Thomas Hamlin Hubbard was born in Hallowell, Maine, on December 20, 1838, the son of Governor John Hubbard and Sarah Hodge Barrett. Thomas prepared for college at the Hallowell Academy and entered Bowdin College at the age of fourteen in the fall of 1853. He ranked high in his class and at the Commencement Exercises in 1857 he delivered the English Oration. He was a member of Chi Psi, the Athenaean and Phi Beta Kappa Fraternities. From 1859 to 1860 he was principal of the Hallowell Academy. In the fall of 1860 he entered law school in Albany, New York and was admitted to the New York Bar on May 4, 1861. He then was employed by the firm of Barney, Butler and Parsons in New York City, becoming the managing clerk.
On September 29, 1862, Thomas enlisted in the 25th Maine Volunteer Infantry with the rank of First Lieutenant and Adjutant. The regiment proceeded from Portland, Maine to Washington D.C. on October 16 and was attached to General Silas Casey's Division. The 25th served on garrison duty in the defense of Washington from October 18, 1862 until March 24, 1863. The Regiment then moved to Chantilly, Virginia for picket duty until June 26. It was ordered home on June 30 and Thomas was mustered out on July 11, 1863.
Thomas was re-commissioned on December 19, 1863 as a Lt. Colonel in the 30th Maine Volunteer Infantry as second in command to Colonel Francis Fessenden. The Regiment left for New Orleans on January 8, 1864 and arrived on February 16. It was attached to the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, and 19th Army Corps, Department of the Gulf. On February 18 1864 the Regiment was on duty at Algiers and Franklin, Louisiana, until March 15 when it participated in the Red River Campaign under Major General Nathaniel P. Banks. They advanced to Alexandria through March 26 and to Natchiotoches on March 29. They fought in the battle of Sabine Cross Roads on April 8 and Pleasant Hill on April 9 followed by Cane River Crossing on April 23.
On April 30, 1864 a dam at Alexandria was started and completed on May 10. Lt. Colonel Hubbard received a citation from General Joseph Bailey for his superior engineering techniques in raising the water level by a series of wing dams, which enabled the forces of General Banks to complete its passage to safety. He also received a special commendation in Admiral David Dixon Porter's report for his conduct in aiding the construction of the Red River Dam at Alexandria for the passage of the Federal fleet. With Colonel Fessenden's promotion to brigade command Lt. Colonel Hubbard was promoted Colonel and given command of the 30th Maine.
The 30th Maine was moved to Fortress Monroe and Bermuda Hundred and from thence, via Washington D.C., to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. They participated in General Philip Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign. After recovering from a bout of typhoid fever, Colonel Hubbard participated with his regiment through the remainder of the war with his last posting to Savannah, Georgia on June 30, 1865 following his regiment's participation in the Grand Review in Washington D.C. May 23-24, 1865 where it served as the Provost Guard. Colonel Hubbard was promoted Brevet Brigadier General on July 13, 1865 for "meritorious service." He resigned his commission on July 23, 1865.
On Thomas' return to New York, he again took up the practice of law and on January 1, 1867, was made a partner in the firm of Barney, Butler and Parsons, with which firm he was associated for twenty years. The firm's name was changed in 1874 to Butler, Stillman and Hubbard. He and his partners were among the organizers of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and of the New York County Lawyers Association. He was serving as president of the latter organization at the time of his death. He retired from active practice. His work had been largely corporate litigation and he tended naturally toward corporation management. He managed Mark Hopkins Estate and it was said that for managing that estate he received the largest salary ever paid to an administrator up to that time, $75,000.00. The estate owned one fourth of the Southern Pacific RR Company of which General Hubbard was a director for eleven years and First Vice President for five. He established the International Banking Corporation, the first American Bank to gain and retain a foothold in the Orient.
General Hubbard was always interested in Bowdin College and contributed liberally to various projects including the Library and the Grandstand. In 1901 he endowed the chair of legal ethics in the law department of Union University, known as the Albany Law School, of which Law School he was a Trustee. He was President of the Peary Arctic Club in New York and whose philanthropy was largely responsible for the success of the Peary expedition to the North Pole. Cape Thomas H. Hubbard in the Arctic was named for him by Admiral Peary as a tribute to his friend and helper.
On February 9, 1867, Thomas Hubbard was elected a Companion of the First Class of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion through the Commandery of the State of Maine and assigned Insignia No. 2302. He transferred to the New York Commandery on May 4, 1887. From May 6, 1891 to 1892 he served as Junior Vice Commander of the New York Commandery and as Commander from May 6, 1903 to 1907. On October 15, 1913, he was elected Commander-in-Chief of the Order serving until his death in New York City on May 19,1915.
General Hubbard's death came as a great shock to his may friends and Companions of the Loyal Legion whose 50th Anniversary on April 15th he had attended a little over a month before being taken ill. His funeral was held on Saturday, May 22, 1915 at Madison Square Presbyterian Church and it is estimated that it was attended by the largest number of Companions of the Loyal Legion ever assembled at a burial. Admiral Peary was one of the pallbearers. Thomas Hubbard was interred in Woodlawn Cemetery.
Thomas Hubbard had marred Sibyl Amelia Fahnestock in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on January 28, 1868. He was survived by his widow and son John, and daughters Sibyl Emma and Anna Weir. Two other children had pre-deceased their father. General Hubbard was succeeded as Commander-in-Chief by the Sr. Vice Commander-in-Chief, Rear Admiral Louis Kempff, USN.
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