primary correspondents include anthropologist, Gladys Reichard, and Commissioner of Indian Affairs, John Collier.

The Personal Correspondence Series contains the transcript of an interview with Dorothy Hubbell by Frank McNitt which relates to Mrs. Hubbell's recollections of Don Lorenzo Hubbell during her early years at the Post. There is also a series of interviews with Mrs. Hubbell in the Hubbell Trading Post as National Historic Site Series which reconstructs the history of the trading post and its collection of art, furnishings, and Indian crafts. Photographs in the collection include members of the Hubbell family, portraits of individuals visiting the Post such as Theodore Roosevelt, Howard Pyle, Gladys Reichard, and John Collier. There are also photographs of Ganado and other trading posts, other Hubbell business operations, and Navajo weavers and participants in traveling exhibitions to Texas and New York.


This collection is organized into five series.
Series I: Family History and Reminiscences, 1930-1971
Series II: Correspondence, 1899-1979
Series III: Business and Financial Records, 1919-1982
Series IV: Photographs, ca. 1900-1965
Series V: Printed Materials, 1928-1970s





It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents for the University of Arizona, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Related Material

Hubbell Trading Post Records (AZ 375) are also located at the University of Arizona Library Special Collections.

Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Hubbell, Dorothy Smith
Hubbell, Roman, 1891-1957

Family Name(s)
Hubbell family -- Archives

Geographic Name(s)
Ganado (Ariz.) -- History -- Sources
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site (Ganado, Ariz.) -- Archives
Navajo Indian Reservation -- History -- Sources
Southwest, New -- History -- 1848 -- Sources

Merchants -- Arizona -- History -- Sources
Trading posts
Trading posts -- Arizona -- Ganado Region

Genre Form(s)

Administrative Information

Credit Line

Roman Hubbell family papers(MS 322). Special Collections, University of Arizona Libraries.

