November 1, 1992: Death of Duluth Novelist Margaret Ann Hubbard

The cover of Margaret Hubbard’s 1952 novel, “Murder Takes a Veil.” (Image: X-Comm.)

On this day in Duluth in 1992, Duluth native Margaret Ann Hubbard died at her home at Duluth’s Benedictine Health Center. She was 83. Hubbard was born in Souris, North Dakota—not far from the Canadian border—on October 17, 1909. In 1924 her family moved to the Zenith City and made their home at 918 East Fifth Street. She would later graduate from Central High School, Minnesota State Teachers College in Duluth, and the University of Minnesota, graduating with an English degree in 1932. She moved back to Duluth and, unable to find work, turned to writing, adapting children’s stories for the stage for the Duluth Children’s Theater. Despite local and even national success, she earned little money and turned to what today we would call “young adult” fiction. Beginning with 1940’s Little Whirlwind, she wrote fifteen novels or fictionalized biographies by 1964. Two of the novels—Captain Juniper (1947) and Halloran’s Hill (1953)—take place in early Duluth. She also wrote four mysteries for adults, beginning with Murder Takes the Veil (1950). There is much more to Hubbard’s life, including her marriage to Joseph Priley, namesake of Duluth’s Priley Fountain. Read it here.

2 Responses to November 1, 1992: Death of Duluth Novelist Margaret Ann Hubbard

  1. Captain Juniper is based in part on the childhood of Duluth artist David Ericson (1869-1946). Although she no doubt knew of him as a celebrated local artist, Hubbard may also have met Ericson after he returned to Duluth in the early 1940s.

    The sailing theme is consistent with Ericson’s love of the water, and on the book jacket, there he is in a little catamaran. He’s the boy with one leg, obviously.

    In this late period of Ericson’s life he helped design sets for the Duluth Children’s Theatre, where some of her plays were staged…

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