Kin Hubbard & Abe Martin
Frank McKinney (Kin) Hubbard (1868 – 1930) was a popular cartoonist, humorist, and journalist known by his pen name “Kin” Hubbard.
Hubbard based his most famous creation, Abe Martin, his country bumpkin philosopher, in Brown County, Indiana. During the early years of the twentieth century, the isolated hilly county had one of Indiana’s highest poverty and illiteracy rates. Hubbard thought having a rustic Brown County resident as a font of wisdom humorous. Many of the quips Hubbard coined remain in use today.
The original Abe Martin cartoons ran in hundreds of U.S. newspapers from 1904 to 1930. After Hubbard’s death, The Indianapolis News re-ran the cartoons through 1980, fifty years after his death.
For most of the peak years of his career, Hubbard lived on the east side of Indianapolis, in the Irvington neighborhood. His house still stands at the corner of East New York Street and Emerson Avenue, across from a small park dedicated to his memory.
A couple of years after the cartoonist’s death, Brown County State Park named the new Abe Martin Lodge after his best-loved character.
On December 17, 2019, the 115th anniversary of Abe’s first appearance, the Irvington Historical Society added a cutout of the country philosopher from Irvington to Kin Hubbard Park.