William M. Hunter, M. D., has not only gained status as one of the representative physicians and surgeons of Kansas but has also become a widely known authority in the diagnosis and treatment of all phases of catarrh, to which department of professional work he now gives virtually his entire attention. He maintains his home and office headquarters in the City of Wichita but in his special field of practice he draws an appreciable and appreciative clientage from states far distant from Kansas. The doctor is a scion of a sterling family whose name has been identified with American annals from the time of the War of the Revolution. He is a direct descendant from Granson Hunter, who left his home in Ireland and came with the British forces to America to take part in the Revolutionary war. Shortly after arriving in America he became assured of the legitimacy of the cause of the struggling colonies and so great was his disinclination to fight against the brave colonial forces that he deserted from the British army and settled in North Carolina. Later he removed to Greenville, Illinois, and became one of the pioneers of that state. His son William wedded Miss Polly Anne Grace, and the young couple forthwith set forth to establish a home in DeKalb County, Missouri. They made the trip with one horse, which the bride rode, and the young husband compassed the major part of the overland trip on foot. They became the first white settlers in DeKalb County, and there Mr. Hunter engaged in farming and stock-growing. It is worthy of historic note that he was a member of the party who escorted the Mormon leader, Brigham Young, and his followers out of Missouri when they were driven from that state. William Hunter was a man of vigor and strong mind, and he went forth to give loyal and gallant service as a soldier in the Mexican war. At the close of the conflict, in recognition of his services, he was allotted a large tract of land in Texas, and on a part of this tract is now situated the fine City of Dallas. John Hunter, son of William and Polly Anne (Grace) Hunter and father of Doctor Hunter of this review, was born and reared in DeKalb County, Missouri. There, as a young man, was solemnized his marriage to Miss Susan Jane Foster and in 1858, accompanied by his family and his venerable father he made his way to Texas. They established their home on the land that had been granted to William Hunter, and there they engaged in the raising of horses and cattle on an extensive scale. At the time of John Hunter’s death, in 1865, he owned about 12,000 head of cattle.
Dr. William M. Hunter was born in DeKalb County, Missouri, on the 8th of May, 1852, and thus he was about six years of age at the time of the family removal to Texas, where he gained his preliminary education in the pioneer schools. Later he attended St. Joseph College, at St. Joseph, Missouri, and in 1878 he was graduated in the great University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. In preparation for his chosen profession he entered the Eclectic Medical College in the City of Cincinnati, Ohio, and in the same he was graduated as a member of the class of 1880, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. In the winter of 1883 he entered the great Bellevue Hospital in the City of New York, and during that and the seven succeeding winters he continued to do effective post-graduate work in this institution, where he gave special attention to the study of catarrh in all of its phases and where he had the best of clinical advantages in pursuing his research. During the intervening summers of this period, and up to the year 1900, Doctor Hunter was engaged in the active practice of his profession in the City of Dallas, Texas, and in the year mentioned he came to Kansas and established his residence at Wichita, where he has since specialized in the treatment of all forms of catarrhal disease, his success in his chosen specialty having been such that he has drawn patients from every state in the Union, so that his reputation far transcends local limitations. The doctor is identified with representative professional organizations and continues a close student of the best standard and periodical literature of his profession.
As a young man, prior to entering college, Doctor Hunter gained his full quota of experience in connection with the varied operations of an extensive Texas ranch, and in season it was his custom to drive about 3,000 head of cattle from the home ranch to Dodge City, Kansas, the nearest available shipping point. At that time there was only one store on the river bank where the thriving City of Wichita now stands, and this store was conducted in a primitive shack.
At Dallas, Texas, was solemnized the marriage of Doctor Hunter to Miss Julia Vaughn, and of their five children only one is living–Annie, who is the wife of William Agnew, of Los Angeles, California.