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Biography of William Hunter

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William Hunter was engaged in farming near Franksville and is now living retired. He was born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, September 15, 1829, a son of James and Jane (Hasty) Hunter. They were also natives of Dumfriesshire, the land of hills and heather. At an early day in the development of Racine County they established their home in Yorkville Township, becoming pioneer settlers of that region. William Hunter is the only survivor of their family of eight children. The father had forty acres of land, which he carefully and successfully cultivated. His religious faith was that of the Presbyterian Church and his political belief was in accord with the principles of the Republican Party.

In early life William Hunter began work on the railroads and when but eighteen years of age had risen to the position of foreman in connection with the Glasgow & Southwestern Railroad in Scotland. He proved his ability and fidelity, which qualities won him advancement from time to time, and on one occasion he came within a single vote of being chosen assistant superintendent of the road. He was but twenty-four years of age when he bade adieu to Friends and native land and sailed for the new world, becoming a resident of Racine County. He began work as a farm hand in this County and in 1862 removed to Raymond Township. He made arrangements to purchase a farm, although he had no capital at the time. He borrowed five hundred dollars from a man whom he did not know, but his honesty impressed itself upon all with whom he came in contact and it became a recognized fact throughout the locality that his word was as good as any bond ever solemnized by signature or seal. He started with absolutely nothing but in the course of time became the owner of one hundred and sixty acres, which he divided with his brother, and he still retains possession of the eighty-acre tract, which is rich and valuable and returns to hint a most gratifying annual income. ‘When the farm came into his possession, however, the land was in poor condition and scarcely anything could be raised upon it, but he systematically began its cultivation and development and today his fields produce one hundred and fifty bushels of corn to the acre. Not only was Mr. Hunter successful in the production of crops but also won substantial profit in the raising of full blooded Durham cattle and his stock has won many ribbons at the fairs. He is an expert judge of stock and has been often called upon to act in that capacity. For a long period he carried on general agricultural pursuits but is now living retired, for he has reached the age of eighty-seven years. His rest is certainly deserved, as it is the fitting crown of a well spent life.

In 1850 Mr. Hunter was united in marriage to Miss Andica Boyd, who was born in Scotland and died in 1908. They were the parents of eight children but only three are now living: James and William Wallace, both upon the home farm; and Mary, the wife of Adam Hay, a drayman of Racine.

In his political views Mr. Hunter has always been an earnest republican and has filled the offices of supervisor, and constable and Township treasurer. It. was due to his efforts that the road was opened between Raymond and Franksville. His life has ever been actuated by high and honorable principles, for he has long been a consistent member of the Congregational church, in which he served as deacon for thirty years. He has come to the evening of life respected and honored by all who know him, and he can look back over the past without regret and forward to the future without fear.


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