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Notable Minnesota Masons Hubert Victor Eva

by Ed Halpaus
Grand Lodge Education Officer
Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of Minnesota

By Glenn Kiecker
Historian for the Education Committee
Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Minnesota


The Text below is a digest version of an email received from someone known only as , Spirit Guardian. Spirit Guardian was moved to send it to me after seeing the name of Brother Hubert V. Eva listed in a Minnesota Mason list; which was later on

The information from Spirit Guardian was written in present tense as much of it came from the book “Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region” written when Brother Eva was still living. Some of what follows also comes from “The Book of Minnesotans Volume 1 Biographical Dictionary of Living men in Minnesota, written in 1907[ii]: this book was also written when Brother Eva was still living.

Major Hubert Victor Eva is probably best known in Duluth as the secretary of the Duluth Commercial Club, one of the foremost social organizations of the city, which gives much attention to local business and civic affairs. He is a native of Cornwall, England, born Aug. 8, 1869, son of James Richard and Addison E. (Laxyon) Eva, and comes of a family prominent in Cornwall for many generations. His mother was born in London, and her ancestors were prominent as ship owners, interested in the Australian trade. The family came to the United States in 1883, settling in Duluth; Mr. James R. Eva resided in Duluth for years. His wife died in the city of Duluth 15 March 1898 at the age of fifty-eight years.

Hubert Victor Eva received the greater part of his education in his native land of England. Shortly after coming to the United States he became engaged as a bookkeeper, for about sixteen years acting as secretary for the Silberstein & Bondy Co., one of the leading mercantile establishments of Duluth. On 1 May 1903, he resigned this position to enter upon his duties as secretary of the Duluth Commercial Club, which require the greater part of his time. He has, at different times, been interested in various business enterprises in the city, and is well and favorably known in commercial circles.

Since 1889 Hubert V. Eva has been connected with the Minnesota National Guard, in which he has become quite prominent. He acquired a captain’s commission in Company A, 3rd Regiment, and with his company entered the United States service at the breaking out of the Spanish-American war. The Minnesota troops being the first volunteers sworn into the Federal service. He commanded his company during the Spanish American War at Camp Chickamauga, Georgia and Knoxville, Tennessee.

The Minnesota Volunteers had several times been called out to quell Indian disturbances and riots. In 1898 they saw service at Cass Lake and on 2 July 1900 Company A left Duluth under Bro. Eva’s command for Koochiching[iii], which they reached on the 5th of July having been delayed twenty-four hours at Rainy Lake while awaiting the arrival of a steamer. Their route overland was over almost impassable roads. They remained three weeks, returning to Duluth after the Indians became quiet.

On 12 June 1901 Capt. Eva was promoted to the rank of major. In 1903 he was honored with election to the presidency of the Minnesota National Guard Association and discharged his duties with efficiency and fidelity.

Major Eva became well known as a hearty advocate of measures tending to promote the welfare of his city and State, working energetically, with due appreciation of the needs of his community.

On 4 Aug 1896 Major Eva was married to Miss Laura Forbes, daughter of Daniel Forbes, of Montreal, Canada, and they have had one child, Victor Forbes. The major and his wife were members of the Episcopal Church. Fraternally he was 32° K.C.C.H in the Scottish Rite Valley of Duluth, MN, and a member of the Shrine.

Spirit Guardian also wrote in the email message: “Hubert is my great grandfather. He died in Duluth, MN in Oct 1971 at the age of 102: He died in an auto accident; being hit by a car while walking after attending church. He was a Colonel[iv] and fought in several wars/uprisings. He helped found the national Better Business Bureau. The historical society in Duluth – located at the university library, [which] has an extensive file on him.

Spirit Guardian is willing to help other Ancestry members! Here are some specific things Spirit Guardian is willing to do:[v]

· Look up and copy a document from a local library or History Center

· Take pictures of tombstones from a local cemetery

· Take pictures of local buildings or other pertinent landmark

“Thought is useful when it motivates action and a hindrance when it substitutes for action.” Bill Raeder.

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Last modified: March 22, 2014