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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published by John M. Gresham & Co. in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM HUNT was an intelligent and progressive farmer of Ripley town, whose aim in early life was to attain a superior education and prepare for a professional career, but poor health diverted his course when he mastered common English and the rudiments of science, and prevented his entering college. William Hunt was a son of Samuel and Mary (Prendergast) Hunt, was born in the town of Ripley, Chautauqua county, New York, January 29, 1822, and died there on the first day of December, 1869, honored and respected by all who knew him. The paternal grandfather, William Hunt, was a native of Washington county, this State, and came from there to Chautauqua town and county, and settled on lot 29, twp. 3, which lay contiguous to Chautauqua lake, where he lived until his death in 1845, aged seventy-seven years. He had nine children who reached mature ages and had families. Thomas Prendergast (maternal grandfather), the second son of William Prendergast, Sr., was born in Pawling, N. Y., September 15, 1758, and married Deborah Hunt, who was born August 25, 1774. They came to Ripley in the fall of 1805, having made the long trip to Tennessee and back in wagons. Thomas Prendergast purchased three hundred acres of land in the town and lived upon it until he died June 3, 1842, aged eighty-four years. His wife died August 9, 1846. They had two children: Stephen, who became very prominent in the county, and died January 31, 1852; and Mary (mother of subject), who, with her husband, Samuel Hunt, lived upon a part of the Prendergast farm after her father’s death. Samuel Hunt was born in Washington county about 1776, but came to Ripley with his father and married Mary Prendergast in 1821. They had three children: William, Maria and Eliza, the latter two being successively the wife of Dr. Simeon Collins, now dead.

William Hunt was reared on his father’s farm, and early developing a fondness for knowledge, he was given every opportunity for acquiring it. After learning the lessons of the district schools he was sent to the Westfield academy, where he was prepared for college, but before his ambition could be realized it was discovered that the state of his health would not allow him to give study the application which he desired and the idea was abandoned. He then returned to the farm, from which so many American scholars, statesmen and warriors have sprung.

On September 2, 1844, he married Augusta Mann, a daughter of Jeremiah Mann, of Ripley. Mr. Hunt continued farming until the grave reaper summoned him, December 1, 1869, when but forty-seven years of age. Jeremiah Mann was a native of Milton, Saratoga county, N. Y., where he was born July 5, 1800, and twenty-five years later he came to Ripley. The next year he moved to North East, Pa., and remained eleven years, and then returned to Ripley, and lived until September 11, 1868, when he died. He was universally esteemed as a citizen, and had a strong hold upon the public confidence. He was a republican, active in the politics or the county, and was elected to the State assembly in 1844. Progression and public improvements had his attention to a large degree, and when the Buffalo and Erie railroad was constructed he was one of its first directors. Mr. Mann was six feet tall, broad-shouldered and straight, and being finely proportioned was of striking appearance. He married Clarissa Brockway, a daughter of Burban Brockway, of the same town, who was a prominent citizen and a Christian gentleman; was born at Lyme, Connecticut, March 1, 1767, and died in Ripley, September 2, 1861. Mr. Mann became the father of three daughters: Augusta, Caroline, married William Bell, Jr., of Erie, Pa., died March 12, 1875; and Lydia, who became Mrs. Lucius G. Hamilton. Her husband died March 16, 1874, leaving one child, Charles Mann, born January 23, 1874.

Mrs. William Hunt is now living in Ripley, a woman highly esteemed in social and church circles, who is prominent in all good work that is proposed. She is now in her sixty-fifth year, and is enjoying excellent health.

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This family biography is one of 658 biographies included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published in 1891. 

View additional Chautauqua County, New York family biographies here: Chautauqua County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Chautauqua County, New York here: Chautauqua County, New York Map

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