Wilson Hunt (1817 - 1897)

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Birthplace: Greenville, Muhlenberg, Kentucky, United States
Death: Died in Ogden, Weber, Utah, United States
Managed by: Ken Rice
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Wilson Hunt

Wilson Hunt The beginning was in the verdant green woodland of Muhlenberg Co., Kentucky, but it lead to the plains of Iowa and on to the valleys of Utah. On 9 April, 1817 Selia was born to Thomas and Annie Wood Sumner, and about six weeks later Jane Coats Hunt gave birth to her third child, Wilson. These two children grew up in Muhlenberg Co., and just after Christmas in 1840 they were married by the Reverend J.B. Dunn, who was the pastor of the old Hazel Creek Baptist Church at Belton in Muhlenberg Co., Kentucky.

A Year later a baby boy came to their home. Jack (Andrew Jackson) and Bill (William Alexander), who was sixteen months younger, played in the clearing near their home. Many years later Jack told his grandchildren of the pigs which roamed in the woods eating the hickory nuts, and of the deer, panther and other wild animals which came near their home. He also remembered staying at his grandparents' home where he was in the care of a negro mammy.

In 1844 Latter-day Saint Missionaries, D.D. Hunt and L.A. Brady, came to Muhlenberg Co., and preached in the Hebron meeting house and in the school. Selia and Wilson were among those who heard the message and were baptized.

Four years later, when John T. was a baby, Wilson and Selia left their birthplace and moved to Iowa where a goup of Mormons were residing. In 1852 they crossed the plains with a company of pioneers under the leadership of Benjamin Gardner. There were fifty wagons and about two hundred people in the company. Young Jack helped his grandfather, John, whack bulls on the trip. They put yokes on the cows and made them help draw the wagons, besides furnishing milk for them. They had an old dasher churn which they worked vigorously when they were in camp. Sometimes the milk placed in the rear end of the wagon would be churned into butter during the day. It was easy to make Dutch cheese, the cottage cheese of today, from the sour milk and clabber resulting from the jolting of the wagon in the hot sun. Besides the covered wagons, the Hunts had a horse and cart in which the women sometimes rode. The boys carried big sticks with which to kill snakes as they walked along.

As a whole the trip across the plains was quite uneventful. They had no trouble with Indians except on one occasion when one of the night guards was shot in the foot. The company believed that an Indian did it, but they had no positive proof of it.

They brought a few chairs and some food stuff with them, which they expected to use when they reached Utah. Many days they travelled only five or six miles. They had difficulty fording some of the streams because of the high water and quicksand. They saw many graves of persons who had died from Cholera along the way, but fortunately no one in their company contracted this dread illness. There were a great many buffalo along the trail, and frequently buffalo chips were used for fuel.

George W. Hunt reports that his father told him that the Hunts left the company of pioneers and came on by themselves part of the way. He said that they felt that the main company was "too slow and took too long from preaching." They arrived in Salt Lake City in October, but remained there only a few days before moving to Ogden for a permanent residence.

When they arrived in Ogden, they went to live in the old Mound Fort, which was just north of Ogden River, near where the Mound Fort School now stands. There were only twenty to twenty-five families in Ogden at that time and almost all of them lived in Mound Fort. They survived their first winter with the aid of the settlers who furnished them wheat and potatoes, and with the provision that they brought with them.

During the time they lived in Mound Fort, there were about a thousand Indians camped in teepees along the roadway between Ogden and Utah Hot Springs. They gave the people no particular trouble, but it was avoided only because the people gave the Indians nearly everything they wanted. The Indians often came into the fort, laid blankets on the ground and told the occupants what they expected, and to keep them in a grateful frame of mind the settlers would give them a carcass of beef, vegetables, wheat, flour, sugar or whatever else they expected.

It was especially hard to find food during the late fifties and early sixties when the grasshoppers were so bad. They took everything before them, even to stripping the willows and leaving only the stalks of the corn standing. The settlers killed millions of hoppers by burning and crushing them. Hordes flew into the lake near Hooper and were destroyed by the salt water. The seagulls came and helped destroy them. However, they had to gather roots to supplement their food. They dug sego bulbs, gathered dandelions and sour dock which they prepared and ate. There was plenty of wild game and fowl for them to round out the diet.

On the 22 October, 1853, just over a year of their arrival in Ogden, a fourth son, Jonathan, was born. In the years that followed two little girls were added to the family circle, Cenia Jane, born 2 May, 1857 and Mary Elizabeth born 14 November, 1863.

Selia passed away on 19 July, 1875. Some years afterward Wilson and his daughter Cenia returned to visit their relatives in Kentucky. Katie Hunt Taggart wrote the following on 3 January 1957, when she was nearly eighty years old: "I remember when I was a child, Uncle Wilson Hunt, we called him Uncle, came to visit us from his home in Ogden, Utah. He came in the winter; it was very cold, no snow, just cold, ground frozen very hard. He stayed several days with us, and mother tried to cook everything on the place. The table would be groaning with goodies, and Dad, (Dr. Alex Hunt) would ask Uncle Wilson to return thanks. Oh, he would pray and pray; I thought I would starve before he got through. I was very small. A mad dog came one night and bit our cows and hogs (while Uncle Wilson was there). Johnty, one of my brothers, put a pistol in his coat pocket and ran to kill the old dog. The pistol fell out of his pocket and went off. It shot Johnty through the heelstring (tendon Achilles) and calf of the leg. All thought Johnty would never walk again. Uncle Wilson (a Mormon) anointed and blessed him; Johnty got well…couldn't even tell he had been shot."

Wilson Hunt is remembered by his grandson, George Wilson Hunt, as being a large athletic man of great faith and spirituality. He is known to have walked from Ogden to Salt Lake city to attend the afternoon session of the Latter-day Saints General Conference. At the age of 70 he often walked from Ogden to Hooper, a distance of twelve to thirteen miles, to visit his son, Andrew Jackson Hunt. He was apparently well and strong until the time of his death on 25 April, 1897, as the result of a stroke, when he was almost eighty years old.


Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868

Hunt, Wilson

Birth Date: 22 May 1817 Death Date: 26 Feb. 1880 Gender: Male Age: Unknown Company: 1847-1868 (Unknown Year of Travel)

Pioneer Information: Wilson lived in North Pigeon, Iowa from 1849 to 1852. In the 1850 federal census his given name is spelled "Wilston." He also appears in the 1852 Iowa Territorial census (taken before July). The first evidence to place him in Utah is the 1856 Territorial census. The 1860 federal census gives his birth date as ca. 1819. Additional research is needed to identify the exact year her crossed the plains and the name of the pioneer company with which he traveled..."

SOURCE: http://www.lds.org/churchhistory/library/pioneerdetails/1,15791,4018-1-59521,00.html

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Wilson Hunt's Timeline

1817
May 22, 1817
Greenville, Muhlenberg, Kentucky, United States
1840
December 27, 1840
Age 23
Belton, Muhlenberg, Kentucky, United States
1841
November 2, 1841
Age 24
Muhlenberg, Kentucky, United States
1897
April 25, 1897
Age 79
Ogden, Weber, Utah, United States
????
Ogden, Weber, Utah