HUNTER, PETER JAMES , member of the well-known Hunter family that has done so much in promoting the welfare and progress of Chatham Township, Sangamon County, was born in the township, April 24, 1882, a son of George W. and Rachel C. (Campbell) Hunter. (A more complete history of the family is to be found in the sketch of George W. Hunter, in a preceding section of this department.) Peter J. Hunter attended the district schools of his neighborhood, and when twelve years old enrolled himself in the public schools of Springfield and attended them during the next five winters, working on his father's farm during the summer months. After leaving school, he remained on the home farm until March 5, 1902, when he was united in marriage with Miss Nellie A. Van Doren, born on the same section (18) of Chatham Township, as himself, April 30, 1882. She was a daughter of William Van Doren, a representative citizen of his community, still residing on his farm, and of whom may be found a sketch elsewhere in this work.
After marriage, Mr. Hunter settled on his farm on Section 3, of Chatham Township. In 1907, he and his wife took a pleasure trip to Colorado and New Mexico, then spent two years in the village of Chatham, and in the spring of 1910, returned to the farm, where they have a pleasant home, brightened by the presence of their two children: Emma R., born November 15, 1904, and Esther Eloise, May 1, 1908. For many years Mr. Hunter has been connected with the Christian Church, while his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of Loami, which he also attends. He is a member of the Masonic Lodge, No. 523, of Chatham, and he and Mrs. Hunter are members of the Order of Eastern Star. He is serving as Worshipful Master of the former.
Although a comparatively young man, Mr. Hunter has for several years been identified with the best interests of the community, and is always found ready to support any worthy public enterprise. In 1909, by solicitation of his friends, he was placed upon the Democratic ticket for the office of Supervisor, and although the township is strongly Republican, he was elected by a fair majority and took his seat in June of that year. He has stood for a "fair deal for the people," and has been one of the most useful members of the board. When the question came up of converting the county into a commission of three Judges, he voted that the people be allowed to vote on the question. Personally, he is much opposed to the issue and has advanced many good reasons for his opposition to the commission plan.
Mr. Hunter is an intelligent farmer, and for the past three years has given much attention to breeding high-grade hogs. At the head of his herd, is the pure-bred Poland China "Banker Second" champion at the Illinois State Fair in 1909. Mr. Hunter has about fifty head of hogs on his farm at the present time. He owns 240 acres in his home place on Section 3, and also has 160 acres on Section 8 of Chatham Township. He has always been in favor of a good grade of horses and cattle, as well as hogs. His success attest the soundness of his judgment on agricultural matters.