Feb. 12, 1949
By Thomas R. Bayles
One of the most remarkable women in this part of Long Island is Mrs. Jerusha Bubb of Middle Island, who celebrated her ninety-fifth birthday on October 14, 1947. She is still active, retains her hearing and is able to thread a No. 9 needle without glasses. Her memory is remarkable and she converses about events of years gone by as if they were yesterday. She sows and reads a great deal and keeps up with the events of the day.
Mrs. Bubb’s father was Nelson Nathaniel Munsell, and her grandfather was Alexander Munsell. Her great grandfather was also Alexander Munsell, who enlisted in the Revolution with Major Leek before he was 16 years old. He afterwards married the oldest daughter of the famous “Bull” Smith, who according to tradition purchased from the Indians on a bull in a day. This tract now comprises the Town of Smithtown.
Mrs. Bubb’s grandfather on her mother’s side was Jeremiah Havens. She was one a family of two brothers and eight sisters. Her younger brother, Alexander, enlisted in the first company to be formed in Suffolk County in June 1861, to serve in the Civil War, and died of fever in November, 1861, and was buried in Arlington Cemetery.
Her older brother was on a whaling trip to Greenland when the Civil War broke out and upon his return in the fall of 1861, immediately enlisted in October of that year. He came through the war and died in 1899.
Mrs. Bubb tells of the time when her brother, Alexander, and his troops were reviewed by President Lincoln, who shook hands with them all. When Lincoln came to Alexander, who was 6 feet 3 inches tall, he asked him how tall he was. When Alexander replied, President Lincoln said that was his own height, and that he always liked a tall boy.
She tells how some of the men who wished to avoid service in the army had their teeth pulled so they would not be eligible, as they had to use their teeth in handling ammunition. Some also had their thumbs cut off for the same reason.
Mrs. Bubb related an incident relative to the Great Blizzard of 1888. One of her family took the morning train to New York from Yaphank, but the train only got as far as what is now Holtsville, where they were stranded for two days. Someone on the train found a case of eggs in the baggage car, so they got hot water from the locomotive and boiled the eggs. A barrel of crackers was also found, so the passengers feasted on crackers and boiled eggs.
Mrs. Bubb was married to Adam Bubb in 1889, and they had three children, Louis, Herman, and Mary Elizabeth. She lives in the family homestead with her daughter.
Possessed of a charming personality, she is loved by all who know her.