PART TWO OF TWO IN THE SERIES
The Living Legacy is a series that honors those who have perservered in spite of tremendous odds.
Two outstanding individuals will be spolighted in this week’s series, Elzata Brown and Richard Hubbard.
RICHARD HUBBARD, SR.
Mr. Richard Hubbard, Sr. was born October 20, 1930 in Rutledge, to Porter Hubbard and Corrine Briney. Mr. Harrison (Man) Odum was inspirational in raising Richard.
As a little boy he attended school in Morgan County (Rutledge) in a school building that was located behind the Macedonia Baptist Church. Richard was only able to obtain a third grade education. In those times education was secondary to working. Richard had to drop out of school and he began to work on the farm.
In 1937 at the age of seven Richard worked for Mr. Estes in Rutledge, GA. His task was to carry cold water on hot days to thirsty laborers in the cotton fields. As a teenager from 1943 to early 1949 Richard was still working for Mr. Estes plowing in the fields from sun up to sun down. He also performed different chores on the farm for only 50 cents a day.
On January 5, 1950 Richard married Alma Martin and to this union four children were born. Mary Ann, Richard Jr., Johnny Odum, and Jamie Marie.
During this same year Richard started working for Mr. and Mrs. Roy Wallace of Rutledge Mr. Wallace was so kind to allow Richard and his family to reside in a house on his property. During the time Richard was employed by the Wallaces, he had many duties that included: being a custodian at the Bank of Rutledge, a chef in the Wallace’s home cooking three meals a day and as a chauffeur driving Mrs. Wallace to Atlanta once a month. When Mr. Wallace felled ill he asked Richard to take care of his wife (Mrs. Kathleen) after his death. Richard honored that request until her death approximately eight years later.
In 1952 Edgar “Ed” Smith took Richard under his “wing” to help him paint houses. Mr. Smith saw potential in this young man and asked Richard to come work with him. Mr. Smith was working for Boyce Hollis at this time. At the start of the partnership Richard had to carry paint ladders from house to house. The jobs at the time were located in Rutledge. In 1954 Richard bought a used truck from Van Saye with the assistance of Mr. Wallace. Richard worked very hard and showed up every day however, his earnings were only 50 cents an hour. The partnership lasted for about 12 years until 1964. From 1964 to 1973 Richard continued to work with Mr. Smith and Mr. Hollis. Mr. Smith was getting older and wasn’t able to work much anymore. He passed away in May of 1969. During those nine years Richard was trying to provide a good living for his family so he would cut grass in the community on Saturdays with Richard Jr. by his side. Johnny joined the team in 1970.
In 1973, Richard started his own business thus becoming an entrepreneur, which was quite an accomplishment for a young black man during these times. Some people in the community said that he wouldn’t be successful in business. However, he proved them wrong! Richard was highly successful and the business is still going strong now for 43 years. His two sons Richard Jr. and Johnny throughout the years have assisted their father in the business. The two sons are now owners of successful a business because they listened and watched their father build a business and they followed in his footsteps. Richard is a humble man and acknowledges God for all of his success. He knows that it was God’s favor and His grace and mercy that kept him going all those years.
In 1970 Mr. Wallace gave Richard and his family some property that he owned in Rutledge. This awesome gift was given to Richard because of his humbleness, loyalty and his work ethics. The home is still a charming brick house, surrounded by a white fence and a beautiful lawn that Richard still cuts. Let us not forget about the beautiful flowers.
Richard is a member of the Union Springs Baptist Church in Rutledge, where the leader is Pastor Robert Terrell, Jr. His past duties included: being a member of the usher board and chairman of the deacon board. But now he just sits back and listens to Pastor Terrell’s sermons and he also enjoys praising the Lord. His favorite adage is: “MERCY.”
He confesses his life is built on truth. Some of the truths are: living each day to the fullest; life is just what you make it, when God knocks at the door of your heart it is up to you to answer, let your prayers reflect the will of God, and God will supply our daily needs.
When it comes to money matters Richard’s goal has always been to save money. He thinks it’s better to save first, then buy later. He is currently retired from the business. The family business is continued on by his two sons.
His life pleasures are simply they are related to church, family and friends. On family get-togethers, Richard does the cooking on the grill—his favorite hobby.
Richard is currently married to Rebecca Hubbard and they have been married for 35 years. They were joined in holy matrimony on February 23, 1981. Rebecca has been by his side for all these years as his devoted and loving wife.
