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The present townsite of Hunter was purchased on August 7, 1880 from the United States Government, containing 160 acres, at the rate of $2.50/acre, amounting to $400.00. Even Johnson made payment for this amount on August 7, 1880. Even Johnson, and his wife, Oleanna, sold by warranty deed, four acres on the south side of said tract to William Kindred, and is listed as the original townsite. In October 1880 the original townsite was platted. Hunter was registered in Cass County on May 28, 1881. Hunter was named after John C. Hunter, an extensive landowner in the area. The community of Hunter started growing very rapidly from the start. The Gale Duffany general merchandise store was built in 1881, a store owned by L.C. Barrett, the school, Citizens Bank, and one after another it grew. In 1885, 109 votes voted in favor of incorporation of Hunter. By 1887 the population was about 400.
During 1887-1889, Hunter had grown to six grain elevators, three churches, two blacksmiths, hardware store, two general stores, lumber yard, shoes and gents funishing, iron works, graded elementary school, bank, two hotels, restaurant, two saloons, two weekly newspapers and long distance telephone service to Arthur, Amenia, and Casselton. There were two machinery dealers, two livery stables, drug store tonsorial parlor, and jewerly connected, two meat markets, harness maker, Great Northern Depot, millinery shop, barber shop, a fruit and confectionery, post office, physician and surgeon, veterinarian and a ten piece brass and five-piece orchestra. The population was 500.
Tragedy struck on December 28, 1899 when a fire started in one of the meat markets. Before the fire could be contained, most of the buildings on Main Street had been burned. In 1902, three buildings were rebuilt, followed by several others, until Main Street was not completely rebuilt but substantially rebuilt. In 1901 and 1902 graveling the streets and building cement sidewalks was started. At that time, a Cass County publication said, "It is safe to say that Hunter is one of the most beautiful little villages in North Dakota." The population continued to grow until its peak of close to 600 in 1906.
From the beginning to now, Hunter is well-known as a good place to live and work, primarily because of the
"community spirit" of its people.
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