From the History of Macoupin County, Illinois, 1911. Please feel free to skip right by all this – I’ve just copied it in because neither I nor my little sister knew 1/100th of what’s in here. We never met this grandfather since he died in 1942, well before either of us were born.
“WALTER G. HUNT, organizer and manager of the Brighton Mutual Telephone Company, also prominently identified with other lines of business, is numbered among the enterprising and successful men of Macoupin County. His life is a practical demonstration of what may be attained by a man of energy and determination, actuated by a worthy ambition to accomplish honorable aims.
“He was born in Dorsetshire, England, May 27, 1865, a son of William and Dinah (Myall) Hunt. The parents died in the old country, the mother, however, having spent three years with her children in America.
“Mr. Hunt of this review was educated in the common schools and as he grew to maturity applied himself to the cabinet-maker’s trade. At the age of nineteen he emigrated to the United States and proceeded direct to Golden City, Barton county, Missouri, the home of a brother, Albert, who had arrived in this country two years previously. He found employment under his brother in the contracting and building business, continuing with him for a year, and then was engaged in other lines for three years. In 1888 he removed to Kemper, Jersey county, Illinois, and applied himself to railroad work, painting, carpentering, farming or any other honorable occupation that was available.
“At the age of twenty-five he was married and took up his residence with his bride upon a farm known as the old Hart place, of which he had been the owner for two or three years. In March, 1893, he traded his farm for a furniture and undertaking establishment at Brighton and removed to this city, which he has since made his home. He applied himself diligently to his business, and it has since largely increased under his effective management.
“In 1902 he organized the Brighton Mutual Telephone Company, of which he has since been the head. He also associated with others in the organization of the First National Bank at Brighton in April, 1909, and is a member of the board of directors of that institution. He has been very active in local affairs and was one of the leaders in effecting the organization of the volunteer fire company of Brighton and has had charge of the engine ever since it was purchased. The funds for the fire bell were secured by popular subscription but there was no money in the treasury for the erection of a tower. Mr. Hunt suggested a voting contest as to the most popular young lady in the city, and the money for the tower was soon forthcoming.
“The tower was dedicated by a picnic which was called the Betsey Ann picnic and has since been held annually, being recognized as one of the noted events of this section. Mr. Hunt served as president of the Betsey Ann society for about six years after its organization. His energy has also found expression in the establishment of a picture show at Brighton, being associated in this undertaking with W. H. Robings.
“On the 29th of November, 1890, Mr. Hunt was married, at Piasa, Illinois, to Mrs. Mary E. Denny, whose maiden name was Mary E. Reynolds, and to this union eight children have been born, five of whom survive, Gladys, Dorothy, Walter G., Paul, and Marcella. All of the children are living at home.
“Politically Mr. Hunt is an adherent of the republican party, of which he is an earnest supporter, being at the present time a member of the county central committee. He has served with general acceptance to the people as tax collector of Brighton, member of the town board and township clerk, and is now filling the office of clerk of the school board of the township. Fraternally he is identified with Brighton Lodge, No. 366, I.O.O.F., and has passed through all the chairs in that organization. He is also a member of the Rebakahs and of Brighton Camp, No. 1688, M.W.A. He and his family are connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a man of unusual business capacity and accomplishes with apparent ease what would appear to be impossible to many of less resourceful mind.
“He is one of the foremost citizens of Brighton, and justly deserves the high regard in which he is held by a large and growing circle of friends and associates.”