by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Once again, last week’s article about Corporal Herschel Elliott has left me with more questions than answers. Below the picture that appeared with the article was the explanation for the star by six of the names. These were the men who had made the ultimate sacrifice for their country; or so I had been told.
It was pointed out to me that two of the men appeared to be brothers. Thinking this might be an interesting story, I immediately decided to learn more about Earnest and Harvey Hubbard. For those of us who went through a box of Kleenex watching “Saving Private Ryan,” or remember hearing the story of the five Sullivan brothers who were aboard the USS Juneau when it sank on November 13, 1942, the idea that two brothers from Grain Valley had also perished…I had to know their story.
Hubbard was not a name with which I was familiar. It didn’t seem to be “an old family name.” That is because the Hubbard family was only in Grain Valley for a short time. In 1930 and 1935 they were living in Kansas City where the father, Harry, was a lineman for the telephone company.
By 1940, he had retired and taken up farming in rural Grain Valley. Around 1945, most of the family moved to Winchester, Kansas.
Harvey registered for the draft on February 1, 1941 and died on October 26, 1942 at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. He won a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star and is remembered at the Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. Harvey Ellsworth Hubbard was 21 years old.
Earnest Loyd Hubbard was 29 years old when he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940. And then I found more. After serving in Europe, Earnest came home on December 8, 1945. He later married, had 7 children and lived to the ripe old age of 79. He died on June 16, 1991 in Winchester.
The Hubbard family had moved from Grain Valley before the war ended. I suppose we’ll never know why Earnest’s name was misspelled or why he ended up with a star.
Willard Johnson, Robert Jenkins, Caryl Russell and Dale Stumpp did die serving their country. All four were Grain Valley graduates with many ties to the community. There were at least 16 sets of brothers on the board along with brothers-in-law and cousins. There are more stories to tell.
Brothers Earnest and Harvey Hubbard served their country in World War II. Harvey died at 21 years of age on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. Earnest served in Europe and returned to the states, moving to Winchester, Kansas.
Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society