University of Arizona

Papers of the Roman Hubbell Family

 

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.

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.