Myrtle Ida Hunter

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project
Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project



(January 8, 1882 - June 14, 1984)


The Lusk Herald
June, 1984


MYRTLE IDA HUNTER

Funeral serivces for Myrtle Ida Hunter, 102, an area Hereford rancher since 1915, were held Mon. at 2 p.m. at Peet Mortuary Chapel in Lusk. Miss Hunter died at her home in Lusk on June 14.

Myrtle Hunter was born January 8, 1882, near Everly, Iowa, the second to the youngest of the four children of William and Helen Hunter. In 1897, the family moved to Dixon. Mo., where they cleared land and developed a commercial apple orchard.

At the age of 16, Myrtle comnpleted a Normal School Course and started teaching school. Many of her pupils were older than her. Around the turn of the century, she homesteaded in western South Dakota. All water had to be hauled 12 miles from the White River. She later returned to Missouri to assist her parents.

In 1915 Myrtle and her parents traded their interest in a canning factory in Missouri for the Mashek ranch southeast of Lusk. In 1917, her brother, Charles Hunter, and her sister, Olive Hunter, re-joined the rest of the Hunter family. They brought with them the foundation registered Hereford stock they had acquired in Montana. They then developed one of the outstanding Hereford herds in the west. They sold breeding stock to breeders in many states and many of America's finest herds bear the stamp of the Hunter stock today.

In the early 1970's, due to advancing age, Myrtle and her sister Olive dispersed their herd and moved to Lusk. Her sister Olive passed away January 12, 1961, at the age of 96.

Myrtle is survived by two nephews, Charles Bryant of Riverton, Wyo. and Edward Bryant of Potomac, Md.; two grandnephews, three grand-nieces, five great-grandnephews and four great-grandnieces. The Rev. Roy Howell of the United Church of Christ in Lusk will conduct memorial services. Active bearers are Lawrence Kaan, Richard Keenan, Noal Larson, S. E. West, Harry Brown and Leonard DeGering.

Memorials may be given to a charity of your choice.


PROFILES

By Polly Brandley, staff reporter, The Lusk Herald, February 15, 1979

Myrtle and Olive Ida Hunter still own and manage their Hunter Hereford Ranch located four miles east and two miles south of Lusk. They are 97 and 94 years of age respectively.

The ranch covers 4,120 acres and is well known for the Hunters’ registered livestock. They bred and raised the Real Prince Domino line, which is considered one of the best bred lines in the United States.

Myrtle Hunter was born in January 8, 1882, in Clay County, Iowa, and Olive “Ollie” Amanda was born there Sept. 20, 1884. Their parents were William Leonard and Lucy Helen Hutchins Hunter. Charles Hunter was the oldest Hunter child, and he was also Ida and Ollie’s partner at the ranch until his death Nov., 1967. Pearl Hunter was another sister who was the only one of four children who married. She married Al Bryant.

Ida and Ollie’s father was born in Pennsylvania, and their mother was born in Ashtabula County, Ohio. She moved with her family when she was a small girl to Winslow, Ill. Hunters were married Feb 2, 1867, at Orangeville, Ill., and in 1872 they moved to Clay County, Iowa, near Everly where Ida, Ollie and Charles were born.

The family moved to Dixon, Mo., in 1895 where the family developed and operated a commercial fruit farm. They planted trees in the brush, and then cleared the brush away once they got their apple orchards planted. In 1915, 20 years later, they sold 1,000 barrels of apples that season, with three bushel per barrel. They also raised tomatoes in Missouri, and sold them to a factory. Their father could only load 24 bushel in the wagon at a time.

Ida taught her first school in Dixon, Mo., when she was 15 years old. Her wages were fifty cents per day and she walked four miles each day to teach 14 students. She taught in a log school house, dobbed {sic} with mud instead of mortar, and it only had one and a half windows for available light.

Charles also taught school at Crocker, Mo., before homesteading in western South Dakota in the early 1900’s. He worked on various ranches and taught school in the Little Missouri area of Montana and western South Dakota.

Ida and Pearl went in 1911 to S.D. to homestead 12 miles south of Draper. Charles worked in Presho , S.D., and he would ride the train to Draper and walk the 12 miles to Ida’s homestead to help her many times. He took her team and wagon four miles to the White River to get a 20-gallon barrel of water which had to last until he could come back.

After Ida’s 14 months were up for proving her homestead, she returned to her teaching career in Missouri, and Ollie took her turn homesteading one half mile from Magdalene, S.D. She and Charles later took desert claims near Alzada, Mont. Here she carried the mail to Dayton, Mont., fir six months. She figured she rode 6,600 miles during those six months.

Ollie and Charles sold their Montana and South Dakota land in 1917, bought registered Herefords and moved to Niobrara County to rejoin Ida and the family who had come here in 1915, They had purchased the Alex Mashek place, and their present ranch consists of 32 homesteads. It is presently leased to Moose Thompson and his brother-in-law Gary Scott and their uncle Jim Thompson. They run their herds there during the summer.

Pearl and Al Bryant were the parents of two sons. Edward is a statistics consultant and owns Westat Company in Washington, D.C., and formerly taught at Wyoming and Florida universities. He and his wife, formerly Virginia DeGering live in Potomac, Md. Charles is a retired civil engineer who worked for the government on dams and lives on his ranch near Riverton. Both sons served with the U.S. Army in World War II. Pearl Bryant died in 1934 and her husband Al died in 1962.

Ida and Ollie enjoy showing the sea shells and rocks they have found and polished in their own machine. They can proudly display their photo albums which hold scores of pictures they took and developed themselves. “We would finish the pictures after midnight many times,” stated Ida. Their walls hold several pictures that Ida painted, along with a large photograph of James D., a proud Hunter Hereford bull. Over the back of a reclining chair hangs a rug picture of Columbus discovering America, which their father bought at the first World’s Fair in Chicago.

Ida and Ollie belong to the American Hereford Association and the Wyoming Stock Growers Association and formerly belonged to the Rebekahs.
















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