Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy 127th Birthday, Henry Perkes Hunter (1884-1978)!

Gayle Wells' grandfather

Henry is the gray sheep of the family--and since he exists in living memory, his life hasn't had time to percolate into intriguing stories like those of more distant ancestors, so hurt feelings remain.
Henry with children Aggie, Millie, Jim, 1916
Henry was the son of William and Amy Hunter, who were both pioneer children from England.  (In an interesting choice of namesakes, he was named after his difficult great-grandfather Henry Perkes.)  He grew up as the third of their eleven children in American Fork.  As a teenager, Henry went off to the Philippines to participate in the Spanish-American War.  He came home and was called on a mission to England, but returned only months later to marry his girlfriend Clara.  They had five children, with a set of twins first (of which the boy died, and the girl was our ancestor Aggie).

After a dozen years of marriage, Henry moved north to the Bear Lake area where he registered for the World War I draft.  Distance and absence led to divorce from Clara.  Henry married a woman named Lola in 1922, and they adopted a son and daughter, but only the son Waldo lived.  Henry was a railroad brakeman and conductor with the Denver and Rio Grand, Union Pacific, and other railroads, and visited thirty states in his travels.

Henry remained active in the church in his later years and even served as a temple worker.  When his granddaughter Gayle visited him in Idaho in the 1970s, he gave her photos, a personal history he'd written, and some heirloom goblets, but it didn't make up for the missing relationship.

Henry with Aggie, 1931
I'd give this traveling man a new suitcase!

1 comment:

  1. I'd give him one of those airplane miles coupons, so that if he took the plane he could get a discount.