Within a month after America had declared a state of war with Germany, Lieutenant Colonel Paul C. Hunt had enlisted for service and after training in America and active duty overseas he was sent with the Army of Occupation into Germany, following the signing of the armistice. Since his return he has concentrated his efforts and attention upon commercial interests in Jefferson City as a dealer in stationery and office supplies. He was born in New York city, July 10, 1877, a son of Paul and Kate Chapman (Clayton) Hunt, the former a native of Massachusetts and the latter of Illinois. The parents came to Missouri when their son Paul was but eleven months old, the family home being established in St. Louis, where the father engaged in the real estate business. He was also very active in all uplift work, was a stalwart champion of the public schools and an earnest supporter of the church. He was largely instrumental in establishing and developing three different churches in South St. Louis and his aid and influence were ever on the side of right and reform, progress and improvement. At all times he was actuated by a most progressive spirit, and the state lost u most substantial citizen when he passed away on the 5th of March, 1911.
Colonel Hunt, after obtaining a common and high school education in St. Louis, his high school work covering two years, entered Washington University of that city, where he also pursued a two years’ course but did not reach graduation. In 1896 he became identified with the Fairbanks Morse Scale Company, with which he remained until 1898, when America entered into war with Spain and his patriotic spirit prompted his enlistment. He became a private in the First Missouri Volunteers and served all through the period of hostilities. After being mustered out he joined the regular United States army as a private and was advanced to the rank of second lieutenant, receiving his commission in 1904 in the Coast Artillery. He was at Fort Monroe, Virginia, until August 15, 1905, and afterward was for a time on the coast and geodetic survey and stationed in the Gulf of Mexico and South American waters, going as far south as the United States boundary line. He then left the army and returned to St. Louis, where he became identified with the real estate business of Donovan & Hunt, that association being maintained until January, 1909. At the latter date Mr. Hunt was appointed by Governor Hadley assistant adjutant general of Missouri and removed to Jefferson City, where he filled the office during the regular term. He then purchased the business in which he is now engaged, having built up a large trade here as a stationer and dealer in office supplies.
The World war put an end to his commercial activities for a time, for on the 10th of May, 1917, he enlisted and went to the Officers Training Camp at Fort Riley, there remaining three weeks, after which the war department at Washington, D. C., ordered him to report at Chicago for examination for a commission. He passed the examination, was commissioned as major in the adjutant general’s department and was assigned to duty on the staff of commanding General Barry of the central department at Chicago. There he remained until September, 1917, when he was made camp adjutant at Camp Grant near Rockford, Illinois. In December, 1917, he was selected as one of three officers of the Eighty-sixth Division to proceed overseas to attend the Army General Staff College of the American Expeditionary Forces. He was graduated in three months and was sent for service with the British army in the Ypres sector. Later he was with the French Fifteenth, D. I. C., in the sector just south of Verdun, while subsequently he was assigned to duty at general headquarters, A. E. F., as assistant G. 3 of the A. E. F. He was next made assistant G. 1 of the Fifth Corps and later was assigned to duty with the Eighty-ninth Division as G. 3, but owing to a vacancy created by the death of the operation officer of the One Hundred and Seventy-eight Infantry Brigade in October, 1918, which was then at the front in the fighting, he was assigned to the vacancy and continued to act as operation officer until the armistice was signed. He next marched into Germany with the Eighty-ninth Division and was afterward ordered to Paris for duty as disbursing officer and quartermaster for Switzerland for the American troops, with headquarters at Berne. He remained in the Swiss city for three and a half months, after which he was relieved of duty on his own request and ordered home, being mustered out on the 1st of May, 1919, having been actively connected with the army for two years. He then returned to Jefferson City to take up the business in which he had formerly engaged, but is now a lieutenant colonel of infantry in the United States Reserve Corps.
On the 26th of October, 1910, Colonel Hunt was married in Jefferson City to Miss Carolyn Tweedie, a daughter of Captain John Tweedie, a leading resident of Jefferson City, who originally came from Scotland. Colonel and Mrs. Hunt hold membership in the Presbyterian church. Fraternally he is a Mason, who has attained the Knight Templar degree of the York Rite and the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite and has also crossed the sands of the desert with the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He likewise belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He has membership in the Jefferson City Country Club and the Painted Rock Hunting and Fishing Club. He greatly enjoys fishing and golf. His political endorsement is given to the republican party and in April, 1921, he was elected mayor of Jefferson City, giving to the town a businesslike and progressive administration that is the expression of the same qualities of loyalty, progressiveness and faithfulness which brought him high rank as an officer of the World war.