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H. H. Hunt, M. D.


Posted By: C. Diamond IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 1/3/2011 at 11:13:50

H. H. HUNT, M. D. Many faith­ful practitioners of the medical art have borne the title bestowed upon St. Luke, of “beloved physician,” but within the limits of his endowments and the sphere of his activities none have better deserved it than the subject of this sketch. Doctor Hunt’s career has been that of a pioneer physician, and his life has abounded in all the useful labors which such a career implies. He is now one of Buchanan county’s oldest practitioners, as he has always been one of that county’s most highly esteemed citizens. The space which his biography occupies in this volume is worthily filled.
      Dr. Hunt traces his ancestry to the “Old Dominion State,” where both his parents were born and where family tradition says that his people have lived for several gen­erations. His father, the Rev. John N. Hunt, was a minister of the Baptist church, and devoted a somewhat long life to the arduous labors connected with his profession. Dr. Hunt’s mother bore the maiden name of Catherine Deems. She too was a zealous Christian and shared her husband’s labors in the various fields to which he was called during his ministry.
      The Rev. John N. Hunt and wife moved to Baltimore, Md., soon after their mar­riage, and thence in 1849 to Ohio, settling in Belmont county, where the father died in 1884, aged seventy-nine, and the mother in 1888, aged eighty-three. They had a family of twelve children, ten of whom reached maturity, married and had families. Six of these were sons and six daughters. Of the sons, all except the subject of our sketch, were either mechanics or farmers, he being the only professional man of the family, and the only representative of the family in the West.
      He was born in the city of Baltimore, Md., July 4, 1823. He was therefore reared partly in Baltimore and partly in Belmont county, Ohio, whither his parents moved when he was sixteen years of age. The advantages of the Baltimore public schools were his during the time of his parents’ residence there. After moving to Ohio, our subject finished his education in the Barnesville seminary, at Barnesville, Ohio, and selecting medicine as a profession, prepared himself for the practice under Dr. John T. Mackall with whom he read four years. He began the practice in Belmont county and continued at it there a year, moving thence in the spring of 1848 to Stillwater, Tuscarawas county, that state, where he remained till October, 1853, coming thence to Iowa and locating at Independence, Buchanan county, where he has resided since.
       Dr. Hunt entered the Union army August, 1862, enlisting as a private in Company H, Twenty-seventh Iowa in­fantry. He was immediately promoted to the position of hospital steward, which position he held until May, 1863, when he was transferred to the Twenty-first Iowa, receiving the appointment of assistant surgeon to that command. He served from the time of his enlistment until the surrender, mainly in the department of the Gulf, being mustered out July, 1865.
       At the close of the war he returned to his home in Independence, where he resumed the practice of his profession and where he has been steadily engaged at it since. Dr. Hunt has given his time wholly to his profession, the duties of which he has discharged with a zeal amounting almost to enthusiasm, and in the discharge of which he has won the esteem of his fellow citizens and the unfeigned gratitude of the many whom he has so faithfully served. He has held but one office since he has been in the county, but this he has held for more than twenty years, it being the office of coroner. He has taken an active interest in everything relating to his adopted home, and he has borne an efficient and sometimes a conspicuous part in developing those interests. He is very public spirited, and a man of liberal views and thoroughly in sympathy with the great hearted West on all social and economic questions.
      In 1851 Dr. Hunt married, taking to. share his life’s fortunes a young lady of Tuscarawas county, Ohio, Miss Elmira Salter, daughter of Aaron Salter, an early settler on the Western Reserve. Mrs. Hunt was born and reared in Tuscarawas county and her parents were natives of New Jersey.
       To Dr. Hunt and wife have been born six children, four of whom are now living, all being grown. The eldest, Wilson Peter Hunt, lives at Grand Forks, N. Dak. Abbie is the wife of James Raymond, of Independence, Iowa. Catherine is the wife of Sanford Frank, of Grand Forks, N. Dak., and Hiram H., Jr., resides yet with his parents.
       Few men can show a record of greater devotion to an art or profession than Dr. Hunt can. He has been actively in the practice for more than half a century, and during all this time he has given the best fruits of his labor for the promotion of the good of his fellowmen and to the amelioration of their sufferings. He has done a large, gratuitous practice, going whenever and wherever called upon to go, and giving to all alike the benefit of his knowledge and skill, regardless of their social positions or ability to pay.
      Although he has never sought political honors, Dr. Hunt is a man who possesses fixed opinions on the political issues of the day, and, while he never seeks to thrust these opinions upon others, he is able, when occasion demands, to defend them with vigor and understanding. He is an adherent of the teachings of the republican party, having cast his fortunes with that party upon its organization and never having seen fit to vary in his allegiance to it since. Being an old soldier he naturally takes much interest in all matters relating to his old comrades, their widows and orphans, and he is outspoken in his support of all measures for the relief of these, whether such measures originate in public or private and whether they have as an end in view governmental assistance or the discharge of a simple act of charity. Dr. Hunt is also a zealous member of the Masonic fraternity, taking much interest in the broad and benevolent purposes upon which that order is founded. He is exceedingly liberal in his views on all theological questions, believing in the greatest latitude of thought consistent with public morality.
      Dr. Hunt has a kindly disposition, an open, frank nature that renders him easy of approach and makes him a pleasant companion. In personal appearance he is a little above the average height, of spare build and possesses a rather wiry phy­sique. Time has dealt kindly with him, he being well preserved for his age and the trying experiences through which he has passed in his long professional career.


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