Iris Williamson Hubbard

Iris Williamson Hubbard

Iris Evalyn Williamson was born July 7, 1901 in Lipan, Texas to Jefferson Bartow and Anna Isabelle Funderburk Williamson.  She grew up at Lipan and attended Lipan Schools.  After finishing high school, she obtained her teaching certificate and taught in the rural schools near Lipan before her marriage to George Arthur Hubbard.


After Arthur’s death, she continued her teaching career until her retirement.  She began researching information for a book about the history of Lipan.  She stated that, “the purpose of writing this history was to collect incidents and facts that would give the reader a true picture of the people and way of life from the time the first white man came to the Lipan area until the early 1900’s and, in some instances, until the present time.”


Her book, GLANCING BACKWARD, A HISTORY OF LIPAN, HOOD COUNTY, TEXAS, was published in 1975.  A signing party for the debut of the book took place on May 31, 1975 at the Lipan Community Center.  A second edition was published in 1983; a third edition was published in 1998.


Iris Williamson Hubbard enjoyed a long, productive, and happy retirement until her death at age 88 on January 20, 1989 in Weatherford, Texas.





By Bernice Maddux

Special to the Weatherford Democrat



Iris Williamson Hubbard, fast approaching her 87th birthday, has never been still long enough to get bored with life.  She approaches each day with optimism and great expectations.


The now retired teacher/author/traveler keeps busy.  At the moment, she’s rounding up pictures and all the history available on family members in preparation for a reunion to be held in Granbury soon.


Iris was born July 7, 1901 in Lipan to Bartow and Belle Williamson.  The oldest of four children – one brother and two sisters – she lived in Lipan until 1918.


November 11, 1918 was a big day in Iris’s young life.  In addition to being the day the Armistice was signed ending World War I, it was her first day to teach school.  The place was Fairview, between Weatherford and Granbury.  “The school was recently torn down,” she said sadly.


“I didn’t know about the war ending until after school when my boyfriend, who had just been inducted into the army and stationed in Fort Worth, called me.”


She taught school for 26 years, eight years before marriage to Arthur Hubbard of Dennis on August 28, 1946, and 18 years after her marriage.


Her husband, who died in San Antonio in 1964, was a pipeline construction worker.  They lived in twelve different states and reared five children: two boys and three girls.


She first taught on a teaching certificate from North Texas State University in Denton.  After the law changed, she returned to NTSU in 1948 to complete her master’s degree.


In addition to several other places, she was employed by the San Antonio school district for 12 years, retiring from there in 1970.


“It came to the attention of my principal and fellow teachers that I seemed to have a talent for helping students with learning disabilities, so they graciously consented to my doing it.  But, it was a challenge I enjoyed and derived great satisfaction from doing.”


Iris lived on a farm at Lipan during the depression.  The worst thing about the depression?  “Too much work and too little money,” she answered.  “I canned 1, 400 jars of stuff during those years.”  That naturally played havoc with her desire to ever can again.  “Oh, I might make a jar of jelly now and then,” she added.


Having spent many years living in Weatherford, she moved back in 1977.


Iris enjoys her church (Grace-First Presbyterian Church), travel (she’s been to 16 European countries and made four cruises), and writing.


Her book, Glancing Backward, a History of Lipan, Texas, was published in 1975.  “It just happened,” she said of her book.  “I don’t write for publication anymore.  I am writing some short scenes from my life, which I hope my children and grandchildren will find interesting.”


Her hobbies?  “Being lazy,” she said with a smile.  “I enjoy reading, bridge, crochet, and genealogy research,” she added.  “And writing letters.  I keep in touch with old friends accumulated through the years and have been corresponding with a lady I’ve never seen for 35 years.”


She and her daughter, Bel Wise of Weatherford, plan a trip to Alabama and North Carolina this summer to dig up history on relatives.


“We’re not sure where our ancestors came from and won’t rest until we find out.  My daughter has a way of finding out anything she wants to know, Iris said.


Iris’s son, Bartow Hubbard, also lives in Weatherford.


“I miss getting in my car and going anywhere I want to,” she said, referring to recent eye problems which put a stop to that.  “I still drive, but just locally.”


This energetic woman is not the only Iris in her home.  People take advantage of her name to send her cards, prominently displayed on her wall, adorned with Irises, as well as other items including a whole set of glassware bearing her trademark.


She was invited to summarize her life in one sentence.  “It’s been exciting, eventful, and rewarding.”


Would she make any changes if she had it all to do over?  “I might handle a few things differently,” she said, “but no major changes.”


“I wouldn’t stay on the farm so long,” she said with a laugh.

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