Biography - Earl "Red" Huber
Earl “Red” Huber, the proprietor of the Hitching Post, from 1949 into the late 1970's, is remembered for his unique and generous personality.
Stories and questions abound about the legendary saloon keeper.
For example, here are two questions commonly told by those who remember "Red."
1. Is it true that he once shot his pistol into the floor of the tavern to get the attention of a rowdy customer?
2. Did he really have holes drilled in the ceiling of the saloon, so that he could keep an eye on things from his residence on the second floor?
Whether fable or fact, "Red" Huber’s personality and lifestyle generated stories.
None more so, than the TRUE STORY that appears immediately below.
The Hitching Post in the 1950's
Earl "Red" Huber
From the late 1940s until the early 1960s, "Red" Huber really sponsored a series of annual Christmas parties for children and that act of generosity earned him wide-spread, and well-deserved, praise and recognition.
The following Buckeye Tavern article about Earl "Red" Huber captures the flavor of the man and his kindness to kids.
The article appeared in the November 1957 issue of the the “Buckeye Tavern,” which was a newsletter disseminated by persons associated with the tavern business in Ohio. The narrative is not the entire article, as it was originally published; the text was edited for brevity.
"Earl F. 'Red' Huber is perhaps one of the nicest men your writer has ever been privileged to know, interview and talk with. A rugged individualist, 'Red' Huber is a combination of the type of individual embodied in stories by Damon Runyon, Zane Grey, with some of Will Rogers and Irvin S. Cobb tossed in.
A bachelor, 'Red' Huber served his country in World War II; despite the fact that his years would have undoubtedly excused him (he’d never admit this). He still smokes Bull Durham and is an artist at the lost art of 'rolling his own.'
Mr. Huber is a collector of inanimate objects, as well as close friends.
In the Hitching Post, there hangs a hand-made horse shoe made in 1906 on the stage of Hamilton, Ohio’s Jefferson Theatre, by "Fighting Bob" Fitzsimmons, former heavyweight boxing champion.
Walter Emmons 'Smokey' Alston, manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers (now of Los Angeles) baseball team, lives just down the street from the Hitching Post in the off-season and he and "Red" are inseparable buddies. The Hitching Post could almost be called 'the Alston Museum' for here hangs a Louisville slugger bat autographed by every member of the World Champion 1955 Dodgers. In a trophy cabinet, nearby, is Alston's award as Baseball Manager of the Year and the Graham McNamee Memorial Award of the Sports Broadcasters Association.
Despite all this, 'Red' Huber and his famous Hitching Post Tavern's chief claim to fame comes from still another direction. 'Red,' a truly altruistic gentleman, has a profound love for children. Every year, during the busy Christmas week, he goes out of business for a day and, as a Hamilton newspaper headlined the story last year, 'North Pole moves to Darrtown.' This is when Red Huber sponsors his annual Hitching Post 'Christmas Party for children.' "
For more information about, and photographs of, several Hitching Post Christmas parties for children,
Earl "Red" Huber
Bill Moeller salutes Red Huber
Bill Moeller was a popular, respected, and widely-read sport writer for the Hamilton (Ohio) Journal during the mid-to-latter part of the 20th century. His column, titled "Bill's Board," typically contained a hodgepodge of stories that were part sports and part human interest.
Bill Moeller wrote the following 80th birthday tribute to Earl "Red" Huber.
From the Hamilton Journal News - April 18, 1976
"Christmas story on Easter Day
Sounds confusing, but this Easter Day is an appropriate time to tell a little Christmas story.
In many cities, towns, and hamlets in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, there are young men and women with baseballs autographed by Walter "Smokey" Alston of the Dodgers.
Lots of people have baseballs autographed by Alston; but, these are special, because they were signed during a certain Christmas season.
Most of the young people who have them are in their late 20s or early 30s for they received those prized baseballs in 1956, at an unforgettable Christmas party, by a bachelor who loved children.
For many years, this fellow gave Christmas parties for the children of the neighborhood. Then, more and more children started to attend, as word of the wonderful affairs spread.
The climax came in 1956. The host had 1700 packages prepared for the children and the first 600 included balls autographed by Alston. He paid for all this out of his own pocket, because he loved kids.
There still was a large crowd, when all the Christmas packages were distributed, so "Santa Claus," who did not wear a costume, gave out new one dollar bills to the other children, so no one would be disappointed. He went through about a thousand.
There was terrific traffic jam for the scene of the party was Darrtown, which isn't used to that kind of influx.
Not only did the youngsters get gifts, but they enjoyed a program at the Knights of Pythias Hall at which Rev. Roy Whisenhunt of St. John's church told Christmas stories and led in the singing of carols.
And why is this story being told on Easter? Because, the man who gave the party and provided so much happiness for children in his lifetime is the nearing a special occasion. Earl (Red) Huber is the man and he will be 80 years old Tuesday and all his friends in the tri-state area hope it will be a memorable one for him…as memorable as some of the parties he gave for children.
Huber still operates the Hitching Post Tavern, which is one of Ohio's oldest. It opened in 1817, not too many years after Conrad Darr laid out the village.
Huber has operated the Hitching Post, since 1949. It is a friendly stopping place for sports fans on their way to and from Miami University athletic contests. It's just a couple of blocks from the residence of Alston, in the heart of Darrtown.
One of the really big nights was the one when Alston returned home, after winning his first world championship with the Dodgers. There was a "who's who" of Hamilton and Oxford in the huge crowd that filled the tavern and spilled into the yard and sidewalk.
On the eve of his 80th birthday, Huber, known for his kindness to children, has many pleasant memories."
1. The "Bill's Board" column that appears above was published in the Hamilton (Ohio) Journal on Easter Sunday, April 18, 1976. Since Bill referred to Earl Huber's 80th birthday on Tuesday, we can calculate that Earl "Red" Huber was born April 20, 1896.
2. However, census records indicate that Earl Huber was born April 19, 1898. See details at the Huber family page.
For several years, during the week before Christmas, "Red" Huber shut down his tavern business for a day,
so that he could host a Christmas party for children.
What began as a holiday party for children from Darrtown and vincinity soon attracted young people from milles around.