Judge William T. Hunt, of Wagoner, possesses a very large circle of friends in professional and public life. Just as the names of various business men and public officials who have passed into the history of Wagoner suggest the fulfillment of important enterprises, so also the name of Judge Hunt will be identified with the early legislation and founding of education here for many years to come.
William T. Hunt was born in Dickson County, Tennessee, July 23, 1859, and is a son of James C. and Serena P. (Slayden) Hunt. His father, a native of Tennessee, but of South Carolina parentage and of English lineage, is still living in Dickson County, at the age of seventy-six years. The mother of Judge Hunt was also born in the Big Bend State. William T. Hunt was reared amid agricultural surroundings and acquired his early education in the local schools in the vicinity of the family homestead, this being supplemented by a course of study at Cloverdale (Tennessee) Seminary. At the age of eighteen years he began teaching school, and after two years in his native state removed, in 1880, to Clarksville, Arkansas, where he entered upon the study of his chosen profession, the law. In 1884 he was licensed to practice in Arkansas, and entered upon his professional career at Clarksville, where he resided until March, 1895, at that time taking up his residence at Wagoner, Indian Territory. From early manhood he had been active in politics as a democrat, and while living at Clarksville had served as a member of the school board, as mayor of the city, and, in 1893, as a member of the Arkansas Legislature. Upon locating at Wagoner, he at once began active service in the upbuilding of his adopted community. He was instrumental in securing the incorporation of the town of Wagoner, the first to be incorporated in what is now the State of Oklahoma, and as the attorney who drafted the petition praying for articles of incorporation before the federal judge, has the distinction of being one of the real “fathers of the city.” Always a friend of education, his former services as a member of the school board of Clarksville, Arkansas, gave him experience which was valuable to him when he exerted his influence and abilities in founding, in May, 1896, what was the first public school not only at Wagoner, but in what is now the state, and for several years thereafter be continued to serve as a member of the board. As county judge of Wagoner County, in 1913 and 1914, he made friends and admirers throughout this part of the state, and at all times upheld the dignity and best traditions of the Oklahoma bench. As a thorough and learned lawyer in all branches of jurisprudence, he has a large and important practice, and is justly accounted one of the foremost men of his profession in Wagoner County. He keeps in close touch with the professional brotherhood, belongs to various fraternal and social organizations, and is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
In 1884, while still a resident of Arkansas, Judge Hunt was married to Miss Mattie Rose, and to this union there have been born ten children, namely: Rose, who is the wife of H. H. Townsend, of Wagoner; Albert C.; Percy S., who was first an attorney and later a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and died in 1914, at La Veta, Colorado, where he was serving as pastor; John P., who is a law student at Georgetown University; a daughter who died in infancy; William T., Jr., a graduate of Wagoner High School; and James C., Cecil, Elizabeth and Francis Russell, who reside at home.