Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ben, the Wonder Horse of New Brunswick, New Jersey

While searching online for information on Francis Hubbard of New Brunswick, Canada, I came across One Thousand Years of Hubbard History, 866 to 1895, by Edward Warren Day.  

[Note: After uploading this post and returning to the 1873 letter I was researching, I realized that Francis' surname was Hibbard, so finding the story of Ben was even more serendipitous.]

While there were Hubbards from New Brunswick, Canada, listed, somehow my eyes landed on a story, originally in the New York Sun, about the marvelous old horse, Ben, owned by John V. Hubbard of New Brunswick, New Jersey.

New Brunswick, N.J., Jan. 11, 1895. — Ben, a faithful old horse who has done various kinds of duty for Liveryman John V. Hubbard of this city, saved his owner considerable loss at 2 o'clock this morning when a fire broke out in Mr. Hubbard's private office. Ben occupied an open stall about fifty feet from Mr. Hubbard's office. The horse is always quiet, but he must have scented danger, for he broke away from his halter, backed out of the stall and ran 150 feet through the corridor of the stable to the rear office, where slept George Witt, the night man. The door of this office was closed. The first thing Witt knew the horse was standing over him and he was lying on the floor. Witt had all his clothes on, and Ben had taken a firm hold at his waist and lifted him off his couch. He might have carried him out of the door, but the office was too small to move around. Witt was dumbfounded until he smelled smoke. Then he led the horse out of the rear office and Ben trotted along with him to Mr. Hubbard's office, where there was a lively blaze.  Neighbors were warned and the fire was soon checked. A rug had taken fire from the stove. Mr. Hubbard says he would not part with Ben at any price. He considers that the intelligent horse saved him his thirty horses and carriages, valued at $15,000 — New York Sun. 

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