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Delaware County, Iowa

 Biography Directory


Jasper S. Hunt


Oneida Township



       JASPER S. HUNT is one of the early pioneers of Delaware county, having settled in what is now Oneida township, in an early day when the shrill whistle of the locomotive was unheard in the land, and when the old fashioned stage coach offered the only comfortable means of travel. The country in this section of the state at that time was almost a wilderness. Wild game was plentiful, and it was not an unusual thing to see Indians wandering about the small settlements. The surrounding country outside the timber districts was one vast unbroken prairie, and it was the general opinion of the settlers in those days that the prairie country would never be settled. But a wonderful change has taken place. The once barren plain has been transformed into a rich and fertile garden, in which almost every form of luxuriant vegetation is grown in abundance. The subject of this brief sketch is familiar with nearly every phase of the transformation. He has in a manner been identified with nearly every step in the growth and development of Delaware county. Indeed he has been one of the men actively engaged in making the county what it is: one of the best in the state.


     Jasper S. Hunt is a native of Brown county, Ohio, and was born September 3, 1811. His father, James Hunt, was a native of North Carolina, and an early settler in Ohio. He settled in Wayne county, Ind., in 1813, where he resided for twenty years. He removed to La Porte county, in the northern part of the state, where he died in 1837. He was a zealous member of the Baptist church and an active worker in the cause of religion.


     The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Annie Shotwell. She was a native of New Jersey and a model Christian woman. She died in 1838, one year after her husband.


     The early boyhood days of Jasper S. Hunt were passed in assisting his father on the farm and attending district schools, which, of course, were greatly inferior to those of the present. He was married December 11, 1834, to Miss Mary Whitehead, who was a daughter of John Whitehead, a native of North Carolina, and who was born October 16, 1818, in Wayne county, Ind.  Her mother was Catherine (Brown) Whitehead, who died in Iowa in 1869. To Mr. and Mrs. Hunt were born six children, only two of whom are now living. The full number in the order of their ages is as follows:  Catherine born December 14, 1836 (now deceased); Milton, born August 19, 1840; Sarah, born July 20, 1843 (deceased); Julia M., born December 14, 1845 (deceased); Thomas L., born December 7, 1850 (deceased); and George, born July 1, 1857. Milton, the eldest son, is conducting an adjacent farm, and is one of the prosperous men of the county. George, the youngest, is married and is living with his parents. He is an enterprising carpenter and has a bright future before him.


      Mr. Hunt has held various local offices and assisted in organizing Oneida township. At one time he owned four hundred and eighty acres of land, but he divided it among his children until he has only seventy acres left.


      While Mr. Hunt has never aspired to anything like a public life, he has nevertheless taken much interest in matters of public concern, having kept himself well informed on the general progress of events. He has always affiliated with the republican party and is well read in the history of the party. He has always exhibited a commendable interest in every thing pertaining to his locality, giving liberally of his means and helping with his own hands in furthering all enterprises which he believed to be for the general welfare of the community. He has been a life long member of the Baptist church, having been an active communicant of the church for fifty years and a deacon in the church for forty years. His whole life has blossomed with the best fruits of the faith he has professed and he finds his declining years solaced most by the contemplation of those truths which he has spent all his life in trying to give practical force to.

~ source: Biographical souvenir of the counties of Delaware and Buchanan, Iowa; Chicago : F. A. Battey, 1890. Page 617-619; LDS microfilm #985424

~ contributed by Thom Carlson