E. S. Hunt, well known in Ford county as a representative of one of the worthy and honored pioneer families of this part of the state, was born in Marshall county, Illinois, October 15, 1833. His parents were Cornelius and Ann (Sidell) Hunt, who were natives of New Jersey.
The father removed with his parents to Pennsylvania, and subsequently the family home was established in Muskingum county, Ohio, among the first settlers there. The father built a log cabin with a clapboard roof and puncheon floor and door, and in the true style of the frontier the family began their life in the Buckeye state. There they cleared a farm, and with the development of that place Cornelius Hunt was actively connected, so that pioneer experiences were not unfamiliar to him when he came to Illinois in 1828. He made a location in Vermilion county, where he lived tor eighteen months, and then removed to Putnam county, purchasing a claim on which there was a log cabin. It remained his home for six years, after which he sold that property and removed to Marshall county, Illinois. He there purchased two hundred and twenty acres, entering eighty acres of the timberland and paying for it the usual government prices. With characteristic energy he began the development of the farm, turning the first furrows in the fields and carrying on the lalior of general agriculture for fourteen years. He then rented his Marshall county land and purchased a farm in La Salle county, near Lostant. To this place he removed and made it his home until his death, which occurred May 12, 1874. His wife survived for about sixteen years, passing away in 1890. In their family were ten children, seven of whom survive, as follows: Ruth H., now the widow of Andrew Mailer and a resident of Melvin, Illinois; John S., of Melvin; Jane, the widow of James Dixon, also of Melvin; E. S. of this review; Elizabeth, the widow of George Dixon, who resides in Melvin; William J., who makes his home in the same town; and Philip, who is located in Paxton, Illinois.
In taking up the personal history of E. S. Hunt, we present to our readers the record of one who is widely and favorably known. He remained with his father until he attained his majority, acquired a common school education and was trained to the work of the home farm, lessons of industry and enterprise being deeply impressed upon his memory and constituting the secret of his later successes. When he had reached man's estate he began life on his own account by renting a farm and after two years thus passed he invested his earnings in eighty acres of land in La Salle county, Illinois, for which he paid thirteen dollars per acre. This he improved, making his home thereon until 1868, when he sold out and purchased a farm of three hundred and twenty acres on section 1, Peach Orchard township, Ford county, on a part of which Melvin now stands. He also owns one hundred and twenty acres in Crawford county, Illinois, on which oil has been found, and he has leased the land for operation for oil for what the land cost him. He also gets one-sixth of the oil and retains the ownership of the land, so that from the property he derives a good income. He has a nice residence in the village of Melvin and during the past fifteen years he has engaged in farming with success, making a specialty of draft horses. His business interests are well managed, for he is a man of energy and determination.
On the 24th of December, 1854, Mr. Hunt was united in marriage to Miss Mary Griffin, with whom he traveled life's journey for more than a half century. Her death occurred November 14, 1006, and two children beside the husband were left to mourn her loss, while two children of the family also passed away. The surviving daughters are: Esther A., now the wife of C. B. Ellis, who is engaged with her father in carrying on the work of the farm; and Mary E., the wife of W. P. Shreve, a resident of Ford county.
Mr. Hunt came to his majority just about the time the republican party sprang into existence and from the beginning he has been one of its stalwart supporters. He cast his first presidential vote for John C. Fremont and has upheld the principles of the party at the polls continuously since that time. He has filled various offices, including those of assessor and collector, while for the greater part of a century he has been a school director. He contributes to the support of various churches but is identified with none through membership relations. However, he stands for all that is progressive and his influence is ever found on the side of right, reform and improvement.

Extracted 16 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 596-598.

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