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Sonoma County

 

Richard Paul Hunt

If the statement is made that a person is a native of California it is almost invariably followed by one saying that he is still a resident of the state, and in many cases has not crossed the border line of his native state. All of this may be said of Mr. Hunt, a well-known and prosperous rancher in the vicinity of Sebastopol. Born in Sierra county in 1862, he is a son of William J. and Lucy (Jackson) Hunt, who had come to the west the year previous to the birth of their son. A mining experience of two years in Humboldt county was followed by the removal of the elder Mr. Hunt to the Sacramento valley, but shortly afterward he returned to the mines. His hopes for success in the mines made him loath to give up the venture, but an experience of several years without any perceptible gain induced him to abandon the undertaking, and in 1865 he came to Sonoma county. Purchasing a ranch in the Blucher valley near Sebastopol he settled down to the less exciting tho9ugh more profitable life of the agriculturist, and here he passed away in 1907. The Gravenstein apple now so generally known in this part of the county had not been grown successfully up to the time of his locating here, but by making a faithful study of the conditions necessary for the cultivation of this special variety, he finally won the day, resulting in its becoming the favorite apple grown throughout this section of country. Mrs. Hunt died on the home ranch in Sonoma county in 1873, leaving three children, as follows: Joseph H., a well-known resident of Oakland, and the proprietor of canneries in various parts of the state; Richard Paul; and Mrs. E. E. Morford, of Sebastopol.

Richard P. Hunt was a young child when he came with his parents to the ranch in Blucher valley, and in the schools of this locality he was well educated. Under his fatherís training he received a good insight into the best methods of farming, especially in raising fruit, and the application of these principles on his own ranch has shown them to be sound. When he felt competent to undertake the management of a property of his own he purchased a ranch of twenty acres not far from the old homestead, which he developed and planted to apples. Gravensteins take the lead, his shipments of this variety amounting to three thousand boxes, Spitzenbergs two hundred boxes, and Newtown pippins one hundred boxes annually. As he looks with pride upon the rows upon rows of trees heavily laden with their luscious fruit Mr. Hunt calls to mind the time when his father located in the valley and saw this country covered with brush and willows, with only a cabin here and there to denote that settlers were coming in. The elder Mr. Hunt built one of the first houses erected in the valley. None but the main county roads had been marked out at this time, and it remained with the farmers to make their own highways.

The marriage of Richard P. Hunt in 1900 united him with Miss Cora Belle Harris, a native of Tehama county, Cal., where her father, S. F. Harris, had located in an early day. One son, Raymond, has blessed the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Hunt. Fraternally Mr. Hunt is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and politically is independent, voting for the man whose qualifications for the office make him the better candidate.


Source:
History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011