Dunten Family

From the History of Allen County, IN, by Thomas B. Helms, with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers.  Township histories compiled by L. H. Newton.  Reprint of 1880 edition published by Kingman Bros., Chicago


In that year THOMAS DUNTEN and his nephew, HORACE F. DUNTEN, started from Jefferson County, N.Y. to find a Western home.  There was little in this locality to prepossess them in its favor.  They were confronted by dense forests, and severe labor and trials stared them in the face; but beyond this, their acute foresight discerned a rich reward for such labor, and their decision was made.  They purchased land and began at once the erection of a cabin for shelter.  Soon they began the work of clearing the land, and, in due time, were enabled to raise sufficient for the satisfaction of their immediate necessities.  THOMAS DUNTEN re-mained in the township until his decease, and during that time was largely interested in its growth and development.  HORACE F. DUNTEN was, at the time of his arrival, a young man of 20 years, and gave to his work the zest and enthusiasm of early manhood.  His subsequent life has been passed in the township, and now, at a ripe old age, he enjoys the fruits of his labors and a competence well earned.  He still resides on Section 17, on the farm cleared by his own hand.  Late in the fall of 1833 EPHRAIM H. DUNTEN SR. joined his son, Horace F. and settled on the same section.  He also cleared a farm and remained in the township until death ended his labors.  He was accompanied by his son, GEORGE, who assisted him to “make” his farm, and is now a prosperous farmer himself.  ALBERT WOOD came with Mr. Dunten in the fall of 1833 and continued to reside upon the farm until his decease in 1878. 


From B. J. Griswold, THE PICTORIAL HISTORY OF FORT WAYNE, INDIANA, and THE STORY OF THE TOWNSHIPS OF ALLEN COUNTY, by Mrs. Samuel R. Taylor, Chicago, Robert O. Law Company, 1917

They were joined in 1833 by THOMAS AND EPHRAIM H. DUNTEN, and the latter’s son HORACE F., with their families.  The Duntens did not allow the underbrush to lie long in their path to pioneer prosperity.  Horace built the first hewn log house the summer following his arrival and EPHRIAM H. DUNTEN, JR., who came in the fall was but a few months later in building the first store room of the settlement, on a spot which is now a town lot in Huntertown.  To this frame building, he brought goods from Toledo, by way of the canal as far as Fort Wayne and thence to the woodland market place by wagon, thus establishing a business which endured far beyond real pioneer days, being carried on by his sons after him.  

The Lima Road was opened about the same time, and as it immediately became a popular route for travel and pioneer traffic, this same Mr. Dunten set up a temporary tavern beside it, near the future village.  Guests poured in, and the genial host found it necessary  within a few years, to build a more commodious hostelry.  A brick kiln, set up about this time, seems to have been the only unsuccessful venture this man ever made.  He fell victim to the cholera epidemic in 1854.  THOMAS DUNTEN, the uncle, left a beautiful farmhome in New York, and undertook the hardships of pioneer living in Indiana in the hope of providing equally good fortunes for each of his children.  He was a generous and self-sacrificing father and neighbor, bearing his share and more of the difficulties of the first few winters.  At a time when the corn supply was so short that it became necessary to make a 7 days trip by ox-team to bring grain from settlements farther north, Mr. Dunten was the first to go, though it involved sleeping at night in the forest, as there was no other shelter by the way.  His children were given the best education obtainable under the circumstances, and were capable of afterward making the most of what they received.  His daughter, LUCINDA, was a pupil in a school taught by EBENEZER AYRES, claimed to be the first term taught in Perry Township.  MR. DUNTEN AND WIFE were both born in Vermont.  HORACE F. DUNTEN, only 20 years of age when he entered his first forty acres, proceeded at once to enlarge his holdings by the labor of his hands, earning $16 per month at canal work, and $10 a month when canal work closed for the winters.  A quiet, steadfast and industrious citizen, his services to the community may be estimated to some extent by the circumstance that of his 10 children, 8 became teachers.  THOMAS DUNTEN AND HORACE together selected the site of the cemetery near Huntertown.  Toward the end of HORACE DUNTEN’S life he was known as the oldest living settler of the township, having survived all his generation.  DUNTEN is still a very prominent name in Perry Township.



