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Hubbard Father-Son Team Carried On Edmonds Insurance Business Legacy

Taking the reins of father-in-law J.E. Wilson's insurance business in 1928, Ernie Hubbard and his son Lawrence built it into a multigenerational family enterprise and a cornerstone of the Edmonds business community.

 

Last week's article profiled Edmonds citizen and how his life wove a colorful thread into the fabric of the community. But the story doesn't end here.

Shortly after Wilson opened the Crescent Grocery in the business block of Main Street in 1911, his daughter Lala met a young mill supervisor named Ernie Hubbard. They married within a few years.

Wilson, in the meantime, had set his sights beyond the grocery business. Growth in business and industry in Edmonds created expanding opportunities in providing insurance services to protect the community's expanding assets. Toward the end of the decade, Wilson decided to make the jump and devote himself full time to the insurance business.

As with many parents, he wanted to provide for his children and help ensure their future. In a fatherly gesture, he turned the grocery business over to son-in-law Ernie Hubbard. Ernie and Lala operated the business through most of the 1920s.

When Wilson died in 1928, he left the insurance business to Hubbard. He eventually sold the grocery, and took over his father-in-law's business full time.

When prime office space opened up in the little building with the peaked roof on the northwest corner of Fifth and Main, Hubbard relocated. At about this time he took his son Lawrence into the business, and they ran it as a father-son operation until Ernie's retirement shortly after World War II.

When that corner of the block was redeveloped in the mid 1950s, Lawrence Hubbard, now running the business on his own, relinquished the corner spot to McGinness's pharmacy and moved one storefront west.

Today, the corner spot is the home to another Edmonds landmark, . Owner Ramon Garcia has operated El Puerto in this location for more than 23 years and is a familiar figure in downtown Edmonds. He carries on the community spirit of the Hubbards and other downtown business leaders, never failing to greet customers with a smile and a friendly, "Buenos dias, amigo!"   

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