Ernest Albert Hulburd
And His Wife
Alice Lillian McNeff-Hulburd

By Edward K. Hine, Jr., ("Ted") - April 2004

Ernie and Alice Hulburd -  Photos likely taken in the early 1900's.

Ernest Albert Hulburd

Born:  Sept. 27, 1882 in Evansville, Indiana
Died:  Sept. 13, 1972 in Phoenix, Arizona
Age at Death:  Almost 90
Cause of Death:  Unknown
Buried:  Greenwood Mausoleum
               Garden of Lillies #310
               Phoenix, Arizona

Father:  Milton Hulburd
Mother:  Rebecca Jane Lukens-Hulburd
Siblings:  Henry E. Hulburd
                 Hannah Hulburd

Alice Lillian McNeff-Hulburd ("Dadie")

Born:  About 1881, Location Unknown
Died:  June 26, 1965 in Phoenix, Arizona
Age at Death:  84
Cause of Death: Unknown
Buried:  Greenwood Mausoleum
              Garden of Lillies #310
              Phoenix, Arizona

Father:  Unknown
Mother:  Unknown
Siblings:  William McNeff
                 Cornelia McNeff-Kastler

Date and place of Marriage are unknown.    Ernie and Alice had no children.


About the Ernie and Alice

Ernie Hulburd apparently served in the Spanish-American War (1898).  This "colorized" copy of an original photo of him was given to his great-niece Betty around 1967.

Ernie Hulburd was my great-great uncle, the brother of my great-grandfather Henry E. Hulburd.

As has been the case with several of my ancestors, most of what I know about Ernest and Alice Hulburd has came from records, letters, photos, and other items kept by my mother, Betty (Elizabeth) Hulburd-Hine-Alderson who passed away in 1996.  In 2004 I came upon a small box of such records regarding Ernie stored with mother's other semi-organized ancestral artifacts.

Mother always referred to Ernest Hulburd as her "Uncle Ernie" though he was really her great-uncle, the brother of her Grandfather, Henry E. Hulburd.   Ernie and Henry were almost a generation apart in age, Henry being born in 1863 and Ernie in 1882.  Ernie was thus closer in age to mother's father (C. Earl Hulburd) then to her grandfather Henry. This likely explains the use of the term "Uncle Ernie" by mother.   A short note in mother's handwriting indicates that Ernie was "raised with C.E. (Clarence Earl Hulburd, mothers father) as a brother by Henry and Ella (Hulburd)".

I note that it is indicated in 1900 census records under the listing for Henry E. Hulburd (in St. Louis) that his brother Ernest A. Hulburd was the "adopted" son of Rebecca J. Lukens-Hulburd (their father Milton was not mentioned in this census record).  On the other hand, I never recall mother mentioning that Ernie was adopted and there is nothing in the information I have recently uncovered that suggests that this was the case.  To the contrary, everything I uncovered suggests that Ernie considered himself the son of Rebecca and Milton as did mother and her sister.  If he was in fact adopted, perhaps even he was not aware of this fact.

Mother and Ernie clearly knew each other as mother was growing up in St. Louis though Ernie is known to be working in Chicago in 1924 when mother would have been 7 years old so I don't think they would have been terribly close during mother's childhood.  (I have no information that suggests that Ernie ever lived in St. Louis except perhaps in his youth.)   They apparently didn't connect emotionally till the mid 1960's.  I don't ever recall hearing of him as I was growing up in the 1950's and early 1960's.  Then several several factors came into play that I believe brought them together.  In 1963 mother moved back to her childhood home of St. Louis from New Jersey after becoming divorced.  Then in 1965 Ernie's wife Alice passed away and about this time Ernie apparently moved to a nursing home in his longtime home of Phoenix, AZ.  Mother along with her sister were now Ernie's only living relatives (he and Alice had no children) and Ernie was mother's only living Hulburd ancestor.

Probably in the 1920's

With the exception of several letters during the period from 1958 to 1962 (usually written by Ernie's wife Alice), I found no correspondence between Ernie and mother till 1965 when a large quantity of mail, presents, holiday cards, etc started being exchanged as evidenced by the fact that mother kept them.  Mother also visited Ernie in his Phoenix nursing home several times between 1966 and his 1972 death.

View Letters (PDF)

I have little information about Ernie's youth however hand written notes by my mother dated November 11, 1970 (two years before Ernie's death) indicates that he apparently served in the Army during the Spanish American War (1898).  Mother's notes were likely taken while she was talking with Ernie on the phone (Concord, California to Phoenix).  The notes read in part:

"Ernie said: Thumb split by Spanish sword. ('Steel)..... Leg shot thru steel bullet. Almost lost arm cause of insects & infection from lying on battle field all day. Leg shot clean thru. Clean hole. He (Ernie)& Ol' Hoss [mother's name for Henry E.] volunteered. He [Ernie] to young.  Mother [Rebecca Jane] had to sign everything. Ernie 16 years older than he?"

Apparently the Hulburd brothers both joined the army at the same time and their mother, Rebecca Jane Lukens, had to sign off on Ernie's enlistment cause he was to young to do so (he would have been 16 in 1998 and younger if he enlisted prior to the Spanish American war). The notes continue:

"Came home mother [Rebecca Jane] said - 'Didn't know I had raised 2 bow legged boys'.  San Juan Hill. Ernie = Fort Sill [Oklahoma] where fighting Indians.  10th Calvary - Spanish Amer. War. - (My note- I thought it was 7th Cal.)"

