Pages 702-703, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




A native of Illinois, Henry C. Hurt was born in Menard County, February 28, 1842, a son of John M. Hurt, a pioneer of Sangamon County, Illinois. The latter was born in Carter County, Kentucky, and was a son of ————— Hurt, also the father of ex-treasurer R. A. Hurt, of Woodson County, Kansas. He removed from Warren County, Kentucky, to Illinois, taking up his abode near Springfield. A lawyer by profession, he was admitted to the bar after his marriage, and on the day of his admission he had twelve cases for trial. No dreary novitiate awaited him. From the beginning he was successful, and in the early days in Illinois was the associate of such distinguished jurists and statesmen as Governor Richard Yates, Sr., William Herrington, William Butler, Colonel Williams and Abraham Lincoln, all then practitioners in the courts, of Illinois. Mr. Hurt became quite prominent in political affairs in Menard County and for many years was almost continuously in office. He served through a long period as justice of the peace and was also county sheriff. During the Civil war he was a strong supporter of the Union cause and his first experience with army life came in 1862 when with Governor Yates and others he went to Fort Donelson to assist the wounded after the battle at that place. This experience and the scenes upon the battlefield so aroused his patriotism that he returned to Illinois and raised a company for service which was mustered in as Company K, One Hundred and Sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was elected major of the regiment and was afterward promoted to the rank of colonel. The One Hundred and Sixth formed a part of General Steele's army, with which Colonel Hurt was in active duty until his death, which occurred just as the army was going into winter quarters at Pine Bluff, Ark. Thus he gave his life in defense of the Union, of which he was a most zealous and loyal advocate. In his early political convictions he was a Whig and afterward joined the Know Nothing party. When the Republican party was formed to prevent the further extension of slavery he joined its ranks.

Colonel Hurt was united in marriage to Margaret Boyd, who was born in Baltimore County, Maryland, and died in Illinois in 1900, at the age of seventy-nine years. She was a daughter of John Boyd, one of the first settlers of Menard County, Illinois, and by her marriage she


became the mother of nine children: Henry C., of this review; Mary, wife of E. F. Glascock, of Menard County; William, of Kingfisher, Oklahoma; Anna, wife of Thomas Turner, of Emporia, Kansas; Charles, who is living in Omaha, Nebraska; David and George, who are living in Menard County, Illinois; Laura, wife of William Turner, also of that County, and Joseph, who makes his home in Menard County.

Mr Hurt, the well known agriculturist of Center township, Woodson County, was born in Athens, Illinois, and in his boyhood and youth his time was quite equally divided between the farm and town life, the family living in Athens and Petersburg at different times. He acquired a fair English education and in his youth worked upon the home farm so that practical experience well fitted him for similar duties in later years. He was married September 15, 1883, to Caroline Rankin, a daughter of W. L. Rankin, a native of Kentucky, who became a cattleman and farmer of Illinois. He wedded Mary Ellen Sudduth, who died in 1857, leaving four children: Thomas J., of Nebraska; Benjamin, who died at Chattanooga, Tennessee, while serving in the Union army during the Civil war; Lee, of Northwestern Iowa, and Mrs. Hurt, who was born November 14, 1844. Mr. and Mrs. Hurt have but two children, John M., who was born October 16, 1865, married Cora Walker and now resides on the old homestead, and William is living in Terre Haute, Indiana.

After his marriage Mr. Hurt remained in Illinois until 1872, when he removed with his family to Page County, Ia., and in 1880 he came to Woodson County, where he engaged in the land business for four years. He purchased a tract of land on section twenty-six, township twenty-five, range fifteen, where he now owns three hundred and twenty acres of land, and to the cultivation of the fields he now devotes his time and attention with excellent success. He likewise handles cattle, his business is annually bringing to him good returns—the sure reward of earnest labor. The political situation of the country is a matter of interest to him—as it should be to every true American citizen—and he indicates his preference by voting for the men and measures of the Republican party, which he has supported since casting his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864. He has never sought office, however, his business affairs claiming his consideration and time.

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