Andrew Jackson Hunt.The semi-centenary of Kansas's statehood found her an acknowledged leader among her sister states in agricultural production and wealth. Her one commercial activity which approaches her wonderful development as a producer of cereals has been that of milling; and in connection with this industry have been developed men, who from the standpoint of initiative, constructive and executive talent rank with the most forceful in the state. Among those who have realized a large and substantial success in this field of endeavor, and whose identification with it covers a period of fifteen years, is he whose name initiates this article.
Andrew J. Hunt was born in Omaha, Neb., Nov. 7, 1861, a son of Asa and Margaret (Birrell) Hunt. The family was founded in America in the colonial period, Asa Hunt being born in Burlington, Vt. He became a resident of Omaha in 1856, where he was a successful building contractor and grand master of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for Nebraska at the time of his death in 1863. He was active in the affairs of the Democratic party of Omaha and both he and his wife were members of the Presbyterian church. The Birrell family was founded in America by Andrew Birrell, who was born near Glasgow, Scotland. He came to Canada in 1845 and located at New Paisley, Quebec, where he engaged in farming. Two of his sons, George and Archibald Birrell, served in the Union army during the Civil war.
Andrew J. Hunt acquired his education in the public schools of Omaha, graduating in the high school in 1879. Subsequently he secured a position as a salesman in a grocery store and in 1882 entered the employ of the Pacific Express Company in a clerical capacity. He remained in the service of this corporation for fifteen years and received several promotions. In 1897 he came to Kansas with the intention of engaging in the manufacture of flour. He chose Arkansas City as his field of operation and organized the New Era Milling Company, capitalized at $150,000, and was elected president and general manager. He supervised the construction of the New Era Mills, having a capacity of 1,200 barrels a day, and considered, when completed, a model in all respects. The business of this corporation, under Mr. Hunt's management, was of sound and continuous growth. Its products were marketed throughout the United States, Great Britain and India. Seven grain elevators situated along the lines of the Frisco, Kansas & Southwestern and Missouri Pacific railways were operated in connection with the mills. In the organization, development and administration of the business of this institution Mr. Hunt was the dominant executive and to his progressiveness, energy and resourcefulness was due the success and high reputation of the organization. In 1911 Mr. Hunt became actively interested in promoting the organization of a company with sufficient capital to take over several of the leading flour mills of the state with the object in view of saving in buying, manufacturing and selling costs, standardization of products and to increase the manufacture of Kansas wheat. On Dec. 4, 1911, the efforts of him and his associates resulted in the incorporation of the Kansas Flour Mills Company, capitalized at $9,000,000, and having through purchase secured a milling capacity of about 7,300 barrels. Of this corporation Mr. Hunt was elected secretary in charge of accounting, and on Jan. 1, 1912, offices were established in Wichita. He brought into the new organization one of the largest, best equipped and most successful milling enterprises in the state, which, coupled with his natural tact and well known executive ability, presages an able administration of his department. In addition to his milling interest he has large agricultural holdings and he is interested in the Home National Bank, of Arkansas City. His value as an active executive to the milling industry and his personal worth and popularity among the millers of the country at large is attested through his election in 1912 to the office of president of the Millers' National Federation, the highest honor known to the trade.
Mr. Hunt has attained the Thirty-second degree in Scottish Rite Masonry; is a past worshipful master of St. John's Lodge No. 25, Omaha, Neb., and is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and Ancient Order of United Workmen. He has taken an active interest in politics, is a stanch Republican, and has been but once a candidate for officethat of mayor of Arkansas City, and was defeated by but thirty-two votes. On Nov. 6, 1884, Mr. Hunt married Miss Margie E. Hambright, daughter of Charles S. Hambright, a native of Lancaster, Pa. He was for many years a locomotive engineer and upon his retirement in 1905 located in Arkansas City, Kan., where he died in 1910. Mr. and Mrs. Hunt are the parents of one child, a daughter, Helen Louise Hunt, who graduates at Bethany College, Topeka, with the class of 1912 and of which class she is president. The family are communicants of the Episcopal church and are not only generous contributors to its support, but also to its various charities.Pages 1202-1203 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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