Col. William Hudson Hunt

Eastside Cemetery, Bridgeport, Texas

Born in Ithaca, New York, William Hudson Hunt became a principal figure in the development of Wise County. he came to Texas in 1836, joining the War for Independence. He then served in the Army of the Texas Republic, participating in the Santa Fe Expedition. His engineering and surveying skills led to an appointment to the council which located the site of the Texas capitol. He also surveyed public and school lands and proposed roadways. In 1855, Col. Hunt became an early Wise County pioneer, settling along the Trinity River’s West Fork. He built his resident and ranch headquarters on a hill (later Cactus Hill) at the confluence of a creek (later Hunt’s Creek) with the West Fork. He and his wife, Catherine (Cordel), raised five children on the land. Hunt built livestock and grazing operations, and together with neighbors, including noted rancher Daniel Waggoner, he began a cattle business that later thrived. Hunt also specialized in raising sheep. Col. Hunt was also a community leader. He laid out the county seat of Taylorsville (later Decatur) and became Postmaster at Cactus Hill. He was also active in church and Masonic activities. Additionally, he led residents in a successful effort to encourage routing of the Butterfield Overland Mail Route through Wise County. In 1861, after the death of his wife, Col. Hunt moved his family to Decatur. His death in 1864 was the result of a wreck caused by a runaway team of horses leading his vehicle. Col. Hunt and other family were originally buried in their family cemetery in Cactus Hill, but the construction of a dam and creation of Lake Bridgeport led to their reinterment here. Today, Col. Hunt is remembered as a pioneer, rancher and noted leader in the early days of Wise County.