Putnam County


George W. Hunt, superintendent of schools of Putnam county, has, although a young man, attained considerable prominence as a representative of the system of public instruction in Illinois, and his abilities, natural and acquired. are an indication that still further advancement awaits him. Born in Fulton county, Illinois, May 8, 1875, he is a son of Hiram and Catherine Hunt, both now deceased. The father, a farmer by occupation, was born in New York and came to this state in the '30s. His wife was a native of Ireland, and with a sister and two brothers came to America. Mrs. Hunt took up one hundred and sixty acres of land near Havana, Illinois, and the deed, signed by President Buchanan, has never been transferred only to the heirs.

George W. Hunt was reared under the parental roof to the age of seventeen years, and during that period acquired a district-school education. Ambitious for further intellectual progress, he then attended the State Normal School at Normal, Illinois, and alternately devoted his time and energies to teaching and study until he entered the State University in 1901. In 1898 he came to Putnam county as teacher of the Center district school, near Magnolia. For three years he was principal of the Granville high school, and in the fall of 1903, while yet a student in the State University, was elected superintendent of schools for Putnam county. In February, 1904, he came to Granville and entered upon the duties of this office, in which capacity he is now serving. Although he was thus forced to relinquish his class work he continued his studies, returning to the university to take all of the examinations, and was graduated therefrom in 1904 with the degree of L. L. B. In 1905 he was admitted to the bar, and has since successfully engaged in the practice of law. His work in behalf of the schools has been notable and has won him more than local distinction. In April, 1906, he rendered a decision in favor of the consolidation of three school districts into one. This was a new departure in the school work of Illinois, but had been tried successfully in other states. The arguments Mr. Hunt presented in a neat eight page pamphlet, which shows his ability as a writer and as a logical thinker and indicates that much time and study was spent in its preparation. Having himself been a student in the district schools and in the State Normal and a teacher in the district schools, he was well qualified to know the conditions of the country schools and the limited opportunity its pupils had in a chance for entering a high school or college. Mr. Hunt's opinions are largely considered authority on public-school questions in this part of Illinois, and he justly merits the position of prominence that he has won in educational circles. His own broad intellectual culture and natural ability, combined with his unfaltering diligence, have made him recognized as one of the able educators of the state. He is a most entertaining conversationalist and a fluent writer, and is continually broadening his knowledge through reading and investigation. At the last election he was re-elected to the office of county superintendent without opposition.

Fraternally he is connected with the Woodmen and with the Odd Fellows, and his religious faith is indicated in his membership in the Congregational church.

Source: Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois authored by John Spencer Burt and W. E. Hawthorne in 1907, page 154.

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