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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Henry J. Hunter, M. D.

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 446-447 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Dr. Henry J. Hunter, an Ilion physician and surgeon, was born here July 16, 1868, and is the son of William and Henrietta (Van Gumster) Hunter. His mother was born in Zwolle, Holland, and came to this country with her parents at an early age. Her father, Henry John Van Gumster was a gunmaker by trade. During the Civil war he was an officer in the Union army, but early in the war was taken ill, sent home to Syracuse, New York, and died there in 1862. On the paternal side of the house Dr. Hunter is the grandson of John and Matilda (Hawkins) Hunter who were natives of Ireland, the former born in County Tyrone and the latter in the city of Donegal. In 1854 they immigrated to this country with their children and settled in Syracuse, where they spent the rest of their lives. John Hunter was a gardener by occupation. William Hunter, father of Dr. Hunter and son of John and Matilda Hunter, was a boy when his parents came to America, his birth having occurred in Derrygoon, Ireland. During the Civil war he ran away from home to enlist in the army, but because of his very youthful age his father did not permit him to remain in the service. He became an expert mechanic and gunmaker and was connected with the Remington Arms Company for many years.

Henry J. Hunter grew to early manhood in Ilion, where he attended the public schools. In 1890 he graduated from the Medical School of the University of Maryland, at Baltimore, with the M. D. degree. For a year after his graduation he served as an interne in the University Hospital in Baltimore, after which he opened an office for the private practice of his profession in Dalton, Massachusetts, where he was located from 1892 until 1900. In the latter year he returned to his boyhood home and has been practicing here ever since. In addition to a large private practice he is a member of the staff of the Ilion Hospital. That he has developed high skill and efficiency in his profession is indicated by the liberal practice accorded him.

Dr. Hunter was health officer for the village of Ilion for sixteen years. At present he is serving on the board of education, over which he presided for a year and a half as president. His religious faith is that of the Baptist church, his affiliations being with the First Baptist church of Ilion, while fraternally he is a member of Damon Lodge, No. 125, Knights of Pythias; and Ilion Lodge, No. 1444, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. Politically he upholds the principles of government as set forth by the party of Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson. The Doctor is an enthusiastic follower of the immortal Izaak Walton. He has two camps on Oneida Lake, where he spends as many of his week-ends as possible in fishing.

At Lebanon, New York, on May 22, 1891, Dr. Hunter was married to Miss Lydia Shoemaker, who was born on "Shoemaker Hill," near old Fort Herkimer church, June 6, 1872. On both sides of the family Mrs. Hunter comes from old Revolutionary stock. Her father was Alonzo Shoemaker, a farmer, who was born on "Shoemaker Hill," and died there. His wife was Mary Crin, a native of Jordansville, New York. She died in Mohawk, New York. Mrs. Hunter, as well as her husband, is connected with the First Baptist church of Ilion. Dr. and Mrs. Hunter are the parents of two sons: The elder, Charles Edwin Hunter, was born in Dalton, Massachusetts, and educated in the Ilion high school, Staunton Military Academy and Peddie Institute of Hightstown, New Jersey. He is now state game officer at Syracuse. He was married to Miss Mable House of Syracuse, daughter of Seymore House, and they have one child, Lillian May Hunter; Walter Crin Hunter was also born in Dalton. He was educated in Ilion, in the high school, at the Staunton Military Institute and Peddie Institute and is now manager of the Ilion Engineering Company of Ilion. On April 12, 1917, Mr. Hunter enlisted in the United States army at Fort Slocum, New York, and was assigned to the Forty-fourth Heavy Artillery. As a member of the American Expeditionary Forces he left this country August 19, 1917, for France, where he participated in the following engagements: Hagenbach, July 29 to August 23, 1918; St. Mihiel, September 12, 1918; and the offensive at Bouillonville, September 12 to November 11, 1918. Returning to this country after the war he was honorably discharged from the army on February 15, 1919. Walter C. Hunter married Miss Myra Daly of Ilion and they have one son, Henry John Hunter.

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