William J. Jubb was born on June 29, 1836, in Monroe County, Michigan, the son of Edward and Maria (Quitman).
William’s parents were both born in England and immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Michigan by the mid-1830s. By 1840 Edward was probably living in Brutus, Ingham County. In 1850 William was living with the Peter Rector family in Wheatfield, Ingham County.
William stood 5’5” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was a 24-year-old farmer possibly living in Kent County or Crockery, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. (Curiously, William did not enlist in Company I, which was made up largely of men from Ottawa County.) He was left sick at Grand Rapids on June 13, 1861, when the Regiment departed for Washington, DC, but eventually rejoined the Regiment, probably in early July. He was absent sick and wounded in the hospital in July of 1862, possibly as a result of having been wounded at Fair Oaks, Virginia on May 31, 1862.
More seriously, it appears that sometime in the winter of 1862, William cut off his thumb, either by design or by accident. According to Ransom Howell of Company B, who knew Jubb during the war, he “heard the boys talking about it at the time. It was said that he had been cutting, or hewing something with a hatchet or hand axe and had accidentally cut his thumb off. I did not see his thumb at the time he cut it, nor until after it had entirely healed. As I recollect it, the thumb was cut off very close to his hand then and it was said that the Regimental Surgeon [Dr. James Grove] who dressed it cut it off considerably above where the injury was located.”
When asked in 1900 if he had ever heard it said that Jubb’s loss of his thumb was “other than by accident” Howell replied, “Well, there was some talk at the time or shortly afterwards, to the effect that it was an act of cowardice. I understood some of the boys to say that the surgeon who amputated the thumb said that such was the case. I do not know any person who would know anything on that line. Personally I always thought it must have been an accident. I never believed that he purposely cut his thumb off for the reason that he was a good soldier and never shirked his duty while I knew him in the service.
William eventually returned to duty. He was reported missing in action on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia, but in fact, had only been wounded on May 3. According to Ransom Howell, during the battle William “was struck by a falling limb, which had been cut off by s shell and injured in some way” and subsequently “sent to hospital.” Howell reported that he visited him in the hospital which was located near Falmouth, Virginia. In any case, Howell noted that William eventually recovered and returned to the regiment.
He was discharged on September 4, 1863, at Camp Convalescent near Alexandria, Virginia, for “confirmed tuberculosis, hernia, loss of left thumb.”
William gave his mailing address on his discharge paper as Nunica, Ottawa County, and shortly after returning home to Michigan he married Michigan native Sylvia Dutcher (b. 1844) on October 9, 1863. They had at least five children: Elliott (b. 1864), Amanda (b. 1866), Seth (b. 1868) and Dora S. (b. 1870) and Garfield (b. 1884).
In November of 1864 he applied for and was granted a pension (no. 240615).
By 1870 William was working as a farmer and living with his wife and three children in Bennington Station, Bennington Township, Shiawassee County; Sylvia’s father and brother lived on farms near by. William eventually settled in Otsego County and by 1880 was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Livingston, Otsego County. He was living in Gaylord, Otsego County in December of 1886 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association; he was also a member of Grand Army of the Republic Gaylord Post No. 61 in Gaylord. William was still residing in Gaylord in 1888, 1890 and in 1894.
He died of paralysis in Livingston Township, Otsego County, on September 4, 1903, and was buried in Bagley cemetery in Otsego County.
In 1903 his widow applied for and was granted a pension (no. 626429), drawing $30 per month by 1924. By 1907 she was living in Orange, Orange County, California, and in Laguna Beach, California in 1924.