JAMES W HUNTER
There is a class of the younger farmers of Kansas who, though they did not come into the state early enough to entitle them to a place on the roll of its pioneers, came early enough to the localities where they took up government land to have pioneer experiences under conditions somewhat more favorable than those which obtained in the early days. The progressive citizen whose name is above is a conspicuous representative of the class mentioned.
James W. Hunter, a well-known farmer of Union township, Doniphan county, was born in Carroll county, Ohio, July 1, 1860, and is a son of John and Catherine (West) Hunter. John Hunter was a son of James Hunter, an Irishman, whose four sons and three daughters came to America and some of them lived in Ohio and others in Pennsylvania. He was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, but went to Ohio in 1831 and became a successful farmer there. He died in 1890 at an advanced age. Catherine West, who married John Hunter, was a daughter of James West. a native of Scotland.
The children of John and Catherine (West) Hunter were: James W.; Douglas H., of Carroll county, Ohio; Margaret; Elizabeth, the wife of Charles Reed, of Elizabeth, Colorado; Nettie, who married Richard Close, also of Elizabeth; and William, of Carroll county, Ohio. By an earlier marriage, to Mary Aber, he has a son and a daughter, twins, named Mary A. and John K. The former is married and lives in Washington, D. C., while the latter lives in Carroll county, Ohio.
James W. Hunter, the immediate subject of this sketch, spent the years of his boyhood and the early years of his manhood on a farm in Ohio and had fair opportunities for acquiring an education, which he says he did not improve very well. He possessed marked mechanical ability, however, and was inclined to the trade of carpenter, of which he gained a practical knowledge. He remained in his Ohio home until he was twenty-four years old and then, in 1884, obeying Horace Greeley's oft-repeated advice to go west, young man, go west," emigrated to Kansas and for two years made his headquarters at Atchison, where he applied for and secured work in the bridge-building department of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company. He was in the service of that company until, in 1886, he visited western and southern Kansas and took up a government land claim in Kiowa county. In order to hold this land he lived on it three years, keeping "bachelor's hall" two years or longer and as the head of a family for some months succeeding his marriage. In 1889 Mr. Hunter went to Horton, Kansas, and worked a few months in the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company's shops. Before the end of that year, however, he removed to Doniphan county and located in Union township, near Denton, where he has since been engaged in general farming and has shown himself to be a man of ability adapted to the work in hand and a citizen of much helpful public spirit. Politically he is a Republican and though he is not an aspirant for office he devotes some attention to practical politics, because he believes that he should do so in order to do his duty as a citizen and because he firmly believes that only by the supremacy of his party and the prevalence of its policy can the best interests of the people be advanced.
While "holding down" his pre-emption in Kiowa county Mr. Hunter met Miss Mamie Blair, who was proving up another claim not far distant from his. Their interests were to some extent mutual and they had tastes in common, and their acquaintance led to their marriage, which was celebrated in Decemher, 1888. John L. Blair, Mrs. Hunter's father, married Miss Amanda Meeker and had three children: Mamie (Mrs. Hunter), who was born in 1864, Alexander and Kate. He came to Doniphan county from Pennsylvania in 1858 and became prominent as a farmer and was a leading citizen until his death, which occurred in February, 1882. Mr. and Mrs. Hunter have children named Katie, John B. and Annie. Mrs. Hunter, who is a devoted wife and mother, is a lady of many accomplishments and very popular in good society.