“Engineer with Cuba Eastern R. R., Guantanamo, Cuba, 1906-07” is the only documentation I have of Will’s time in Cuba.
Cicero Mead Hobby, Will Hobby’s father, is always referred to as “The Doctor,” even by his wife in letters to her sister.
“3:30 P.M. Land in sight! A dark streak just above the horizon which gradually grows plainer. Now there is bustle and excitement on board, packing up, brushing up &c…”
February 25, 1907: “You may have wondered at some of the things I did or didn’t do in last few weeks–and I can explain now there was a mistake or oversight about my trunk and I have just gotten it! “
Besides coral, seeds, and dried flowers, Mabel–or her father who arrived later–purchased a bamboo cane, then a common accessory for ladies’ dress.
February 7, 1907: “My dear Mother, If only it would always be possible to spend February in such a delightful climate! This is so fine and makes one feel so good!”
Cousin Mabel’s influence on my grandfather and his family continued for three generations, and shaped my own growth and experience as if she had been a third parent.
The first members of the Hobby family arrived in Cuba in 1906…George Gibbs was Chief Army Signal Officer of the Cuban Pacification…
Four years before the gathering in Cuba, Mabel visited the Hobbys in Iowa. We learn more about the family from what Mabel wrote her mother.
Four years before Hobbys and Potters met in Cuba, Mabel Potter visited her aunt and cousins in Iowa City and established relationships that continued in Cuba in 1907. March 1903: Mabel Potter, who was working as a governess in La Crosse, Wisconsin, visited Aunt Mary and family in Iowa City for the first time. Mabel’s mother, Ellen (Parker) Potter, hoarded family letters which are my primary source of family history. Mabel’s cousins Ned, Ruth, and Paul were adults living elsewhere, but…