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Hon. John Levi Hunt. It may be said that Hon. John Levi Hunt, assistant attorney-general of Kansas, and member of the leading law firm of Wheeler, Switzer & Hunt, is one of the fortunate men of Topeka. He was fortunate in having a good parentage, a fair endowment of intellect and feeling, a liberal education, in attaching himself to one of the learned professions, and in casting in his lot with the people of Topeka when her enterprises were probably at their fullest tide of development, and under circumstances which enabled him to co-operate in her material growth. While he has borne a fair share of the labors of professional and public life, he has at the same time preserved his love of letters and his indulgence in the amenities of a refined and gentle life.
Mr. Hunt was born at Chicago, Illinois, February 22, 1869, one of the six children of Homer C. and Anna (Gleed) Hunt, the former a native of New York, and the latter of England, from whence she came to this country in 1857. A number of the Hunts took part in the Revolutionary war, but Homer C. Hunt was suffering from ill health at the time of the Civil war and was thus unfit for service. After his marriage in New York, Homer C. Hunt lived in Wisconsin for a few years, and then went to Illinois, where, at Chicago, he soon became one of the important factors in business affairs. The time of his locating in the western metropolis was when railroads were experiencing the period of their greatest expansion, and with foresight and judgment he identified himself with the firm of Crerar, Adams & Company, which subsequently developed into probably the largest concern in the handling of railroad supplies in the world. In 1871 he took up his residence at Evanston, the exclusive Chicago suburb, and there his death occurred December 29, 1910, Mrs. Hunt surviving until January, 1913. The house is still owned by the heirs. Mr. Hunt was a deeply religious man, and for fifty years prior to his death had served as an elder in the Presbyterian Church. For fifteen years he had shown his friendship for the cause of education as a member of the Evanston Board of Education, and during that time did much to secure better schools for his community. He was one of the substantial men of Chicago and held a high place in the esteem and confidence of a wide circle of friends and business associates.
John Levi Hunt attended the public schools of Evanston, whence he was taken as a child of two years, and was then sent to Northwestern University. Before he had completed his course he went to work for the Jones & Laughlin Steel Company, in the offices of which concern he worked his way upward from office boy to stockman, and then resigned and reentered Northwestern University, this time as a law student. After one year and one-half he received his degree of Bachelor of Laws, graduating with the class of 1895, and in the same year was admitted to the bar. His first professional connection was with the firm of Peck, Miller & Starr, probably at that time the most prominent legal combination practicing at the Illinois bar. John R. Miller, of this firm, was later one of the counsel for the Standard Oil Company, in its famous $29,000,000 litigation at Chicago. Mr. Hunt remained with this firm for two years and secured a training that has since been invaluable to him. However, at that time, the Gleeds took over the ‘Frisco Line, and, needing assistants, sent for Mr. Hunt, who is related to the family. On coming to Kansas, in 1897, he became assistant attorney to J. W. Gleed, at that time Kansas attorney for the Kansas ‘Frisco Lines, and subsequently became associated with the law concern of Gleed, Ware & Gleed, which, in 1910, became Gleed, Hunt, Palmer & Gleed. Mr. Hunt was a member of this leading firm until 1915, when he was appointed by Hon. S. M. Brewster to the position of attorney-general of Kansas, the first public office he has held and one which he still retains. At that time he formed the firm of Switzer, Wheeler & Hunt, with which he remains today. Mr. Hunt, as a legist, is thoroughly grounded in elementary knowledge, is industrious, patient in research and of sound and stable judgment, powerful in forensic contests, both before juries and in the more formal argument before the court. In spite of his many qualifications, he has never been one to thrust himself forward for public office, being domestic in his tastes and rather quiet and unassuming in manner. He is a stand-pat republican in politics, is fraternally affiliated with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and his religious connection is with the Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Hunt belongs to the Episcopal church.
On March 22, 1906, Mr. Hunt was united in marriage at Hays, Kansas, at the home of the bride, to Miss Minnie Straily. One son has been born to this union: John Homer, who is attending school.