With historical accounts of Allen Co., IN and the City of Fort Wayne.  Reprint of 1889 edition, published by Brant & Fuller, Madison, Wisconsin, pages 312-313

“The next comers were THOMAS DUNTEN and his nephew, HORACE F. DUNTEN, who came from Jefferson County, New York, and were joined in the fall of the same year, 1833, by EPHRIAM H., father of Horace.  This family was quite prominent;  Horace erected the first hewn-log house in 1834, and soon afterward Ephraim H. Jr., who settled in 1834, put up a frame store room on what is now a lot of Huntertown.  He purchased his good in Toledo, and had them shipped by way of the canal, and from Fort Wayne, by wagons.  The store prospered and was continued many years by his sons.  In 1835 the Lima road was opened to the rich prairie region of LaGrange county, and it became a great highway for travelers and freight.  Upon this highway in the vicinity of Huntertown, EPHRAIM H. DUNTEN, JR. opened a tavern, and being a genial host, had as many guests as he could accommodate.  Several years later he built a more commodious house.  He also, about the same time, opened a brick kiln, which, however was not profitable.  At a later period he was in business at Fort Wayne, but returned to Perry township and died of cholera in 1854. 

THOMAS DUNTEN (deceased), one of the earliest settlers of Allen county, was born in Vermont in 1787.  He removed to Jefferson county, New York, which quite young, and remained until the early part of 1833, when he came west in search of wild land, which he found in abundance in this region.  He purchased about 400 acres in this county and returned for his family, which he brought to the new home in Perry township.  He had been married in 1813 to Margaret Mattoon, also a native of Ver-mont, born July 31, 1789, and this union was blessed with seven children:  Francis, Franklin (died 1886), James A., Clarinda, Lucinda, Sally (died 1871) and Thomas J.  Of this well-known pioneer family, Lucinda is the only representative in Perry township.  He was a man in good circumstances before he came west, and left a beautiful home in New York state, and 100 acres of land, to seek his fortune in a new country, and as is characteristic of the man, his ambition was to make homes for his children, suffering all the hardships of a pioneer life to gain this end.  He was a generous and self-sacrificing man, and he was one of the first in his township to take his cattle and go to the northern part of this state and haul corn for himself and neighbors to keep them from perishing from hunger in the winter.  This was a trip which required some 6 or 7 days to make, and the country through which he traveled was so thinly settled, that he was compelled to sleep in the forest where night would overtake him.  Mr. Dunten endeavored to give his children as good an education as could be obtained at that time, and they were naturally above the average in intelligence, and were quick to learn.  Miss Lucinda became one of the early and successful instructors in the schools of Allen county, an occupation which she successfully followed for over 20 years.  She was a pupil in the first school in Perry township, taught be Eb. Ayres.  Mr. Dunten was a leading citizen during his life, and his death, which occurred August 20, 1858, was widely mourned.

HORACE F. DUNTEN, the oldest living settler of Perry township, was born in New York, January 28, 1813, son of EPHRAIM H. and ABIGAIL (BALL) DUNTEN, who with their family, came to Indiana in August, 1833.  Ephraim was a soldier in the war of 1812.  Horace Dunten entered 40 acres the first year, and continued to accumulate land as fast as he earned the money, at $16 per month while working on the canal, and $10 per month at other work.  Horace F. and Thomas Dunten, in 1833, selected the site of the cemetery near Huntertown.  In 1837 he was united in marriage with ALMENA, daughter of HENRY and ANNA (BROUGHTON) TIMMERMAN, who came to Indiana in 1834.  To this union was born 10 children:

GRANVILLE S., MARVILLE N., ORVILLE A., died at the age of 28, MILTON B., ALEXANDER B., WINFIELD S., FRIEND B., HENRY CLAY, MARY HELEN, and CHARLES J.  Four of the sons served in the war of the rebellion:

ORVILLE A., a year and a half

MILTON B., 3 years

ALEXANDER, a short time

WINFIELD, one year

Eight of the 10 were successful school teachers.  MRS. DUNTEN was born July 22, 1816.  She has been a member of the Universalist church since its organization at Huntertown.  Mr. Dunten though a leading citizen, never desired office of any kind and held his only office, that of constable, but about one year, when he resigned, and went with the tide of emigration to the gold fields of California, where he remained about a year and a half.  He has succeeded well in life, and owns 200 acres of fine farming land which is under a good state of cultivation, with substantial buildings.


