JASPER S. HUNT is one of the early pioneers of Delaware
county, having settled in what is now Oneida township, in an
early day when the shrill whistle of the locomotive was unheard
in the land, and when the old fashioned stage coach
offered the only comfortable means of travel. The country in
this section of the state at that time was almost a wilderness.
Wild game was plentiful, and it was not an unusual thing to see
Indians wandering about the small settlements. The surrounding
country outside the timber districts was one vast unbroken
prairie, and it was the general opinion of the settlers in those
days that the prairie country would never be settled. But a
wonderful change has taken place. The once barren plain has been
transformed into a rich and fertile garden, in which almost
every form of luxuriant vegetation is grown in abundance. The
subject of this brief sketch is familiar with nearly every phase
of the transformation. He has in a manner been identified with
nearly every step in the growth and development of Delaware
county. Indeed he has been one of the men actively engaged in
making the county what it is: one of the best in the state.
Jasper S. Hunt is a native of Brown
county, Ohio, and was born September 3, 1811. His father, James
Hunt, was a native of North Carolina, and an early settler in
Ohio. He settled in Wayne county, Ind., in 1813, where he
resided for twenty years. He removed to La Porte county, in the
northern part of the state, where he died in 1837. He was a
zealous member of the Baptist church and an active worker in the
cause of religion.
The mother of our subject bore the
maiden name of Annie Shotwell. She was a native of New Jersey
and a model Christian woman. She died in 1838, one year after
The early boyhood days of Jasper S.
Hunt were passed in assisting his father on the farm and
attending district schools, which, of course, were greatly
inferior to those of the present. He was married December 11,
1834, to Miss Mary Whitehead, who was a daughter of John
Whitehead, a native of North Carolina, and who was born October
16, 1818, in Wayne county, Ind. Her mother was Catherine
(Brown) Whitehead, who died in Iowa in 1869. To Mr. and Mrs.
Hunt were born six children, only two of whom are now living.
The full number in the order of their ages is as follows:
Catherine born December 14, 1836 (now deceased); Milton, born
August 19, 1840; Sarah, born July 20, 1843 (deceased); Julia M.,
born December 14, 1845 (deceased); Thomas L., born December 7,
1850 (deceased); and George, born July 1, 1857. Milton, the
eldest son, is conducting an adjacent farm, and is one of the
prosperous men of the county. George, the youngest, is married
and is living with his parents. He is an enterprising carpenter
and has a bright future before him.
Mr. Hunt has held various local
offices and assisted in organizing Oneida township. At one time
he owned four hundred and eighty acres of land, but he divided
it among his children until he has only seventy acres left.
While Mr. Hunt has never aspired to
anything like a public life, he has nevertheless taken much
interest in matters of public concern, having kept himself well
informed on the general progress of events. He has always
affiliated with the republican party and is well read in the
history of the party. He has always exhibited a commendable
interest in every thing pertaining to his locality, giving
liberally of his means and helping with his own hands in
furthering all enterprises which he believed to be for the
general welfare of the community. He has been a life long member
of the Baptist church, having been an active communicant of the
church for fifty years and a deacon in the church for forty
years. His whole life has blossomed with the best fruits of the
faith he has professed and he finds his declining years solaced
most by the contemplation of those truths which he has spent all
his life in trying to give practical force to.