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Pittsfield Historical Society's

History of Pittsfield

George H. Hunter


From The Biographical Review published in Boston, MA by the Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1898. This article is contained in Volume XXIX.

GEORGE H. HUNTER, of the firm Hunter, McMaster & Co., merchants of Pittsfield, was born in Bowdoinham, July 1, 1830, his parents being Robert and Jane (Henry) Hunter. His father, a native of Topsham, who was well known in the couniy, lived in Bowdoinham for several years, carrying on a tannery and to some extent engaged in farming. In 1835 he located in a place about three miles west of Pittsfield village, and there carried on farming until his death in 1870, on May 31. He was also engaged in lumbering and in trading. Prominent as a politician and with the best interests of the community always at heart, he was chosen to represent the town in the legislature, was County Commissioner for several years, and for a period a member of Governor John Danna's Council. He also served the town as Selectman for a number of years and in various other positions. In politics he was a Democrat. The first of his two marriages was contracted with Charity Rogers, of Bowdoin, who had five children — James R., Louisa, Nancy, Robert P., and Charity—all now deceased. By his second marriage, which was made with Jane Henry, there were two children: Ellen Maria, who died at the age of thirty-seven years; and George II. Both parents were members of the Universalist church, and were active in church work.

George H. Hunter remained with his parents until he was twenty years of age. Going then to Lowell, Mass., he learned the machinist's trade, and subsequently worked at it for about two years each in Lowell and Portland. After his marriage, which took place in 1851, he continued to work at his trade until 1855, when the increasing feebleness of his parents caused him to return to the farm and take care of them for the rest of their lives. At once he assumed the management of the farm, and, as time went on, erected new buildings and made many other improvements on the place. In 1872 he exchanged the farm for his present residence in Pittsfield village. Shortly after his arrival he was appointed Tax Collector, which position he held for five years. In 1876 he was made Deputy Sheriff. His mercantile career began in 1877. From that time until 1881 he was with Mr. Charles E. Vickery in a variety store. The burning of the store in 1881 threw him out of business for a time, but in 1885 he formed a partnership with Nelson Vickery that lasted for a year and a half. In the fall of 1886 he bought out Mr. Vickery's interest, and the firm of Hunter & McMaster was formed. C. E. Frost was taken into the firm in 1891, and the name changed to Hunter, McMaster & Co. The firm carries a line of first-class groceries and of flour and feed.

Mr. Hunter's wife, a Clinton lady, whose maiden name was Elizabeth A. Flagg, is a daughter of Ruel Flagg, who was a farmer and carpenter, and died several years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Hunter have had two children — Charles H. and Everett W. The latter died at the age of ten years. Charles H., born in February, 1852, who is now a prominent physician in Minneapolis, Minn., successively graduated at Bowdoin College and the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and subsequently studied for three years in Europe. He married Maggie O Stone, of Brunswick, Me. Like his father, Mr. Hunter, Sr, is a Democrat and has been active in local politics. In 1876-77 he was Selectman. A Mason in good standing, he is a member of Meridian Lodge, No. 125, and of Ira Berry Chapter.


Original Version: 05-Apr-2007.


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