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Earl "Red" Huber

Earl “Red” Huber (above right, notice the EN paddle, far right) serves up a shot to Brother Wash at Turkey Bowl 1978

Earl “Red” Huber was the owner of The Hitching Post from 1949 until his death in 1982.  The Tavern had been in uninterrupted operation from 1829 until Red took ill in 1980.  Red was a unique and colorful individual.  A lifelong bachelor, he took up residence above the tavern.  His mint condition, 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk could be seen parked in his garage.

Red’s best friend was Darrtown native, Walter “Smokey” Alston, a Miami graduate and Hall of Fame manager of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1954 - 1976.

He was loyal supporter of Sigma Nu and helped to relieve the friction between the fraternity and the local Darrtown residents when both were in his establishment.  Red was in his mid-70’s when we were frequenting his Hitching Post.  Although he may have helped to tend bar on occasion, he usually had a bartender serving beers.  Normally, Red would be found standing at the south end of his bar, sipping whiskey from a shot glass.

It was Epsilon Nu etiquette to say “Hello” to Red when we entered The Post.  We would walk up, shake hands or say “Hello, Red.  How are you?”  The common response was “Good, Good, Better, Better.”  A man of few words, if you bought Red a shot, he might engage you in some terrific conversation.

Red was held in high regard by the Chapter and he returned the respect.   It was common practice for Sigma Nus to clear the place of all empty bottles and glassware and wipe down the tables after an evening of beers and bowling.

What follows is an interesting piece found on the Darrtown, Ohio website:

Mr. Earl “Red” Huber is remembered both for his tenure as the proprietor of Darrtown’s Hitching Post Saloon  and for his unique personality.

Stories abound about the legendary saloon keeper. Is it true that he once shot his pistol into the floor of the tavern to get the attention of a rowdy customer? 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 attention.

Significantly, as noted below, the story that earned Mr. Huber the most notoriety is absolutely true.

During the 1950's, "Red" Huber really did sponsor an annual Christmas Party for children and that act of generosity earned him wide-spread and well-deserved praise and recognition.

The following information appeared in the November 1957 issue of the “Buckeye Tavern,” which was a newsletter disseminated by persons associated with the tavern business in Ohio. The following 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”.