Hon. A. B. Hunter
a '49er

BIO Pen-Picture,

HON. A. B. HUNTER is one of the old "Forty-niners" on the Pacific Coast, and has resided in Santa Clara County since 1851, except a few months spent in the mines on Feather River, Butte County, in the summer of 1852. Mr. Hunter is a Virginian by nativity, born in Augusta County, in 1826. When a small child, his parents removed to Missouri, where he grew to manhood, with such educational advantages as that then frontier States afforded. Mr. Hunter was among the first to cross the plains after the discovery of gold in California, in search of the coveted yellow dust. On ariving he at once went into the mines on Feather River, and there spent the rest of 1849 and a part of 1850.

In the fall of the latter year he went to what is now the American Valley, and, being one of the first to settle there, he started a stock ranch, naming it the American Ranch, a title which was afterward given to the valley. In company with several others, Mr. Hunter opened a hotel and general supply and provision store, known as a "trading post". Owing to a severe illness, from which he was not expected fully to recover, Mr. Hunter sold his interest in the business in the fall of 1851, being carried and hauled out of the valley, expecting to go to the Sandwich Islands for his health. He came to Santa Clara County to visit some of his friends before his departure, and while here recovered so rapidly that he abandoned the projected trip and remained in this valley. So well has this climate of the Pacific agreed with him that he has never had a day's sickness since.

After regaining his health, Mr. Hunter spent the summer of 1852 in the mines, as before stated, then returned to Santa Clara County, and, in partnership with another gentleman, engaged in the live-stock business. Their custom was to go out on the plains and buy stock which was thin in flesh, bring it into the valley and fatten it up, and then sell it in the San Francisco market. In 1855 Mr. Hunter purchased a farm, which he still owns, near where Lawrence Station now is, married, and settled down to farm life. Here he resided till 1883, when he remove with his family to San Jose. During the latter years of his residence on the farm, Mr. Hunter paid considerable attention to the culture of strawberries, having ten or twelve acres, the average product being $300 per acre, and the cost of cultivation and harvesting about half that sum.

In 1882 Mr. Hunter was elected to the State Legislature on the Democratic ticket, and filled the office two terms. In the spring of 1888 he was elected a member of the City Council, in the Second Ward, and is still serving in that body. He retired from active business when he left the farm. Mrs. Hunter's maiden name was Rutledge. She was born in Virginia, but came to California when quite young. Her parents are residents of Santa Clara County. Mr. and Mrs. Hunter have had five children, two sons and two daughters living. One son was accidentally killed by falling lumber in a yard in San Jose in 1881.

SOURCE:  Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H.S.
Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888. page 250-251 Transcribed by Carol Lackey


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight