While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


J. Marvin Hunter

HUNTER, JOHN WARREN (1846–1915). John Warren Hunter, teacher and newspaperman, was born in Rogersville, Alabama, on August 10, 1846. His father and stepmother brought him to Texas in 1856, settled in Hunt County, and then moved to Sulphur Bluff in Hopkins County, where he attended school for two months. When he was fifteen the Civil War broke out. He was not old enough to enlist, and after a group of Confederate soldiers hung one of his friends, he decided he could not fight for the Confederacy. As he would not fight against the South, he escaped conscription by securing a job as a teamster with a wagon train hauling cotton to Brownsville, whence he crossed to Matamoros, Tamaulipas, where he remained until the end of the war. An account of his harassment by the home guards on a trip to Columbus, Texas, early in 1864 is recorded in Heel-Fly Time in Texas, an autobiographical work first published by the Frontier Times in 1931. He came back to Texas and spent two years in Lavaca County. After learning of his parents' deaths, he went to Tennessee on a visit and in 1868 met and married Mary Ann Calhoun. He moved to Boonville, Arkansas, and farmed while his wife taught school. He knew little of farming and failed in a drought year, but his wife taught him enough writing, arithmetic, and grammar for him to obtain a third-grade certificate. Hunter began teaching a course on writing to the local residents that became very popular.

In 1876, with three daughters, Hunter started for Gillespie County, Texas, but stopped at Black Jack Grove to teach for four months before proceeding to Fredericksburg. He taught at Spring Creek and other frontier schools until 1891, when he purchased the Menardville Record. In 1892 he moved his newspaper plant to Mason and established the Mason Herald, which for fifteen years was one of the outspoken newspapers of the state. In 1905 he moved to San Angelo to become editorial writer on the San Angelo Standard. With his oldest son, J. Marvin Hunter, he founded Hunter's Magazine, now published monthly at Bandera as the Frontier Times. Hunter had become a student of Texas history; his booklet Rise and Fall of Mission San Saba was published in 1905. He was survived by his wife and six children when he died on January 12, 1915.

J. Marvin Hunter Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Southwestern Historical Quarterly, April 1923.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, J. Marvin Hunter, "HUNTER, JOHN WARREN," accessed May 27, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhu36.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...