William L. Hunter

Submitted by
Valerie Crook
September 16, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 239-240
Monroe County

WILLIAM L. HUNTER, M. D. It is a well-known fact that
a forceful personality speaks for itself and that the indi-
vidual who can govern himself successfully is frequently
called upon to govern the affairs of others. Men of broad
ideas and firm grasp on civic matters develop into respon-
sible citizens, and because of their resourcefulness and
ripened judgment their communities benefit not only in a
material sense but also with reference to those things which
make for a general uplift. One of the men who for years
has exerted an influence for good in professional life and
in civic affairs throughout a large territory contiguous to
Tralee is Dr. William L. Hunter, a member of the Wyoming
County Court and physician in charge of practice at the
Harty Coal Company, Barker’s Creek Coal Company, Mead
Pocahontas Coal Company and Virginian Railroad Company,
at Tralee, West Virginia.

Doctor Hunter was born on his father’s farm at Green-
ville, Monroe County, West Virginia, November 4, 1872, and
is a son of J. Allen and Laura A. (Smith) Hunter, and a
grandson of Joseph Hunter, also a native of Monroe County.
J. Allen Hunter was a native of the agricultural community
of Monroe County, and was only twelve years of age when
the war between the states came on, so that he did not see
service, although his older brothers all fought in the Con-
federate army. When he attained manhood he adopted
farming for his life work, and has been engaged therein
throughout his career, being still a resident of Monroe
County and in moderate circumstances. He was formerly a
democrat, but for some years past has voted with the re-
publican party. He is now seventy-three years old, and his
wife, also a native of Monroe County, is sixty-eight, and
both are faithful members of the Methodist Church and
active in church and Sunday school work. She is a daughter
of William Smith, who was a pioneer of Monroe County.
Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Hunter: William
L., of this review; Clayton, who is engaged in agricultural
pursuits in Monroe County; J. O., a graduate of the Mary-
land Medical College, and now a practitioner of medicine
and surgery at Peterstown, Monroe County; Prank, who is
in the mercantile business at Princeton, Mercer County, this
state; Mary, who is the wife of Doctor Harber, a physician
and surgeon of Seminole, Oklahoma; Marguerite, who is
now Mrs. Bennett, of Ada, Oklahoma; and Ruby, who is
the wife of Albert McCurry, residing also in Oklahoma.

The early education of William L. Hunter was acquired
in the country schools of Monroe County, following which
he began his career as a school teacher, a course followed
by many professional men whose financial circumstances
were such that they must earn their own way through the
higher institutions of learning. For ten years he was en-
gaged in instructing the young, and then, in 1897, entered
the Medical College of Virginia, at Richmond, from which
he was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine in
1900. He at once entered practice at Red Sulphur Springs,
Monroe County, where he remained nearly fifteen years,
then coming to Tralee to take over the practice of the
companies mentioned above. He has won for himself a
position high in the confidence of the people and the esteem
of his fellow-practitioners in the county, and has shown
himself thoroughly capable and learned and possessed of a
kindly and sympathetic nature that makes friends out of
patients. In 1918 Doctor Hunter became a member of the
Wyoming County Court, and has remained thereon to. the
present time, and 1920 served as president. During his term
of office many improvements have been accomplished, one of
the chief of which has been the extensive building of modern
highways throughout the county.

In 1894 Doctor Hunter was united in marriage with Miss
Josephine Weikle, daughter of Tippet Weikle, of Monroe
County, and to this union there have been born three daugh-
ters: Ida, Pauline and Zelma. The family belongs to the
Methodist Church, in the work of which they have been
active. Doctor Hunter is a Master Mason, holding his
membership at Blue Indian Creek, Monroe County, and his
Scottish Rite degree at Wheeling. He is a republican in
politics and progressive in his ideas and actions.