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Records of the Hubbell Trading Post

J.L. Hubbell Business Card, undated


Located at Ganado, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation; started by John Lorenzo Hubbell in 1876. It was later operated by family members; the last was his daughter-in-law Dorothy Smith Hubbell. She ran it as a museum until the National Park Service took responsibility for it as a National Historic Site, in 1967. Thirty-five other stores were established throughout the Southwest by John Lorenzo Hubbell and his family, and some of their records are included here. In addition to supplying the local Native Americans with needed goods, the Hubbell enterprise is significant for its promotion and national marketing of Navajo rugs and silverwork, as well as Hopi pottery and baskets.

The bulk of this collection consists of vendor files, business materials, and correspondence. The correspondence series are comprised of incoming, outgoing, and Indian letters. Business correspondence includes government organizations, particularly the Republican party; Indian organizations, such as the Indian Arts and Crafts Board; and business organizations that bought Indian goods, notably Fred Harvey. Personal correspondence included that of artists and writers, such as Laura Adams Armer and Elbridge Ayer Burbank, employees, friends, local Navajo and Hopi individuals, and family members. Correspondence, as well as personal papers, are present for John Lorenzo Hubbell, his daughters Barbara H. Goodman and Adele H. Parker, his sons Roman Hubbell and Lorenzo Hubbell, Jr., and their spouses and children.

Off-post and intra-post vendor series contain the following: orders, invoices, consignment lists, freight bills, packing sips, statements of charges, receipts, loan notes, tax statements, rental notices, and credit memos. Long-term vendor relations are with the Babbitt Brothers Co., C.N. Cotton Co., and Gallup Mercantile.

The Business series are comprised of daily, summary, and Indian records; included are daybooks, cashbooks, individual accounts, and inventories. As with the intra-post vendor series, most of the Hubbell stores are represented, but Ganado, Winslow, and Oraibi have the most extensive records.

Legal items encompass maps, mortgages, titles, leases, estate and court records, and trading post licenses. Within the banking materials are statements, deposits, overdrafts, credits, World War II rationing accounts, and cancelled checks from numerous banks in Arizona, New Mexico, and California.

Other items in the collection are insurance company policies, post office records, sales books, and national store catalogs.