1880 Census of Perry Township, Allen County, IN, page 194 A

Manville N. Dunten…………widower…….male, 40…….born IN…….Farmer

            Parents both born in New York

Lila Dunten…………daughter, single…….female 18……born IL…….Keeping house

Elmer L. Dunten……son, single……………male, 16…….born IL…….Farm laborer

Cora M. Dunten…….daughter, single…….female, 12……born IN……At home


1880 Census of Precinct 3, Weld, Colorado, page 510 D

James H. Baugh…………..single…………..male, 45………born MO…..Farmer

Friend Dunten…………….single…………..male, 30……….born IN……Works on farm

            Parents both born in New York


1880 Census, Huntertown, Allen Co., IN…….page 192 A

Mary J. Beardsley…….widow………………female, 46…….born IN…….Sempstress

            Parents both born in New York

Lucinda Dunten………single………………..female, 56……born NY

            Parents both born in New York


1880 Census of Huntertown, Allen Co., IN…….page 192 B

Washington Dunten….married……………...male, 39……..born IN…….Farmer

            Father born New York, Mother born CT

Hannah Dunten………….wife………………..female, 25……born MI… Keeps house

            Both Parents born in New York

Wilva A. Dunten………daughter……………..female, 10……born IN…...At home

Wilbur Dunten……….. son…………………….male, 7……….born MI

Carrie Dunten…………daughter……………..female, 2M…...born IN

Pamelia Dunten………mother, widow……….female, 75……born CT

            Both Parents born in CT


1880 Census of Perry Township, Allen County, IN,  page 191 C

Horace F. Dunten……..married……………….male, 67…….born NY……Farmer

            Father born VT, Mother born NY

Almena Dunten………….wife………………….female, 63…..born NY….Keeps house

            Father born NY, Mother born CT

Charles J. Dunten……..son, single……………male, 21……born IN…..School teacher

Anna Timmerman……..niece, single………….female 18…..born IN…..Servant

Newton Squires……………………………………male 21……born IN…...Farm laborer


1880 Census of Perry Township, Allen Co., IN, page 196 B

George Dunten…………..married………male, 53…….born NY……..Farmer

            Both parents born in Vermont

Anna Dunten………………wife…………female, 44……born NY…….Keeps house

            Father born in NY, Mother born PA

Anson Dunten………….son, single……..male, 24………born IN…….School teacher

Loie Dunten………daughter, single…….female, 20……born IN…….At home

Sidney Dunten………….son, single……..male, 13……..born IN


Frank Voinet……………………………….male, 26……..born IN………Farm laborer


 1880 Census of Huntertown, Allen County, IN, page 192 A

Paul Dunten…………….married……….male, 49……..born NY……….Farmer

            Both parents born New York

Hulda Dunten……………wife…………..female, 40……born IN………Keeps house

            Both parents born New York

Erwin S. Dunten…………son, single…..male, 24………born IN………Railroad Emp.

Allen G. Dunten………….son, single…..male, 22………born IN………Farm laborer

Alice Dunten……… daughter, single…..female, 20……born IN………At home


1850 Census of Perry Township, Allen Co., IN  #2683-2695

James A. Dunton                  28 M                Farmer           born NY

Cynthia J. Dunton                22 F                                         born NY

            Mary J.                        2  F                                         born IN

1850 Census of Perry Township, Allen Co., IN  #2684-2696

Thomas Dunton                    64 M                Farmer           born VT

Margaret Dunton                 62 F                                         born VT

            Lucinda                      24 F                                         born NY

            Sarah                          22 F                                         born NY

            Jefferson                    20 M                Laborer          born NY

1850 Census of Perry Township, Allen Co., IN  #2688-2700

Henry F. Dunton                  38 M                Farmer           born NY

Almina Dunton                     34 F                                         born NY

            Granville S.               13 M                                        born IN

            Manville N.                11 M                                        born IN

            Orville A.                    9  M                                        born IN

            Millam B.                    7  M                                        born IN

            Alexander B.                          6  M                                        born IN

            William S.                   3  M                                        born IN

            Friend                         1  M                                        born IN

1850 Census of Perry Township, Allen Co., IN  #2692-2704

Ephraim Dunton                  76 M                                        born VT

Abigail Dunton                     65 F                                         born VT

            Paul                            18 M                Laborer          born NY

1850 Census of Perry Township, Allen Co., IN  #2693-2705

Ephraim H. Dunton                         42 M                Farmer           born NY

Parmielia Dunton                 45 F                                         born NY

            David J.                      17 M                Clerk              born NY

            William                      10 M                                        born IN

            Washington                8  M                                        born IN

            Lucy                             7  F                                         born IN

            Ephraim                      3  M                                        born IN

Ruben Cohen                         21 M                Laborer          Georgia

Richard Burke                      19 M                Laborer          born NY

John Myers                            18 M                Laborer          born Ohio

Benjamin B. Bentty              17 M                Laborer          U. Can.

Leonard Butcher                  15 M                                        U. Can.


