Juozas Tūbelis – state, political and public figure, long-term head of the independent Government of Lithuania, agricultural specialist, press officer. His merits to the state are compared with those of Lithuanian President Antanas Smetona, but he is remembered much less often because he remained in the shadow of the President.
Tūbelis was born on 18 April, 1882 in the family of hardworking farmers Juozas Tūbelis and Barbora Stašytė-Tūbelienė in Panemunėlis parish. 1893 J. Tūbelis went to study at Mintauja Gymnasium, from which he was expelled because he strictly refused to read prayers in Russian. 1902 graduated from gymnasium in Liepaja. After studies J. Tūbelis worked as a teacher in Riga schools for one year and in 1909 he received a job in the Kaunas Land Management Commission – in Raseiniai and Šiauliai regions. He divided villages into single farms, divided common use lands. On February 16, 1918 after the proclamation of Lithuania’s independence, J. Tūbelis was among those people who laid the political and economic foundations of the state. Already in the first government of A. Voldemar, he held the position of the Minister of Agriculture and State Property. During the period of the Seimas, J. Tūbelis, like other nationalists, lost the positions of power, and after withdrawing from active political activity, he started to establish cooperatives.