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Andrew J. Hunt

                                                            Arkansas City.
Arkansas City Traveler, Monday, October 28, 1918.
                                    Only a Few People Knew That He Was Sick
                                                 CHEERFUL TO THE END
                                  His Death Removes Nationally Known Miller.
                                                 FOUNDED NEW ERA CO.
                                        In Milling Business Here for 20 Years.
                                 Leaves Besides His Family, Legion Of Friends.
Announcement of the death of A. J. Hunt, president of the New Era Milling company, at 11:10 o’clock, last night, produced a community wide shock, for only the members of the family, a few close friends, and business associates knew that he was seriously ill. Everywhere the news was received with the exclamation: “I didn’t know he was sick.” Cirrhosis of liver caused death.
The funeral services will be held for immediate members of the family and a few close friends, by order of the health department, at the Episcopal church Wednesday afternoon at 2 o’clock, Frederick Busch, rector, officiating. Interment will be made in the Mausoleum at Riverview Cemetery. His friends may attend the services at the cemetery as the quarantine against influenza does not apply to gatherings in the open air. The committal service will be held outside the mausoleum if the weather permits.
The death of Mr. Hunt removed one of Arkansas City’s biggest assets and ended one of the most successful business careers of the southwest. He was a national figure in milling circles, having attained considerable prominence and recognition for his broad vision in matters affecting that industry. At the state and national conventions, his counsel was sought and his advice contributed largely toward the shaping of policies adopted by the millers.
Mr. Hunt was born in Omaha, Nebraska, November 7, 1861. He and Mrs. Hunt were married in that city on November 6, 1884, and they came to Arkansas City in 1898. They have one daughter, Mrs. P. M. Clarke.
Mr. Hunt became identified with the Texas Grain compa­ny, which occupied the present site of the New Era Milling plant in 1898. In 1899 he built the present stone building of the New Era Milling company, the Texas Grain company being swallowed up in the new organization of which Mr. Hunt became the president.
Evidence of his far sightedness at that time was shown in the size building that was constructed, allowing big latitude for future growth. At that time the capacity of the mill was about 400 barrels. It is 1,200 barrels today and he saw his industry develop into a $500,000 institution before he died. Only recent­ly an improvement that he had been planning for a long time took shape in the form of the eight big grain tanks that are now under construction, having a capacity for 250,000 bushels of wheat. He was always planning big things and contin­ued working until they were consummated.

In the early days Mr. Hunt had mighty hard sledding, and numerous times he paced the floor of his office figuring out a way to meet the payroll. Those were stormy times, but he managed to get over all the breakers and his splendid institution today is as solid as the rock of Gibralter.
Mr. Hunt had a genius for organization, and he had surround­ed himself with as capable and loyal men as can be found any­where. About 70 employees are on the payroll of the New Era Milling company and every man was 100 percent loyal to Mr. Hunt. He possessed a broad and sympathetic understanding of human nature and every man on the works knew Mr. Hunt intimately and had access to him at all times to discuss either business or private troubles. Few men ever become as good a mixer as he was, and this popularized him to a great extent, especially among the young men who liked him immensely because he entered into their amusements with them with an exuberance akin more to their age than to his own.
His ability as a directing head was recognized by the government in making him the chairman of the milling division of the food administration for Kansas City district, and the strenu­ous work of this office undoubtedly hastened his end. He hid his suffering from even the members of his family, and his cheerful disposition was maintained until his death.
Mr. Hunt was chosen as the secretary of the Kansas Flour Mills Company, an amalgamation of various mills in the southwest. His office was at Wichita and he served in that capacity for three years, 1911 to 1914.
Mr. Hunt was a junior warden of the Episcopal church, and one of its most staunch supporters in Arkansas City.
Mr. Hunt was a great friend of Arkansas City. He was one of the most ardent boosters for the city, and he has always been a prominent member of the Chamber of Commerce. He has been presi­dent and a director of the organization at various times, and he was responsible for the reorganization of the old Commer­cial club a number of years ago. He was never too busy to give his time to any proposition for the advancement of the city.
His business affairs were left in excellent shape, and the operation of the New Era Milling company will continue along the same lines planned ahead by the deceased president. His son-in-law, P. M. Clarke, has been identified with the mill for the last several years and is learning the business from the ground up in the same manner that his father-in-law did. Besides the stock owned in the mill by Mr. Hunt, his other investments included a large amount of stock in the Home National bank. His estate is probably valued at $200,000 or $250,000.
Besides his wife and daughter, and a half-brother, C. G. Hunt of Omaha, Nebraska, he leaves a multitude of friends who mourn his death.
The New Era Milling plant and offices are closed until after the funeral.


Cowley County Historical Society Museum