A Virtual Walk Through Jacksonville History

Stop 30: Kaspar & Eleanor Kubli House

From the Eagle Brewery, let’s proceed to 305 South Oregon Street at the corner of Oregon and Pine. Built around 1862, this house is known as the Kubli House, presumably because the Kubli family lived here for over twenty-five years.  

Photo by Sandy Brown.

A wood frame, one and a half story Victorian with gabled roof and wraparound front porch, the main portion of the house undoubtedly predates the Kublis and was probably constructed in the early 1860’s for Reuben F. Maury and his wife Elizabeth.

The Maurys were the first known occupants of the house, either renting or owning it. Maury was one of Jacksonville’s successful early merchants. He had arrived in Jacksonville in 1852, and by 1854, he and his partner, Benjamin Davis, were carrying one of the heaviest stocks of general merchandise goods in town. Their partnership lasted until the onset of the Civil War. (See Stop #24, Old City Hall.)

P.J. Ryan, a local contractor known for his “fire proof brick” commercial buildings, acquired the lot in 1864 in payment for debts owed him by Maury, Davis and an A.H. Miller. At that time, it had “a frame dwelling house” on it; an 1864 map of Jacksonville shows a similar size dwelling on the site. Ryan “flipped” the property within a year, selling it to Levi T. Davis, a physician, who owned it and an adjacent site until 1872. That year, the combined properties were bought by Kaspar Kubli, Senior.

Photo Source: SOHS #3668

Kaspar K. Kubli, Sr. SOHS #368
Eleanor Newcomb Kubli, SOHS #14786

Kaspar Sr. was a native of Switzerland. He immigrated in 1852, landing in New Orleans by ship, crossing the Great Plains by wagon train, and arriving in Jacksonville in October 1853, shortly after his twenty-first birthday.

On the way, Kaspar met Eleanor Jane Newcomb, daughter of the wagon train captain. Kubli and Eleanor would marry in 1857, and eventually have seven children.

After mining on Jackson Creek for two winters, Kaspar joined fellow countrymen Peter Britt and Veit Schutz in the business of packing supplies between Crescent City and Jacksonville. With the grubstake he acquired, he pursued farming and stock raising interests for the next few years, acquiring extensive land holdings in the Applegate Valley and building a ranch house, store, and mill. He even served as the local postmaster. Following the death of two of his children in the 1871 diphtheria epidemic, he moved his family into Jacksonville. Kaspar bought the Union Stable from Thomas Reames, then worked as a dry goods merchant, then as a tin smith, finally becoming a successful hardware merchant.

In 1884, he erected the two-story brick commercial building on California Street which still bears his name—a testament to his enterprise.

Photo by Carolyn Kingsnorth

Kaspar was also active in public and civic affairs. He was twice elected Jackson County Treasurer. He was a member of Jacksonville’s International Order of Oddfellows Lodge No. 10, as well as a charter member of the IOOF’s Table Rock Encampment and of the Ruth Rebekah Lodge. In 1893, he was elected Grand Patriarch of the Grand Lodge of Oregon. Kaspar played an active in the management of the local Presbyterian church, and Eleanor served for many years as one of its trustees.

In Kaspar’s memorium written for the Pioneer Society, Peter Britt and David Linn praised him as “earnest, brave and forceful. . . a citizen of unimpeachable integrity, fearless in his convictions and courageous in maintaining them. . . .a friend true and unwavering.” Kaspar died in 1897, and Eleanor in 1926. Both are buried in the Jacksonville Cemetery.

 


Sources Cited

Evans, Gail, E.H. State of Oregon Inventory of Historic Places. “Kaspar Kubli House.”

Kingsnorth, Carolyn. “Kaspar Kubli.” Friends of the Jacksonville Historic Cemetery.

Sundstrand, David. “Kaspar Kubli.” Southern Oregon Historical Society.

Kubli, Kaspar, 1830-1897: Southern Oregon Historical Society Library.” Kubli, Kaspar, 1830-1897 | Southern Oregon Historical Society Library, web.archive.org/web/20150402115802/sohistory.org/content/kubli-kaspar-1830-1897. 

Democratic Times, 21 Oct. 1871, pp. 3–3

 


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