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Jay County Indiana Biographies


Byron L. Bunker was born February 1, 1862, in Wayne county, Indiana, a son of Francis F. Bunker, who was born in 1840 and died in 1890. He was a native of North Carolina, and his father Thomas Bunker came from North Carolina and settled in Wayne county, during the pioneer period. During the Civil war Francis F. Bunker was for four years a Union soldier, having enlisted from Wayne county, and going through the war as a valiant defender of the integrity of the state. After the war he moved to Jay county, where he bought the farm, on which he spent the balance of his life. The maiden name of his wife was Lorena Hunt of Wayne county, who died in 1873 at the age of thirty-two years. By this marriage there were four children, namely: Alpha Retta, deceased; Byron L., Thomas Sheridan, of Jay county; Ira, who died at the age of seventeen, and one that died in infancy. The father for his second wife married Angeline Johnson, whose six children were Alice, May, deceased, Evi, Myrtle, Orvall, and Garfield. The second wife died when thirty years old", and Francis F. Bunker then married Alvira Votaw, who died in the spring of 1911.

Byron L. Bunker grew up in Jay county, where he attended the local schools, and when twenty-one years of age left home, married and for two years operated a farm belonging to his father. In 1885 he moved out to Kansas during the boom period in that state, but remained as a contender against the adversities of the west for only two years, and in 1887 returned to his home state. For several years he was engaged in contract work of grading roads and highways. Then for about eight years he was employed by the Marion Gas Company. In 1902 he began taking contracts for the laying of pipe lines, and laid one line from Marion to LaFontain, another from Marion to near Fairmount and relaid the line at Jefferson, Ohio. He then went to Canada, where he was engaged in laying one hundred miles of pipe line. Returning to Indiana in 1907, he bought sixty acres of land near Sweetser. In the same year he bought twenty-four acres near Hanfield, and soon afterwards bought thirty-two acres adjoining. All of this land he sold in 1911, and then came to Monroe township, where he bought his present estate of one hundred and sixty acres. Mr. Bunker has won his success by his own efforts, and has demonstrated that it is possible to pay a high price for agricultural land and still prosper as a result of its energetic management. For the land near Sweetser he paid one hundred and forty-three dollars an acre. He broke the record of land sales in Grant county, when he sold this for two hundred and five dollars per acre. He also sold part of his land near Hanfield, 47 acres, making a thousand dollars on the deal. For his present farm in Monroe township he paid one hundred and twenty five dollars an acre, and as a result of his various improvements, it is now worth considerably more.

By his first marriage which occurred in 1883, Mr. Bunker had four children, namely: Charles Arthur, of Kansas City; Walter B., of Kansas City; Fred B., who is with the Marion Gas Company; and Mrs. Flossie Harper, of Portland, Indiana. April 16, 1904, Mr. Bunker married Lillian St. Clair, of Marion, a daughter of William St. Clair. Mr. Bunker has seven grandchildren, six living. James Byron died when an infant; Kearney Richardson and Maxine are children of Charles Bunker; Raymond Earl and Anna Louise are children of Fred Bunker; Palmer Byron and Helen Louise are children of Mrs. Flossie Harper. In politics Mr. Bunker is a Republican, affiliated with the Marion Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. In religion his parents were members of the Quaker church. Mrs. Bunker is a communicant of the Marion Christian church.

Centennial history of Grant County, Indiana, 1812 to 1912 ..., Volume 2

 By Rolland Lewis Whitson, John Putnam Campbell,


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