Niagara County

1897 Biography - Washington Hunt

Washington Hunt was born in Windham, Greene county, N. Y., August 5, 1811. His youth and young manhood were passed in his native place, where he obtained the foundation of his education. In 1828 he settled in Lockport and began his life work in the humble capacity of clerk in the general store of Tucker & Bissell. Two years later he determined to adopt the study of law, for which purpose he entered the office of Lot Clark. After his admission to the bar, however, he became heavily interested in real estate and other business operations, and never practiced his profession. In 1833 he became a member of the firm of Hunt & Walbridge, who purchased from the Albany Land Company 32,000 acres of land in this county, which was the foundation of a considerable fortune. When only twenty-four years old he was appointed first judge of the county (l836-41) and filled the station with dignity and ability. In 1840 he left the Democratic party on financial issues, joined the Whigs, and was elected to Congress, serving from 1843 to 1849. He was next honored with appointment as comptroller and in 1850 received the Whig nomination for governor, in opposition to Horatio Seymour, over whom he was elected by a majority of only 262 in a vote of 428,966. Receiving a renomination at the next term he was defeated by his former opponent. In these various official positions Governor Hunt exhibited characteristics that gave him the confidence of his fellow citizens and enabled him to perform the duties ihat devolved upon him with a good measure of success. Governor Hunt died in New York city February 2, 1867.

Contributed 01 Oct 2017 by Lisa Slaski from Landmarks of Niagara County, New York, by William Pool, D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, NY, 1897

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