Pages 743-744, 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.




ROBERT A. HURT, who is engaged in the real estate business in Yates Center and has been largely instrumental in the upbuilding of the city by inducing many residents to locate here, has made his home in Woodson County since 1871, at which time he became identified with agricultural interests in Southeastern Kansas. He is a native of Kentucky, his birth having occurred in Warren County, that state, on the 18th of September, 1821. He was a farmer's son and with his father, John Hurt, removed to Illinois. The latter was a native of Virginia, born in 1773, and was a son of John Hurt, Sr., who died in Surrey County, North Carolina, on the Yodkin river. From that locality his son John removed to Kentucky in 1818, and in 1830 went with his family to Sangamon County, Illinois. Some years afterward, however, he returned to the Blue Grass state, where he spent his last days. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Sarah Cochran, also died in Kentucky.

Robert A. Hurt is the youngest of their nine children and is the only surviving member of the family. He was a young boy when his parents removed to Sangamon County, Illinois, where he was reared to manhood and pursued his education after the manner of the old-time subscription schools found on the frontier. He learned the trade of a woolen manufacturer and in connection with his brother afterward established a mill at Athens, Illinois, where he carried on business for ten years with good success. He then embarked in merchandising in Havanna, on the Illinois river, and also engaged in buying grain during his two year's residence there. Suffering loss by fire, he next removed to a rented farm but afterward purchased a tract of land on Crane creek, in Mason County, Illinois, operating and improving the same until 1860, when he sold that property and resumed merchandising in Mason City, Illinois. Subsequently he followed the same line of business in Elkhart, Indiana, whence he removed to Kansas.


The year 1871 witnessed the arrival of Mr. Hurt in Woodson County. Here he located on a farm in Toronto township and engaged in its cultivation until 1875, when he was elected county treasurer. In October of the following year he entered upon the duties of the office and by re-election served for two terms, being a most capable and trustworthy official. Upon his retirement from office he turned his attention to the real estate business in which he has since engaged. He has located many people in Yates Center and Woodson County, where his principal business has been done, and has thus contributed in valued measure to the growth and upbuilding of the city and surrounding country.

On the 17th of February, 1842, Mr. Hurt was united in marriage to Miss Mary A. Dimond, a daughter of Jesse C. Dimond, and their children are as follows: Emily J., wife of A. J. Morris, of Toronto; Mary F., wife of Dr. Charles Orendorff, of Allen County; May A. Sherman, of Yates Center; and John C., who is also living in the county seat.

Mr. Hurt cast his first presidential vote for William Henry Harrison, the candidate of the Whig party; in 1840; afterward voted for Clay, Taylor and Scott; and in 1856 supported White, of Tennessee, who ran on the Union ticket. In 1860 he cast his ballot for Abraham Lincoln, whom he had known personally, and since that time he has been an earnest Republican.

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