Container List

Series I: Family History and Reminiscences, 1930-1971
Contains family record of births and deaths, a genealogical chart for the Hubbell family, reminiscences by John Lorenzo Hubbell, titled "Fifty Years an Indian Trader" (15 pages) and by Madge W. Hubbell, titled "As It Was Then" (56 pages).
11 Family History and Reminiscences. , 1930-1971
Series II: Correspondence, 1899-1979
Family, 1933-1962
Family correspondence includes letters to and from Dorothy Hubbell, Lorenzo Hubbell, John L. Hubbell, Roman Hubbell, and LaCharles Eckel concerning activities at Ganado, education of the Hubbell children, and condolences on the deaths of Lorenzo Hubbell, Jr. and Roman Hubbell.
12 Eckel, LaCharles. , 1933-1953
13 Hubbell family. , 1937-1942
14 Hubbell, Lorenzo, Jr., condolences. , 1942
15 Hubbell, John L. , 1934-1962
16 Hubbell, Roman, Jr. , 1945-1947
17 Hubbell, Roman, condolences. , 1957
Personal, 1899-1975
Consists primarily of incoming letters and carbons of some outgoing, from personal and professional friends of Roman and Dorothy Hubbell. Many of the correspondents visited the Hubbell Trading Post to enjoy the scenic beauty of the area and to purchase rugs, ceramic vessels, and other trading post items. Of note are letters from Laura Armer concerning the exhibition of a movie, "The Mountain Chant;" from Witter Bynner about the United China Relief Fund donation drives during World War II; from Carl Hayden on military and education appointments for Hubbell children (additional Hayden letters in Hubbell Post National Historic Site folder); from Ruth Knight about the airing of a CBS radio series "Death Valley Days" segment titled "White Medicine Man" based on Roman Hubbell's assistance to the Navajos during a snow storm; with Frank McNitt concerning his research on the Hubbells including an interview with Dorothy Hubbell regarding Don Lorenzo Hubbell and life at Ganado; with anthropologist, Gladys Reichard on mutual friends, travels, and her projects; and artist, Frederic Allen Williams on his travels and exhibitions of sculptures.
21 A. , 1935-1969
22 American Red Cross. , 1941-1942
23 Armer, Laura Adams & Sidney. , 1928-1964
24 B. , 1934-1967
25 Bynner, Witter. , 1930-1943
26-11 C-H. , 1899-1967
212 Hayden, Carl. , 1938-1962
213 I-K. , 1938-1965
214 Knight, Ruth Adams. , 1941-1946
215-16 L-M. , 1927-1974
217 McNitt, Frank. , 1958-1972
218-19 N-Q. , 1931-1974
31 R-T. , 1931-1975
32-3 Reichard, Gladys. , 1934-1955
34 Republican Party. , 1935-1952
35 U-Z. , 1934-1963
36 Wiliams, Ferderic Allen. , 1942-1959
37 Miscellaneous. , 1928-1949
Roman Hubbell Navajo Tours, 1931-1965
Contains letters from travel agencies, journalists, hotels, guest ranches, and tourists regarding coming to the area, the Hubbell Trading Post, lodging, sightseeing, or purchasing goods from the Post. Roman Hubbell operated this tour service in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Of note are letters from movie director, Fritz Lang of Universal Studios, and artist, William R. Leigh.
41 A. , 1938-1960
42 Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. , 1931-1965
43-5 B-C. , 1936-1956
46 Coapman, Wall G. , 1940-1947
47-12 D-J. , 1938-1963
5 1-2 K-L. , 1934-1952
5 3 Lang, Fritz. , 1938-1940
5 4 Leigh, William R. and Traphagen, Ethel. , 1938-1958
5 5 Luckie, Dorothy P. , 1939-1949
5 6-7 M. , 1937-1946
5 8 McFie, Amelia. , 1938
5 9 Motor News. , 1941-1942
5 10-12 N-P. , 1938-1950
5 13 Page, Katherine. , 1934-1950
61-3 Q-S. , 1934-1957
64 Santa Fe Trailways. , 1939-1942
65-6 T-U. , 1938-1949
67 Universal Studios. , 1944
68-9 V-W. , 1938-1965
610 Ward Hicks Advertising. , 1938-1946
611 Werntz, Carl. , 1940-1941
612 X-Z. , 1933-1950
613 Unidentified and Miscellaneous. , 1941-1942
J.L. Hubbell Trading Post, 1923-1969
Miscellaneous letters sent from the Post on a wide variety of issues including merchandise inquiries, impounded goods, accounts owed, and letters from employees. Of special note are letters from artist, E. A. Burbank, and four folders of correspondence relating to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, John Collier, and the American Indian Defense Association; issues such as state congressional delegations; relief funds for Navajo stock; Navajo religion and ceremonies; land use; traders; schools; events leading up to Collier's appointment as Commissioner; Collier's resignation; and the appointment of succeeding commissioner, John R. Nichols.
71-2 A-H. , 1935-1965
73 Burbank, E.A. , 1935-1947
74 Employee Letters. , 1935-1967
75-7 I-Z. , 1923-1969
78-11 U.S. Commissioner Indian Affairs, John Collier. , 1924-1950
712 Miscellaneous. , No Date
Hubbell Trading Post as National Historic Site, 1957-1979