This suggests (but doesn't quit say outright) that Ernie and perhaps Henry may have fought in the Charge of San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders.  Apparently Ernie also fought Indians in Okalahoma and served in the Philippines.


Betty's Notes Regarding Ernie


Alice around the 1950's

I don't know when and where Ernie and Alice were married nor where she is from though I suspect the upper Midwest based on references to visiting relatives there in some letters.  My mother's handwritten notes read in part "Aunt Alice - Keokuk, Iowa (lived there for a while anyway)".

An auto insurance publication by the Maryland Casualty Company dated March 1924 has survived with Ernie's effects.  It contains a full page article titled "Superior Claim Service as a Business Getter" by E. A. Hulburd, Manager, Chicago Claim Division. This suggests that Ernie spent his career in the auto insurance business as a manager and/or executive and in 1924 was living in Chicago.  My mother's handwritten notes indicate that Ernie worked for "Maryland Causality - Prudental" suggesting that perhaps Maryland Causality merged with or was acquired by the  Prudental insurance company.

View Insurance Company Broshure (PDF)

Ernie and Alice had no children.   Among Ernie's limited surviving possessions I found an envelope containing St. Louis newspaper clippings regarding the social lives of Ernie's great-nieces Betty (my mother) and Harriet Hulburd from the mid 1930's.  Since Ernie is  believed to have been living in Chicago at the time these clippings would likely have been sent to him by his nephew C. Earl Hulburd (father of Betty and Harriet) to keep him informed as to what was going on in the lives of the youngest generation of Hulburds.

A surviving letter written to his nephew (C. Earl Hulburd) in September of 1939 suggests that Ernie and Alice were living in Chicago at the time.  Alice's obituary indicates that they were living in Phoenix by 1940 where they spent the rest of their lives.  Ernie would have been 58 years old in 1940 and my mother's handwritten notes indicate that Ernie retired in 1939 so it's likely that he and Alice moved to Phoenix to retire.  Records indicate the they apparently lived at 2210 N. 16th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ for many years before moving to The Bells Lodge (a nursing home) 4202 N. 20th Ave., Phoenix around the mid 1960's.

A letter from Ernie to Mother in 1960 indicates that he planned to visit the Oakland Cemetery in Moberly, Missouri that summer to set up perpetual care for the Hulburd and Lukens plots there (where his brother, mother, grandmother and other relatives were buried).  Photos dated in 1960 and found in my mother's photo collection suggests that he in fact did this.

Ernie and Alice likely in the 1960's

From Ernie's correspondence with mother I gather that he and Alice traveled widely (domestically but not internationally) during their life together, perhaps as a substitute for never having had children.  Ernie mentions in a letter having at some point in his life climbed 14,200 foot tall Pikes Peak in Colorado.

While not wealthy, Ernie had apparently saved enough during his life that he had no problem paying for top nursing care in his old age.  Evidently in the late 1960's a problem developed with one of his nurses who apparently was finding ways to get at Ernie's bank account.  Mother helped Ernie's long time attorney set up a trust to prevent the nurse (or anyone else) from absconding with his assets since he was getting to old to care for them himself.  When Ernie passed away in 1972 (two weeks short of his 90th birthday) mother was named as a beneficiary of his estate in his will along with her sister, several of Alice's relatives and a couple of civic organizations including the Ferguson Masonic Lodge #542 in Ferguson, Missouri (a suburb of St. Louis).  I find this interesting since, to the best of my knowledge, Ernie never lived in the St. Louis area (except possibly as a child) though his brother Henry and nephew C. Earl Hulburd did along with his mother, Rebecca Jane, in her later years.  Brother Henry and nephew Earl were both Masons and a 1962 roster from the Ferguson Lodge found among Ernie's limited surviving possessions shows that he was a member that year with his Phoenix address listed.   Perhaps the Ferguson Lodge was a family affair and Ernie maintained his membership even though he did not reside nearby and out lived his brother by 27 years and nephew by 20 years.

Ernie with grand-niece Betty Hulburd-Hine-Alderson at his Phoenix nursing home in 1970.

When Ernie passed away in September of 1972 my mother attended and helped arrange for his funeral service.

View Funeral Service "Book of Memories" (PDF)

View Estate Information (PDF)

I met Ernie only once.  In 1969 shortly after I graduated from college I was planning to drive through Phoenix on my way east from California and mother insisted that I stop by to see him, which I did.  He would have been 87 at the time and was living in the nursing home.  I recall that he was glad to meet me, was happy to be visited by a relative, was reasonably mentally alert, and was well cared for.  Looking back at my visit now I wish I'd spent more time with him and encouraged him to tell me about his life and that of his ancestors.  Among Ernie's possessions kept by my mother I found a small duplicate of my college senior year-book photo which I had apparently given him when I visited (though I have no particular memory of doing so).  Inscribed on the back in my handwriting is "Uncle Ernie,  It's been great to have meet you.  I'll stop by again the next time I'm in this part of the country.  Edward K. Hine, Jr. (Ted), July 10, 1969."

Alice's crypt in the Greenwood Mausoleum,
Garden of Lillies #310, Phoenix, Arizona

More Photos of Ernie and Alice

Alice's Obituaries