John T. Gunter was born October 8, 1855, at Hico, Benton County, Arkansas, the oldest son of C. D. Gunter, a Tennessean. His mother was a Miss Ward (one-eighth Cherokee), from Georgia, her father, James Ward, having come to this nation with the first Cherokee settlers. After having attended public school until seventeen years of age, John entered the Cincinnati Academy, Arkansas, and there remained until his twentieth year. Returning home, he embarked in the stock business, and is still carrying it on. In 1879 John moved to Sequoyah district, and opened a mercantile house, but traded it for cattle in six months. In 1880 he moved his stock to Byrd Creek, Coowescowee district, and starting a ranch remained for five years. In 1885, selling out ranch and stock, he went to Grand River where he had purchased a farm, and there continued farming and stock-raising until 1888, when he moved to the town of Vinita, and established a livery stable, which he now carries on. In December, 1880, he married Miss Alice Heath, daughter to John Heath, of Benton County, Arkansas; her mother being a daughter to Mr. Kilgore, of Huntingdon, West Virginia. By this marriage they have but one surviving child, named Mabel, born October 13, 1888. Mr. Gunter owns a farm of 300 acres in cultivation, 130 head of cattle, and 41 head of horses and mules, improved stock. His livery stable in Vinita consists of eighteen horses, seven buggies and hacks, and a good building, besides his town residence and a lot covering 20 acres. Mrs. Gunter is a lady of refinement and culture, yet few men can surpass her handling “the ribbons,” it matters not how young or fresh the horses. At one time when her husband was absent, she took charge of 150 head of cattle driven on the ranch from Texas, and by herself, for three months, herded and cared for the stock. In the saddle, this lady is as much at home as sitting in her drawing room, a position which she is eminently fitted to grace. Mr. Gunter is a man of fine appearance, a first-class businessman, and pleasant and agreeable in manner.
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