DUNTEN, HORACE FRIEND

 

Horace Friend Dunten, one of the very oldest residents of Allen County, died Thursday night at his home in Perry township, north of the city.   Mr. Dunten was almost 92 years of age and more than seventy years of his long and active life were spent as a resident of Allen county.  He was at the time of his death, the oldest living settler of Perry township and one of the very few persons whose experience and recollection reached back to the days of his construction of the old Wabash and Erie canal through this region.

 

Though rugged and active to a time far beyond the usual span of human life, Mr. Dunten had for some months been in failing health, declining gradually beneath the weight of his more than four score and ten years, and for the past two weeks friends have realized that the end was near.   It came Thursday night, when the honored pioneer sank peacefully into the dreamless sleep which marked the close of his long and useful career.    The aged man was a benefit from his home for the last time on election day, when he insisted upon being carried to the polls that he might cast what he realized would be his last vote, and this request was granted.  

 

Came here in 1833

 

Mr. Dunten, a Native of New York, born in Jefferson county, January 23, 1813, and had death been deferred but a few weeks, he would have completed his 92nd year.  He was the son of Ephraim H. Dunten, who served as a soldier in the war of 1812.  Seventy-one years ago the family emigrated westward reaching Allen County in August, 1833, and from this time forward the son was continuously a resident of this county. 

 

The young man’s first work upon reaching Fort Wayne was as a laborer in the construction of the Wabash and Erie Canal, participating in the beginning of this splendid work of pioneer engineering when the first earth was thrown upon the feeder near the present site of the Centilivre brewery.    In the same year of his arrival the young man entered 40 acres of land in Perry township, north of this city, and from that date forward continued to accumulate land as rapidly as he could earn his money to pay for it upon a salary of $16 a month while working on the canal and at $10 per month at other employment.

 

Selected Cemetery Site

 

Within a short time after location his land in Perry township Mr. Dunten took up his residence there, and together with THOMAS DUNTEN selected the site for the present Huntertown Cemetery.

 

He united in marriage in 1830 to ALMENA TIMMERMAN, daughter of HENRY TIMMERMAN, another early settler who had located in Indiana in 1833.   To this union 11 children were born and 9 of them survive.  The children are:

 

            GRANVILLE S. DUNTEN, residing at Compton, Ill

            MANVILLE N. DUNTEN, of Huntertown

            HENRY C. DUNTEN of Fort Wayne

            MILTON B. DUNTEN, of Omaha

            ALEXANDER B. DUNTEN

            WINFIELD B. DUNTEN, both of Pleasant Dale, Neb.

            FRIEND DUNTEN, of Los Angeles, California

            CHARLES J. DUNTEN, of San Francisco and

            MRS. MARY GUMP of Nebraska City, Neb.

 

Five of the sons served as soldiers in the Union Army during the civil war, and eight of the children were successful school teachers.

 

Long a Leading Citizen

 

Throughout his long and active career, Mr. Dunten was a leading citizen both of his township and of Allen county.   He was a man of many sterling qualities, very widely known and enjoyed the unbounded friendship and esteem of all.   He never sought public office, and never held one save that of constable of his township at an early day.   This place he resigned when he joined the tide of immigration for a temporary residence in California when the discovery of gold there attracted thousands of people westward.   Mr. Dunten remained in the west but a year and a half, then returning to Allen county.   He was frugal and industrious and acquired a comfortable competence, owing when he retired from active farming pursuits 200 acres of fine land under excellent cultivation and well improved. 

 

His funeral services will be held from the Universalist church at Huntertown at 1 o’clock Saturday afternoon, and the interment will occur in the cemetery at that place. 

 

From the Fort Wayne Sentinel

December 3, 1904