Biography of J. P. Hunter
North Central Ohio Biographies

J. P. Hunter. As auditor of Ashland County, J. P. Hunter has a wide acquaintance throughout North Central Ohio, and is a member of one of the oldest and best known families in the county. He was born in Green Township, Ashland County, Aug. 20, 1878.

J. P. Hunter is of Irish ancestry and traces his family back to William Hunter, who was born in Ireland in 1772, and come to America sometime during 1788, when 16 years of age. He located near Mt. Pleasant, Pa., and in 1794 was made an officer in the Federal service against the insurgents in the Whiskey insurrection. He married Jane Steel, the daughter of James and Margaret Steel. Their marriage took place in 1800 and they were the parents of nine children: 1. Elizabeth, married R. Castor. 2. Jane, married Isaac Barger. 3. Mary, married S. Bower. 4. Margaret, married George Lincoln. 5. Sarah, married H. Hardesty. 6. David, married Catherine Scholes. 7. James S., married Esther Collins. 8. William, married Sarah Cummins. 9. John, married Mary Powell.

It was in March, 1818, that William Hunter removed from Westmoreland County, Pa., to Ohio with his wife and children and began the development and improvement of the northern half of Section No. 26, Green Township, Ashland County, which was entered from the government by him and his brother-in-law, John Steel. Mr. Hunter struggled with the privations and hardships which beset the early pioneers in clearing away the forests and planting their crops among the blackened stumps. Mr. Hunter continued, however, to carry on this work until his death in 1819 at the age of 47 years. His wife died two years later, leaving a family of nine orphan children, the oldest daughter being 19 years of age and the oldest son 17 years. The family all grew to maturity, however, and the sons, David, James, William, and John were lifelong residents of Green Township, where they became successful farmers, and as the years passed by they became the largest landowners in the township. David Hunter married Catherine Scholes, and they had seven children: Hettie, Jane, Isaac, David, Martha, Catherine, and Ellen. The father died in 1873 at the age of 70 years, and the mother died in 1868. James Hunter died in 1886 at the age of 80 years. He was married in 1838 to Esther Collins, and they had four children: Sarah, married George Reinhart; Margaret, married George Jordan; Eliza, who died at the age of 18 years; and Mary J., who lives on the Hunter homestead. James Hunter was employed as a young man on the building of a canal in Southern Ohio, and later purchased a large farm in Green Township, where he spent the remainder of his life. He died in 1886 and his wife died in 1885. william Hunter, the third son, married Sarah Cummins, and he died in 1875 at the age of 65 years. John, the youngest son, who died in 1899, at the age of 76 years, had married Mary Dowell, and they had seven children: John, David, Amos, Lewis, Reuben, Mary, and Jane.

J. P. Hunter, the subject of this sketch, attended the district schools of Green Township, Meanor's school, and the Greentown school. After completing his elementary studies he attended Loudonville High School, from which he was graduated in 1897. He then spent two years at Ohio Northern University, after which he became a teacher in the district schools of Ashland County, being identified with that profession for a period of 21 years, six years of which he served as district superintendent in charge of the schools in the southern half of Ashland County. During this time Mr. Hunter also was interested in farming on the old Hunter homestead of 80 acres in Section 23, Green Township, which was settled by his grandfather, James S. Hunter. J. P. Hunter had lived on this farm continuously until March, 1927, and he has since been a resident of Ashland.

Mr. Hunter was elected township assessor at the age of 22 years, and served two terms later. He also was township trustee for two terms, and held the office of deputy state supervisor of elections for Ashland County for a five-year period. He was a member of the county board of school examiners for five years. In 1926 Mr. Hunter was elected auditor of Ashland County, and was re-elected in 1930 by a large majority.

On Aug. 2, 1916, Mr. Hunter was united in marriage with Miss Ethel V. Switzer, and they have three children: James T., Portia E., and Lillian L. All are students in the Ashland public schools.

Mr. Hunter is a Democrat and is affiliated with the Masonic Blue Lodge and Chapter at Loudonville, the Council at Ashland, and the Cornmandery at Mansfield. He is also a member of the Lions Club of Ashland. He is an attendant of the Church of Christ, Ashland, of which his wife and children are members.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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