My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Washington County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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.

* * * *

Col. Thomas J. Hunt. This gentleman, so well-known to the citizens of Washington County, and so well respected, was born in this county April 28, 1839, and is the son of William and Rhoda (Wilson) Hunt, both natives of Russell County, Va., where they were married. They afterward moved to Illinois, and from there to Washington County, Ark., about 1839. The father was of English extraction, was a farmer and stock dealer, and during the late war was veterinary surgeon in the First Arkansas Cavalry, being in service nearly the entire war. He was a man who attended strictly to his business affairs, and was not in public life. He died in 1885, and his wife in 1862. They were the parents of four sons and four daughters, Col. Thomas J. being the youngest of this family. He attained his growth on a farm, and secured a high-school education. He remained with his parents and engaged in school-teaching until the outbreaking of the war, when he enlisted in Company B, First Arkansas Cavalry, United States Army; was made captain, and through regular promotion was made lieutenant-colonel of the regiment. He served until the close of the war, and afterward engaged in farming until 1868, when he was elected to the State Senate and served two sessions. He was then appointed brigadier-general of the militia of his district by Gov. Clayton, and held the position until the militia disbanded. He carried on farming and stock dealing in the meantime which he has continued to the present. He was appointed assessor of internal revenue under Gen. Grant and filled that position four years. Col. Hunt has about 1,000 acres of land, 400 under cultivation, and has two farms, the home farm being situated one-half mile south of Fayetteville. He was married May 29, 1863, to Miss Matilda E. Campbell, who was born January 22, 1845, and died October 10, 1868. She was the mother of two children: Nora M., born February 27, 1864, now the wife of William P. Moulden, and Virginia J., born August 18, 1865. May 16, 1870, Col. Hunt married Miss Margaret A. Simpson, a native of Washington County, Ark., born August 14, 1849. This union has resulted in the birth of four children: Gertrude, Marshall L., Nellie and William H. Mrs. Hunt is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Col. Hunt is a member of the G. A. R., and politically takes an active interest in the success of the Republican party, and is depended upon largely for judgment in conduct of that party. He was chairman of the Republican Central Committee for many years, and a member of the State Central Committee. He served in the State Senate for the Seventh Senatorial District in 1868, being elected by the elective franchise of Washington and Benton Counties. He is an active and honored member of the Masonic body, both in the Chapter and Blue Lodge. The attractive residence of Col. T. J. Hunt is located within one-half mile of the public square of Fayetteville, and is on one of the handsomest spots in this portion of the State. It was during the early history of this locality selected as the residence site of Gov. Archibald Yell, and was held by that honored gentleman until his sad death at the battle of Buena Vista, Mexico, while he was serving with honor in the United States army. After some few changes of ownership it became the property of Col. Hunt, a wealthy farmer of Washington County, who has taken the pains to have its portrait placed in this history. The knoll or elevation occupies about ten acres of ground, which slopes gently on all sides to the distance of about 200 yards and from the residence can be had a fine view of the surrounding country. For many years the remains of Gov. Yell and many of his family were buried in a cemetery selected by him here, but lately the Masonic fraternity, of which he had been a prominent member, had them removed to the Masonic plat in the city’s cemetery, through the influence of Col. Hunt who saw that decay was fast destroying the shafts and tablets which marked their resting places.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 300 biographies included in The History of Washington County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Washington County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Washington County, Arkansas family biographies, click here

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.