The medical profession in Marion county has an able representative in the
subject of this review, who is to be considered one of the leading
physicians of the community of Sandoval, where he at present maintains his
home, where he has long been established in practice. He has been closely
identified with the civic and social affairs of Sandoval and he controls a
large and representative practice throughout this part of the county, where
he is held in the highest esteem as a physician and surgeon and as a
public-spirited and loyal citizen.
Dr. James Hunter was born in Randolph county, Illinois, in 1837, the son of Alexander and Martha (Kell) Hunter. Grandfather Hunter was from Ireland. He first settled in South Carolina after coming to this country, and it is supposed that he died there. In that state Grandfather Kell was born. He moved to Randolph county, Illinois, having devoted his life to farming. About 1830 he bought a farm there, settling among the pioneers, reared his family of two children, both girls, and died there at the age of sixty-seven years. He was a member of the Presbyterian church.
The father of our subject was born in South Carolina and came to Illinois when twenty-eight years old, settling in Randolph county, where he bought land and on which he lived until his death, which occurred when he was twenty-nine years old. His wife passed away at the age of forty. Their family consisted of three children, our subject being the only survivor. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Hunter were both members of the Presbyterian church.
Doctor Hunter was reared in Randolph county, Illinois, and attended the public schools there, working on his grandfather's farm in the meantime, until he was seventeen years old. He early decided that his life should be devoted to the healing art, and actuated by this laudable ambition he began the study of medicine under the direction and instruction of Dr. Hopkins, of Sparta, Illinois, having remained with him for one year. He then took two courses of lectures in the Eclectic Medical Institute at Cincinnati and began practice in Randolph county in 1858, where he remained with gratifying results attending his efforts for a period of five years. He then located in another part of the same county, where he remained a short time.
Much to the regret of his patients and numerous friends in Randolph county, he moved to Newport, Kentucky, in 1864, and took up practice there, where he remained for four years, his success having been instantaneous. He located in Switzerland county, Indiana, where he practiced with most flattering results for a period of nineteen years, after which he came back to Randolph county, Illinois. He then spent five years at Irvington, Washington county, having come to Marion county in 1890, and has been practicing here ever since, having a lucrative business and a growing practice. To further qualify himself Doctor Hunter attended the medical department of the Nashville State University and graduated from the same in 1879. Recently the doctor was appointed to the chair of Theory and Practice in the Hypocranium Medical College, a night school in St. Louis.
Doctor Hunter was married in 1857 to Miss N. J. Askins, of Sparta, Illinois. Two of Mrs. Hunter's brothers were soldiers in the Civil war, having enlisted from Illinois. They served their time out and were honorably discharged.
Six children were born to the subject and wife, four girls and two boys. The doctor has four grandchildren living. One of his daughters lives in San Francisco, California, another lives in St. Louis, one in Boston and another in New York. They are all well situated in reference to this world's affairs.
Our subject is a Mason and a Woodman. He has filled most of the chairs in the Masonic lodge. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist church and are liberal supporters of the same.
Doctor Hunter takes an active part in politics, having been a liberal supporter in the Democratic ranks all his life. He has faithfully served his community as Justice of the Peace for the past twelve years. What his hands and mind have found to do he has done with his might, and having attained a commanding position among his contemporaries, he wears his honor in a becoming manner and is today one of the prominent citizens of Marion county.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 543-545.