The first two folders contain correspondence including letters from visitors to the Post expressing their views on its historical importance and support for the establishment of a National Historic Site. The next three folders document the struggle in the early 1960s to obtain National Historic Site status for the Post which was achieved in 1965. Selected correspondents include Clinton P. Anderson, Paul Fanin, Carl Hayden, Morris K. Udall, the National Park Service, and personnel at Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site. Additional information and clippings on this topic are located in the Printed Materials series of this collection. The last three folders contain inventories which serve to document the physical condition and artifacts of the Post at the time it was acquired by the National Park Service and an interview with Dorothy Hubbell by a National Park Service curator.
81 Tourist letters/history. , 1957-1964
82 Interest in National Historic Site Bill. , 1957-1976
83-5 Correspondence. , 1959-1979
86 Furnishing plans for Hubbell home. , 1973
87 Inventories of Hubbell Trading Post. , 1975-1982
88 Interview: Dorothy Hubbell by David M. Brugge. , 1969
Series III: Business and Financial Records, 1919-1982
Contains financial and legal records relating to land and buildings purchased by the Hubbell family, stocks, leases, personal tax returns, and estate and bankruptcy proceedings.
Personal, 1919-1982
Contains financial and legal records relating to land and buildings purchased by the Hubbell family, stocks, leases, personal tax returns, and estate and bankruptcy proceedings.
89 Contracts and deeds. , 1919-1968
810 Lease, Standard Oil Company, 1961-1982
811 Stocks. , 1931-1934
812 Taxes. , 1944-1965
813 General. , 1919-1974
Roman Hubbell Navajo Tours, 1934-1946
Contains correspondence, legal and financial records relative to the operation of a tour company, including state and federal regulations, and tariff and rate charges filed with these agencies.
91 Apache County Assessor. , 1938-1941
92 Arizona Corporation Commission. , 1938-1943
93 Arizona Highway Department. , 1938-1941
94 Banking Records. , 1936-1945
95 Equipment leases. , 1939-1942
96 Insurance. , 1938-1943
97 Interstate Commerce Commission. , 1937-1943
98 New Mexico Corporation Commission. , 1934-1946
99 New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division. , 1934-1942
910 Transportation Rules & Regulations. , 1937-1942
911 Miscellaneous. , ca. 1938-1942
J.L. Hubbell Trading Post, 1931-1975
Contains correspondence, receipts, invoices, and tax returns for Hubbell Trading Post. Also includes three files on other family business ventures, the largest of which documents the activities of the Hubbell Truck Line under three subfiles, Gallup-Farmington Freight Line, 1931-1939; Mail Service, 1933-1937; and Fort Wingate Project, 1941.
101 Accountants. , 1946-1975
102 Insurance. , 1956-1969
103 General. , 1941-1967
104-5 Tax returns. , 1951-1966
106 Casa Don Lorenzo. , 1950
107 Hubbell Truck Lines. , 1931-1941
108 Lorenzo Hubbell Motor Company. , 1946-1952
Series IV: Photographs, ca. 1900-1965
Contains mostly black and white, with some color photographs, and a few negatives of people and places on the reservation. The bulk of the photographs document the Hubbell family, especially Roman Hubbell's activities with Navajo Indians in the promotion of Arizona as a tourist attraction; the Hubbell Post at Ganado; and Roman Hubbell Navajo Tours. In the family photographs are portraits of three generations of Hubbells. Of interest are a photograph of J. L. Hubbell with Theodore Roosevelt at Walpi in 1914, and Roman Hubbell with John Collier at Window Rock, c. 1940s. There are photographs of Ganado and Little Bridge Trading Post. Politicians campaigning or officiating at ceremonies in the area include Barry Goldwater, Stewart Udall, Robert Taft and Howard Pyle. Navajo medicine men, leaders, weavers, and families are also represented.
111 Texas Frontier Centennial. , 1936
112 Hubbell family. , ca. 1900-1936
113 Portraits. , ca. 1928-1962
114 Marble Canyon. , 1938
115 Navajo National Monument dedication. , ca. 1965
116 Places, unidentified. , ca. 1940-1960
117 Portraits, unidentified. , ca. 1910s-1950s
118 Little Bridge Trading Post. , ca. 1950
119 Ganado. , 1930s-1960s
1110 Arizona Unlimited Exhibition. , 1948
1111 Colorado River Boat Trip. , 1950s
1112 Portraits, Navajos. , ca. 1920s-1950s
1113 Navajo weavers and rugs. , ca. 1920s-1960s
1114 Roman Hubbell Navajo Tours. , 1938-1940s
1115 Navajo weavers and rug. , No Date
Series V: Printed Materials, 1928-1970s
Contains advertisements for various businesses and miscellaneous matters on topics relating to Navajos, Ganado, and Arizona. Of note in the general file is a copy of Father Berard Haile's essay, "Some Cultural Aspects of the Navajo Mission," c. 1934; and "Pageant of Navajo History," presented by Navajo schools at the Navajo Tribal Fair in 1940. The bulk of this series consists of newspaper clippings on Ganado and feature stories on the Hubbell Post and family.
1116 Advertisements. , 1940s-1960s
1117 Advertisements and news clippings. , 1930s-1940s
1118 Clippings on Establishment of Hubbell National Historic Site. , 1960s-1970s
1119 Clippings. , 1930s-1970s
1120 General. , 1928-1950s
1121 General: Navajo, Hubbell, Arizona. , 1930s-1940s