John Hunt, retired farmer, and one of the oldest citizens of Hancock county, is a native of Ohio, born in the county of Clinton on the 13th day of March, 1822. The American branch of the Hunt family is traceable to a very early date in the history of North Carolina, in which state the subjects father and grandfather were born. The father, Libni Hunt, married in North Carolina Jane Hockett and as early as 1796 migrated to Highland county, Ohio, of which part of the state he was one of the earliest pioneers. By occupation a farmer and miller, he carried on both vocations in Ohio until the year 1837, at which time he disposed of his interests there and, moving to Rush county, Indiana, bought a farm and erected a mill, one of the first enterprises of the kind in that section of the country. The mill was a small affair, manufactured both lumber and meal and, though supplied with the most primitive machinery, was highly prized by the early settlers for many miles around, furnishing them with building material and a coarse breadstuff, such as the pioneers of those times were wont to use. Libni Hunt made a good farm and became a widely known and useful citizen, taking an active interest in the development of Rush countys agricultural resources and bearing his full share in clearing up the country. He spent the remainder of his life on the farm which he originally located and lived to a good old age, dying in the year 1871. His father accompanied him to Ohio, but came further west, departing this life in Highland county in the early years of the nineteenth century. Libni and Jane Hunt had six children, namely: Alfred who owns and lives on the old homestead in Rush county; Anna, deceased; Marian, deceased; John, whose name introduces this sketch; Priscilla, wife of Zachariah Freez, of the county; Joseph, a resident of Charlottesville, and Jane, who lives in Knightstown.
John Hunt spent his early years in the country where he was born and when a lad of fifteen came with his parents to Indiana, remaining on the farm in Rush county until attaining his majority. Reared in the country and from early life accustomed to toil in field, meadow and wood, his life was devoid of striking incidents and like a dutiful son he assisted his father and industriously discharged the obligations which he was under in return for the care and solicitude manifested by kind parents in his behalf. Educations privileges throughout the middle west sixty and seventy years ago were exceedingly limited and the methods of imparting instruction in the pioneer schools very crude, consequently his early intellectual training was considerably circumscribed, consisting at most of a fair knowledge of the then indispensable branches, reading, writing and arithmetic, obtained of winter seasons when he was not otherwise engaged on the farm. Reaching manhoods estate, he very naturally turned his attention to the cultivation of the soil, and the better to enable him to carry on his vocation with satisfaction and profit took to himself a companion and helpmeet in 1840 in the person of Miss Nancy LeMay, with whom re removed the same year to Blue River township, Hancock county. Purchasing land here, he cleared and developed a good farm and continued to cultivate the same as long as he remained in active life, meeting with encouraging financial success and in time becoming one of the most enterprising agriculturists in the community. After two short, happy years of domestic bliss, his faithful wife was taken from him, dying in 1842, leaving him alone to mourn her loss, the union not being blessed with offspring.
Subsequently, Mr. Hunt contracted a marriage with Miss Sarah Hoover, of Wayne county, who bore him the following children: (1) Isaac, a resident of Louisiana, married Mary Owens, and they have eight children, three sons and five daughters, all living, namely: Lee, Emery, Rosalind, Sarah, Emma, Alice, John and Leah; (2) Lucinda is the wife of Benjamin New, an agriculturist living near Pendleton, Madison county, Indiana. They are the parents of six children, four sons and tow daughters, namely: Josephine, Oliver H., Arthur A., Edna B. and Edgar T., twins, and Lester O. (3) William H., a resident of Columbus county, North Carolina, wedded Emma Brown, by whom he had one child, Sarah A. His wife dying, he subsequently married Minnie Mullen and to this union were born eight children, Carl, Eva, Clarence, Ray, Clinton, Susan, Clifford and George. (4) Mary A. is the wife of Jackson Morrow, a farmer of Hamilton county, this state and they have three children, Elmer, Stella and Emma. (5) Alfred T.., a physician of Charlottesville, Indiana, graduated from the Medical College of Indianapolis with the class of 1890, and practiced four years in Indianapolis before removing to his present location. He married Ora Harold and they are the parents of four children, Neva, John, Ruth and Esther. (6) Oliver M., a resident of Brazil, this state, wedded Emma Scott, of Hancock county, and they have two children, Winemah and Earl.
For a period of sixty years Mr. Hunt carried on the pursuit of agriculture in Blue River township and during that time lived the life of an honest, industrious husbandman, achieving enviable repute as a successful tiller of the soil and earning a name and character which won him the respect of a large circle of neighbors and friends. The county can boast of no better citizen and all who know him bear testimony to his many noble qualities and give him the praise due to one who has labored so long and earnestly in assisting to bring about the large degree of prosperity which Hancock county now enjoys. His has indeed been an active life and the work he has done and the good accomplished will remain for untold years in the future a monument to his industry and correct intentions. After accumulating a sufficiency of this worlds good to render comfortable and free from care the remainder of his earthly sojourn, Mr. Hunt, in 1890, disposed of his farm of one hundred and fifty-five acres and, moving to Charlestown, has since been living a life of honorable retirement. Surrounded by his many friends and neighbors, he is now passing his declining years in peace and quiet, enjoying in a marked degree the respect and love of all, living in retrospect the early days when the county was new and contemplating the many remarkable changes in which he was an active factor and through which Hancock has won an honored place among his sister counties of the state. In politics he was originally a Whig, but when the old organization disintegrated he turned to the Republican party, the principles of which he has since supported with his influence and ballot. In 1865 he was elected trustee of his township, aside from which he has never held nor sought official station.
Transcribed from Biographical Memoirs of Hancock County B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Logansport, Indiana, 1902 Pages 282-284.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI July 16, 2002.
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