1910 Census of Perry Township, Allen Co., IN


Anson W. Dunten

Male, 53

Born IN

Head of house

Father b NY  Mother b NY

Etta M. Dunten

Female, 38 

Born IN








Vesta A. Dunten

Female, 12

Born IN



George W. Dunten

Male, 83 

Born NY



Francis X Voinet

Male, 55




 1930 Census of Perry Township, Allen  Co., IN


Anson L. Dunten

Male, 73

Born IN

Head of house

About 1857

Edita M. Dunten

Female, 58

Born IN


About 1872


PERRY TOWNSHIP CEMETERY, HUNTERTOWN, IN                      Old Section  

DUNTEN, ABIGAL                          Aug. 9, 1863               78 Y    wife of E.H., Sr.

DUNTEN, ADDIE J.                        1855-1929

DUNTEN, ALBERT                         Lot #179A                  purchased Jan. 18, 1913


DUNTEN, ALDA MAY                    1902-1933                   G.E. & E.C.

DUNTEN, ALICE V.                        1866-1951 

DUNTEN, ALIDA                            March 6, 1868            26 Y, 16 D

                                                            Wife of William H.

DUNTEN, ALMENA                        July 22, 1816-March 20, 1890

                                                            Wife of H.F.

DUNTEN, ALMENA E.                   Jan. 25, 1848-Oct. 29, 1873 

DUNTEN, AMY ANN                      1836-1907                   George           Mother

DUNTEN, ANSON W.                     1856-1935                   Etta

DUNTEN, BERNICE                       Jan. 23, 1981

DUNTEN, BERTHA MAY              Nov. 13, 1876             6 Y, 8 M, 6 D 

                                                            Daughter of M.N. and M.A.

DUNTEN, CARRIE L.                     April 13, 1880-Aug. 24, 1899

DUNTEN, CHESTER O.                 1882-1933                   Jack

DUNTEN, CYNTHA J. KARR        Seneca County, New York, March 16, 1829-

                                                            March 11, 1857          Wife of J.A. Dunten

DUNTEN, DELILAH                       1861-1910                   Wife of Erwin H.

DUNTEN, E.H. SR.                          Feb. 6, 1866                86 Y, 6 M, 12 D

DUNTEN, E. HOWARD                  Nov. 3, 1808-July 24, 1854

DUNTEN, ELMER L.                      1864-1941

DUNTEN, EMMA C.                        1859-Dec. 5, 1928      68 Y, 4 M, 4 D

DUNTEN, ERWIN                           1856                            Wife, Delilah

DUNTEN, ETTA M.                                     1871-1964                   Anson

DUNTEN, FRIEND                                     Jan. 28, 1813-Dec. 8, 1904

DUNTEN, GEORGE ELLIS           1858-1938

DUNTEN, GEORGE W.                  1827-1911                   Amy                Father

DUNTEN, HANNAH J.                   1855-1937                   Washington

DUNTEN, HAZEL L.                       1889-1897                   Erwin & Delilah

DUNTEN, HENRY C.                      1852-1926

DUNTEN, HULDA E.                      April 2, 1840-May 25, 1917              Paul

DUNTEN, INA                                  Lot #179 A  purchased Jan. 18, 1913

DUNTEN, INFANT DAUS.                         May 20, 1877              of M.N. & M.A.

DUNTEN, JACK                              1910-1912                   Chester 

DUNTEN, JESSE CLAYTON         1880-1895

                                                            Jan. 10, 1895              15 Y, 6 M, 4 D           

                                                            Son of H.C. and A.

DUNTEN, LUCINDA                      1826-1898                   Dau. Thomas and Marg.

DUNTEN, LUELLA                                     Feb. 15, 1889-June 8, 1897

                                                            Daughter E.H. & D.E.

DUNTEN, MANVILLE                    1839-1918                   Wife, Martha

DUNTEN, MARGARET                  1789-1867                   Wife, Thomas, Lucinda

DUNTEN, MARTHA ANN              May 20, 1877              34 Y, 2 M, 10 D

                                                            Wife of Manville  (Martha Ann Lewis)

DUNTEN, ORVILLE                       July 1, 1841-April 18, 1871

                                                            Son of H.F. & A.

DUNTEN, PAMELA                        Feb. 25, 1805-July 19, 1894

DUNTEN, PAUL G.                                     Sept. 29, 1832- Jan. 19, 1912            Wife, Hulda

DUNTEN, RHENA F.                      1895-Feb. 14, 1979

DUNTEN, SIDNEY M.                    1866-1949

DUNTEN, THOMAS                        1787-1858                   Wife, Margaret, Lucinda

DUNTEN, W. HOWARD                 Aug. 27, 1872-June 26, 1919

DUNTEN, G. WASHINGTON        1841-April 5, 1931     90 Y, 2 M, 15 D     Hannah

DUNTEN, WILNA A.                       Oct. 20, 1869-Dec. 31, 1891

DUNTEN, ZELLA                            1864-1938

DUNTEN, SALLY PULVER           May 20, 1871              44 Y, 3 M, 4 D           

                                                            Wife of Sherman Pulver


            Lot #394A:  Almena E., Wilna A., Carrie L., Washington, Hannah J., Pamela


            Lot #354A:  Paul G., Hulda E., Rhena F., Alice V., Sidney M.


