Bio: Hobbs, Joseph (1914)
Surnames: Hobbs, Hills, Wilson
----Source: History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin (1914) pages 730-731
Joseph Hobbs, one of the early and substantial settlers of Eau Claire, is a native of England and was born at St. Peters, East Kent, July 9, 1836. His parents, Henry A. and Mary Ann (Hills) Hobbs died when our subject was but six years of age. Thrown upon his own resources early in life, he attended the Dover school until he reached the age of thirteen, when he became fascinated with the life of a sailor and went to sea. His first voyage was from London to Calcutta, India, and on his return trip the vessel touched at Cape Town and the Island of St. Helena. His second voyage was to Calcutta, touching at the Island of Maderia and Cape Town. He sailed from Calcutta to Madrid, along the coast of Malibora, through the China sea where the ship was wrecked. After being on the water in open boat for three days, he, with a few others, was picked up by a passing ship and taken to Hong Kong, China. From there he sailed to India with a cargo of bullion in company with a man-of-war. The vessel and convoy were attacked by pirates in the Straits of Malacca, but they arrived safely at Calcutta. He sailed from there to Boston, Massachusetts, thence around Cape Horn to San Francisco, California, and along the coast to the mouth of the Columbia river to Puget Sound. He returned to San Francisco and sailed southward touching at Peru, Bolivia and Valparaiso, Chili, and around the Horn to Liverpool, England, where he arrived in 1855. Remaining here a short time, he again sailed, going this time to Melbourne, Australia. Returning to England, he visited his native village where he found his brother and family about to sail for America, and decided to accompany them. They arrived safely in New York and having spent six years on the water, Mr. Hobbs decided to come west with his brother.
He came to Wisconsin and first located in Green Lake county where he lived until the Spring of 1861, when he came to Eau Claire county and purchased a farm of 120 acres of land in Washington township, to which he subsequently added until he owned 320 acres. Here he successfully engaged in farming, and for many years has been numbered among the most influential and highly respected citizens of the community.
On December 25, 1860, Mr. Hobbs married Jane Wilson, daughter of Peter and Tabitha Wilson. To this union were born eight children, as follows: Henry A., Tabitha E., Frank W., Mary E., Ann M., Daniel N., Edwin A. and Laura. While Mr. Hobbs has never held nor sought political office, he has affiliated with the Republican party and in religious matters, both he and Mrs. Hobbs are members of the Baptist church of Eau Claire.
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