ARETUS L. HUNT                   

The Olathe Mirror, Thursday, Dec. 27, 1917, Pg 1

No. 52





  The sudden death of A. L. Hunt better known as Col. Hunt, which occurred at his home on East Park street Tuesday evening, December 18, came as a distinct shock, not only to the immediate family, but to his many friends throughout the county.  Up to the very moment of his passing Mr. Hunt appeared in his usual health and spirits.  The family had just finished the evening meal and were still sitting around the table discussing the war news, when all of a sudden Mrs. Hunt noticed the Colonel’s head dropped forward.  Thinking he was feeling faint, she hurried to his side lifting his head and urging him to speak.  Physicians were hastily summoned, but the end evidently came even before Dr. Moore could come across the street.

  Col. Hunt was a familiar figure among us; so long had he been identified with the growth and progress of town and county in many of its activities; so long had he walked among us, that he seemed a part of the very town itself.

  Aretus L. Hunt was born in Peoria county, Ills., March 3, 1847.  His parents were William Hunt and Rebecca Brinkle, natives of Maryland and descendents of some of the earliest Maryland families.  They came to Illinois in 1836, and located in Peoria county.  He received his early education in the public schools of Illinois and in early life learned the blacksmith’s trade.

  February 2, 1865, before he was eighteen years old, he enlisted in Company A, 151ST regiment, Illinois Infantry, and was attached to the army of the Cumberland, spending most of the time in Georgia until he was mustered out at Columbus in 1866.

  Mr. Hunt returned to Illinois, and remained until 1871, when he came to Kansas, locating at Stanley where he conducted a blacksmith shop for fifteen years.  He was also engaged in the grain, lumber and coal business there for a number of years, and for a time was in partnership with E. R. Gooding, under the firm name of Gooding & Hunt, but later Mr. Hunt bought his partner out and conducted the business alone until 1897, when he sold it to Hodges brothers.

  Mr. Hunt was married to Miss Mary J. Capperune, of Burean county, Illinois, August 1, 1878.  Their home was in Stanley until 1899, when they moved to Olathe, where Mrs. Hunt died May 2, 1907.  Mr. Hunt was married to Mrs. Blanche H. (Buxton) Barnes of Olathe, October 31, 1912.

  Since coming to Kansas, Mr. Hunt had been interested in farming and had acquired several farms aggregating 480 acres.  For a number of years he was a large cattle feeder.  Since coming to Olathe he has not been actively engaged in business but has been active in a number of organizations.  He was a member of the Grange for years and has held various offices.  At the time of his death he was treasurer of the Olathe Grange, and for three years was secretary of the State Grange.  He was adjutant of Franklin Post No. 68 G. A. R. and one of the directors of the Patrons Bank, of which he was president for several years.

  In politics Mr. Hunt was a Republican, and devoted to the best interests of that party.  He was a man of exceptionally good judgement, his opinion being sought and valued.

  His many fine traits of character were appreciated by his large circle of friends.  When present at any gathering he always brought with him a genial, companionable atmosphere.  There was a ring of sincerity to his voice which, with his cheery smile and characteristic salute in greeting, always won him a warm welcome.

  His private character and his official record were above criticism.  He was an example well worthy of emulation—an example of the highest and best type of American citizenship, a noble Christian gentleman, a true and devoted husband, a loyal, and sympathetic friend, a genial companion, and an honest, faithful and efficient public servant.  His genial disposition and his happy manner drew to him friends of all ages.  The child of four, the young man, the comrade of years ago—all alike felt at home in his presence.

  We had known much of Colonel Hunt the last few years, and our judgment of him and his worth had been formed for a long time.  When the men and women came from Stanley and vicinity in large numbers to attend the funeral service, their tribute to his life, corroborated our—and even went much farther.

  Colonel Hunt possessed great force of character, thorough loyalty and devotion to duty, unquestioned honesty, industry, and energy, that seemed to have no limits.  Stanley people love to tell of his sounding anvil, accompanied always by a cheery whistle, long before other residents would arise for the duties of the day.  After a fatigueing day’s work, he was never too tired to take part in the social gatherings and was the life of the crowd with his ready wit and humor.

  He was forceful and influential everywhere, a safe, wise counselor, a true, valued friend, and essentially a useful man.

  In the army he was one of the best of soldiers, and did valiant service.  He possessed courage of the highest type, was chivalric by nature and he was endowed with an equable temper and a pleasing disposition, which resulted in his having a very wide circle of real friends.  His acquaintance was extensive and his standing high wherever he was known.  The death of Colonel Hunt is a distinct loss to Olathe and Johnson county.

  Mr. Hunt is survive by his widow and two step-children, Helen and Harvey Barnes; also two brothers and three sisters.

  The funeral services were held from the M. E. church, of which Mr. Hunt was a faithful member, on Thursday afternoon, December 20, conducted by the pastor, Dr. M. M. Culpepper, who in fitting words commended Mr. Hunt’s  worthy life and example and spoke words of comfort to those who are left.  Music was furnished by a quartet composed of Mrs. Blankenbeker, Mrs. Gilbert, Miss Zimmerman and Mrs. Roberds, with Miss Nehrhood at the organ.  The pall bearers were the directors of the Patrons Bank—O. J. Scott, J. W. Robinson, F P. Hatfield, S. B. Haskin, George Black and George Kelleher.  The beautiful floral offerings were a silent tribute of the love and respect of many friends.

  Interment was made in the Olathe cemetery, the services at the grave being in charge of his comrades of the G. A. R. who had laid tenderly over the casket the flag he loved, and which was interred with him. 

‘Perchance, all desolate and forlorn,

These eyes shall miss thee many a


But unforgotten every charm—

Though lost to sight, to memory,