History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/John D. Hunter
JOHN D. HUNTER, pioneer journalist, was born August 12, 1834, at Knoxville Jefferson County, Ohio. His early education was acquired in the public schools and closed with two years in Ashland Academy. At the age of fifteen he entered his father's printing office where he learned the trade, and when twenty, he issued the first number of the Hoosier Banner. He came to Iowa in 1856, locating in 1858 at Eldora where he purchased a half interest in the Hardin County Sentinel. He held a number of positions of trust in the county, and in 1863 removed his paper to Iowa Falls. When the Civil War began Mr. Hunter resigned the office of county treasurer to enter the army where he served until peace was restored. In 1867 he purchased the Hamilton Freeman, removing to Webster City which became his permanent home, where he has conducted that journal for more than thirty-six years. He was elected to the House of the Twelfth General Assembly, representing the district composed of the counties of Wright, Hamilton, Franklin and Hancock, and serving two terms. Mr. Hunter was the author of the first bill introduced into the Iowa General Assembly providing for a Board of Control for the management of the State institutions. A favorable report was made by the committee to which the bill was referred, but it was defeated in the House. He will be remembered long in the annals of wise legislation as the originator of the plan which after many years of consideration by Governors and legislators was enacted into law, working a great reform in the government of the public institutions of the State. It has been already demonstrated that the adoption of Mr. Hunter's bill of thirty years ago would have saved to the State millions of dollars without in any way having detracted from the efficiency of the institutions. In 1872 Mr. Hunter was appointed trustee of the Iowa Reform School.