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Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, 1912

Hunt Family Biography

This name is borne by many families in the United States, descending from ancestors of usually English birth. The Uniontown family descended from the New Jersey family or one of them (for there were several). The New Jersey family descend from the New York family, who settled first on Long Island, later in Westchester county, where Hunt's Point, Hunt's Bridge, Hunt's Hill all testify to the prominence of the early family. One branch of the New Jersey family descends from Ralph Hunt, who came to Long Island in 1652 and his descendants to New Jersey where a Hunt will is found in 1732. A branch of the New Jersey family went south to the Carolinas; an important branch settled in Mercer county, New Jersey.

(I) The earliest positive record of the branch under consideration begins with Jacob Hunt, born in New Jersey, who settled in Dunbar township, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, in 1790. He died leaving issue.

(II) Isaac Lansing, son of Jacob Hunt, was born at East Liberty, Dunbar township, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, June 25, 1791, died in October, 1835. He was a farmer and shoemaker; he is described as a man of marked characteristics, strong common sense, and although not tall or large in stature was a man of great physical strength and courage. Naturally of quiet temperament, yet he was known among his associates as "Pluck Ike Hunt." He was well regarded by the voters of the county, who twice elected him to the office of county commissioner at a time when a man stood on his merits and the party ticket idea was not so rlgidly adhered to. He was a Democrat and always active in public affairs, holding the office of commissioner at the time of his death. He married Hannah L. Lincoln, born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, February 19, 1795, died February 10, 1889, in her ninety-fourth year. She was a daughter of Benjamin Lincoln, born in Reading, Pennsylvania, who came to Fayette county in 1790. He was a civil engineer and a farmer. Benjamin Lincoln was a relative of President Abraham Lincoln, whose family were residents in Pennsylvania. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Hunt: Jacob, Benjamin Lincoln, David, Isaac, Mordecai, Sarah, eighty-one years old, 1912, widow of James Darby, of Uniontown; Thomas, William, of whom further. Of these children Sarah and William are the only survivors.

(III) William, youngest child of Isaac Lansing Hunt, was born in White Shoal district, Dunbar township, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, February 2, 1836. He was four months old when his father died, and in April, 1845, his mother with her children moved to Uniontown where she resided until her death at the age of ninety-four. William Hunt attended the public school in the White Shoal district, later the schools in Uniontown and for a time Madison College. He left the latter institution to become apprentice to Henry W. S. Rigdon, of Uniontown, a most skillful watchmaker and jeweler. After an apprenticeship of four and a half years he left Mr. Rigdon and was employed for four years, 1854 to 1858, in one of the best establishments in the county, where he completed his mechanical education and returned to Uniontown, thoroughly equipped to carry on every department of the jewelry and watch repairing business. His mechanical turn of mind was of great benefit to him. while his nine years of training under the best conditions had given him the valuable assets, knowledge and experience. He returned to Uniontown in 1858 and opened a gencral watch, clock and jewelry repair shop. He was successful from the very start, having all the work he could handle. In 1860 he began adding certain salable articles and little by little the mercantile department grew until his purchases and sales became very large and he was obliged to move again to larger quarters. In 1868 he located on the site of his present store (1912 ). He has built up a wonderful business in his half century of merchandising, has always been a leader in his line, and is to-day at seventy-six years of age in full charge of his large business and other important interests. He is the only merchant in Uniontown, of all his contemporaries in 1860, that is still in business. His present location on West Main street he purchased in 1868. His only official business connection, outside his own, is with the First National Bank of Uniontown, of which he has been a director since 1890, and since 1894 director of the Fairmont, Morgantown & Pittsburg railroad.

He is a Democrat and has always been active in local politics, but never sought office for himself, serving only one term as jury, commissioner. His influence on the city and county committees has always been in favor of clean candidates and good government. He is prominent in the Masonic Order, belonging to all bodies of the York and Scottish Rites, holding the thirty-second degree. He is also an Odd Fellow and has filled the chairs in both orders. For many years he has been treasurer of the Masonic bodies of Uniontown, holding membership in all. He has led a busy life but has not sacrificed all to business. He is a well read gentleman as his well stored library attests, and he has cultivated friendly, even intimate, relations with his fellow citizens. His life has been a successful one and he can certainly look back over it with a vast amount of satisfaction.

He married, November 17, 1861, Margaret Sembower, of Uniontown, who died August 30, 1908. Children: 1. Isaac, 2. Robert W. 3. May Frances, married William T. Beeson; children: Allen H.; Margaret, married Clarence F. Wilson and has one child, Mary F.; she is the only great-grandchild. 4. Margaret, married Henry McGibbon; no issue. 5. William, died in infancy. 6. Sarah, married J. Byron Flannagan, whom she survives; no issue. 7. Lucy, married Charles F. Hagan; children: Arabel, Henrietta, Susan. 8. Charlotte, married William W. Marsteller; children: Margaret A., Charlotte. 9. Eve, married George W. Evans; children: William H., deceased; George W., Jr. 10. Ella, married F. W. Hale, of South Dakota. 11. Benjamin, married Gertrude Goodwin; children: Dorothy L., Benjamin L. 12. Elizabeth, married John J. Scheick; children: John, deceased, William H., Elizabeth. 13. Nettie, deceased, married Charles McGinley; no issue.

Source: Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, John W. Jordan, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1912.

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