Edmund Pendleton Hunter

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie Crook
September 19, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 243
Berkeley County

has been identified with the important history of the coun-
try around Martinsburg for a century and a half. Its
members intermarried with another historic family of this
region, the Harrisons, as noted in another article. This
sketch reviews briefly the well-known older members of the
family, Col. David Hunter and Col. E. P. Hunter.

Col. David Hunter was born at York, Pennsylvania, May
3, 1761, and was a child when his parents settled in what
is now Berkeley County, Virginia. Their home was estab-
lished about two miles north of Martinsburg, on what is
now known as the Williams Port Pike. The Hunter estate
there became known as the Red House Farm. Upon the
organization of Berkeley County the first court convened
at the Hunter home. David Hunter attended a school in a
log building situated near the corner of Queen and Burke
streets in Martinsburg. About 1778 ho went to England,
and was abroad some three years. After his return to this
country he married Elizabeth Pendleton, descended from one
of the first settlers of what is now Berkeley County. Her
father, Philip Pendleton, was born near the present site of
Martinsburg in 1752, was an eminent lawyer and was pres-
ent at the organization of Berkeley County in 1772. Philip
Pendleton married Agnes Patterson. Col. David Hunter
throughout his long life was deeply interested in all the
affairs and progress of his home locality, and he was elected
and served as clerk of the County Court from 1803 until
his death in 1829.

Col. Edmund Pendleton Hunter, son of David and Eliza-
beth (Pendleton) Hunter, was born in 1809, acquired an
education at Jefferson College and was admitted to the
bar in Berkeley County in 1831. He became owner and
editor of the Martinsburg Gazette. He had many interest-
ing associations with public men of his day. He attended
thp Young Men’s Convention in Washington, where he heard
Henry Clay speak, and ever afterward was an ardent sup-
porter of that great Kentuckian. Colonel Hunter succeeded
General Boyd as commonwealth’s attorney for Berkeley
County, and he served in the Virginia House of Delegates
during 1834-35 and 1839-41. During the war between the
states he commanded the Sixty-seventh Regiment of Vir-
ginia Volunteers. He rose to the highest honors in the Ma-
sonic fraternity in his state, and was a member of the
Episcopal Church.

On August 2, 1832, Edmund Pendleton Hunter married
Martha C. Abell, daughter of John and Sarah (Forrest)
Abell. She was born in Jefferson County, and her parents
came from St. Mary’s County, Maryland. Colonel Hunter
and wife reared seven children, named: Sarah, Maj. Rob-
ert W., Elizabeth J., David, John Abell, Martha C. and
Mary Louisa. The daughter Sarah was the wife of Peyton
Harrison, who is elsewhere referred to. The son David
was killed at the battle of Cedar Creek in 1864. Martha
C. became the wife of Harry Riddle and Mary Louisa mar-
ried John H. Doll.

Miss Elizabeth Hunter for several years taught a private
school in Martinsburg. She and her widowed sister, Mrs.
Mary Louisa Doll, now occupy the old home on East King
Street, near the Public Square. Elizabeth Hunter is a mem-
ber of the Episcopal Church and the Daughters of the Con-