Well, he does confess, there is one goal yet to be accomplished. There is a white Corvette waiting for him somewhere. True to his principle, he’ll continue to “save first and buy later”.
Richard Hubbard, Sr. practices in his life what he believes in his heart.
Elzata Brown is a native of Morgan County. She is the daughter of the late Ms. Emma Booker and Mr. James L. Brown. She has two sisters and two brothers, Mrs. Elizabeth Fisher, Mrs. Barbara Geter, Mr. Martin Brown, and Dr. Bradford G. Brown, M.D.
She was reared on her maternal grandfather’s farm, Willie Ann and Legree Booker on 1561 Lower Apalachee Road, Madison, Georgia.
Ms. Brown attended Bethel school on Price Mill Road in Bostwick, where her teacher was Mrs. Mary. She has memories of the big boys gathering fire wood and water for the school. The older girls in the Home Economic class had to cook the lunches. Food commodities were given to the school to cook. In 1945, she attended Jackson Grove Elementary school where she was taught by Mrs. Mary Jordan and Mrs. Jessie Bass Manuel. There were no hot lunches so her teacher, Mrs. Jessie would send students to her grandmother’s house since their farm was the closest. The boys had to get water from the spring near the school. She is a charter graduate of Pearl High School in Madison. She received a Bachelors of Science degree from Savannah State College and a Masters degree in Reading from Atlanta University in Atlanta. Due to her love for children she decided to be a teacher like her Aunt Rebecca Booker Robinson and fraternal grandmother, Bertha Watkins Brown.
She received a certificate of Christian Service from The American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, Tennessee. She received a certificate of studied from the National Theology Seminary in Nashville, Tennessee.
Ms. Brown taught in Morgan and Hancock county school systems for 36 years. During her early years of working under Mrs. Marie Bass Martin, she was assigned chairperson for the school’s booth and displays at the Morgan County Annual Fairs. The school won many first and second place awards. Her passion for the arts inspired the organization of the M.E. Lewis Performing Arts Club in Sparta.
Ms. Brown’s love and passion is working with the youths. For a number of years, she drove from state to state carrying youth to the National N.A.A.C.P. Conventions. She received the “Youth Advisors Award” at the National for her dedication. Also, she tries to keep the youth involved in church and church organizations. She will make several trips picking up kids for vacation bible school, BTU conventions and Eighth District meetings. To many, she is referred to as the “Road Runner”.
She is a member of the Mount Perry Missionary Baptist Church in the Rehobath community. While at Mount Perry, she has served as Chairman of Trustees musician and Youth Director. She has held the senior musician position at Second Baptist Church in White Plains for over 10 years.
Ms. Brown is a life member of N.A.A.C.P., Morgan County African American Museum, The Georgia Retired Educators Association, and the Pearl Burney Alumni. In her continuous dedication to the community, she is the Past Worthy Matron of the Star of Amaranth #15 Order of the Eastern Star, the Prince Hall Affiliate, the past Associate Matron of Athens District #6, the Morgan County Board of Education Association President that planted the Educational capsule at the Board of Education and held a retirement service 20 years later during Mr. Thomas Riden’s term as Superintendent of schools. She has served on a number of board and committees including the Morgan County Historical Preservation Advisory Board, The Council on Aging, the African American Museum Board, the Morgan County Chamber of Commerce and Habitat for Humanity.
Ms. Brown is a charter member of the Moore’s Ford Bridge Memorial committee which is a multicultural organization to promote racial healing and harmony for the Oconee and Walton Counties due to the July 25, 1946 lynching of two young African American couples.
She is currently the President of the Eighth District Women’s Department of the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia, Inc. and the Madison Missionary Baptist Association. Ms. Brown continues to add to her numerous honors that include M.E. Lewis Teacher of the Year in 1992-1993 in Hancock County and the Good Youth Advisor Award for Morgan County Branch in 1990. She also was the founder of the Black History Parade for Morgan and surrounding counties. This is an event the N.A.A.C.P. continues to provide the community annually. She received the Finer Womanhood Recognition Award from the Eta Omega Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., the First Historical Queen for the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia, Inc., and received the Watkinsville, Georgia Emancipation Proclamation Pioneer Award as an educator.
Elzata feels she is so thankful for the talents and gifts that God blessed her with. She enjoys speaking, singing, playing the piano, play acting, sewing, making costumes, drawing and painting. Her motto is “If I can see it, I can make it!” Her favorite support verse is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me!”