            Lot #357A:  George E., Emma C., Alda May


            Jesse C., Addie J., Henry C., Jesse C., Martha A., Bertha M., Infant daus,,




DUNTEN, BERNIECE E.                           1901-               Elmer

DUNTEN, BERTHA B. SLOFFER            1888-July 15, 1983    Milo and John

DUNTEN, BESS DEVILBISS                     1890-May 21, 1979    L.H. & L.H. 

DUNTEN, DONALD L.                               1894-March 24, 1981

                                                                        Mason, D.O. McComb marker

DUNTEN, ELMER H.                                 1896-June 28, 1971   Berniece

DUNTEN, ERNEST W.                               1881-1948                   Lela                Mason

DUNTEN, ETHEL MALCOLM                  1886-1961                   Lohmon

DUNTEN, LELA M.                                                 1896-                           Ernest            O.E.S.

DUNTEN, LEONARD P.                             1887-March 19, 1958                         Sylvia

DUNTEN, LOHMAN C.                              1886-1962                   Ethel              Mason

DUNTEN, LOUIE H. JR.                            Jan. 6, 1929-Aug. 26, 1939 

                                                                        Bess and L.H. (Louis Herbert, Jr.)

DUNTEN, LOUIE HERBERT                    1889-1976                   Bess and L.H.

DUNTEN, SYLVIA MEESE                       1890-Jan. 18, 1983     Leonard


From Darwin Dunten we have the following on the history of the Dunten family.    Thanks Darwin for taking us back to look at some of your ancestors.   

Henry Felch, born 1590 Pembrokshire, Wales, died August 1670 in Boston, MA

            married about 1609 in Wales



            Children:  Isabel, Mary, Henry, Hannah

            married 2nd:

Elizabeth, in 1656 in Boston, MA, she died May 12, 1682


It is thought that the Dunton's came over from England as part of the Winthrop migration in the 1630's.  A Dutton is found in Winthrop's list but there is no other informaiton regarding him including the ship's name and date of passage.  It is thought that the name was changed from Dutton to Dunton at that time.


Samuel Dunton I, born 1620 in England,  died June 9, 1685 in Reading, MA

            married 1642 at Reading, MA

Hannah Felch, born 1620 in Wales,  died July 11, 1689 in Reading, MA


Children:  Samuel II, Hannah, John, Thomas Nathaniel, Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary and Ruth


Samuel Dunton II, born Oct. 15, 1647 at Reading, MA,  died Nov. 7, 1683 at Reading, MA

            married June 17, 1673 at Reading, MA

Sarah Kendall, born June 22, 1653 at Reading, MA,  died 1734 at Reading, MA


            Children:  Samuel III, Sarah, Rebecca, Ebenezer, Thomas

            (Sarah Kendall was first married to Thomas Richardson)


Samuel Dunton III, born June 17, 1674 at Reading, MA,  died 1705 at Woburn, MA

            married Feb. 23, 1697 at Cambridge, MA

Anna Davis, born March 20, 1679 at Boston, MA, no death date given


            Children:  Rebecca, Samuel IV

            (Anna Davis remarried to Benjamin Farley, Oct. 29, 1707


Samuel Dunton IV, born 1699 at Woburn, MA, unknown death date

            married Sept. 25, 1722 at Woburn, MA

Deborah Pierce, born Dec. 5, 1700 at Woburn, MA,   died August 8, 1762 at Wrentham, MA


Children:  Samuel V, Deborah, Rebekah, Thomas, Ebenezer, Benjamin, Gershim, Jesse, Sarah, Molly, Jerusha



Ebenezer Dunton, born March 19, 1730 at Wrentham, MA,  died Sept. 4, 1821 at Sturbridge, MA

            married Feb. 13, 1751 at Medfield, MA

Bulah Cheney, born August 11, 1733 at Medfield, MA,  died July 13, 1824 at Sturbridge, MA


            Children:  Margaret, Thomas, Margery


Thomas Howard Dunton, born July 24, 1779 at Wrentham, MA,  died May 26, 1832 at Calcium, NY

            married May 19, 1773 at Sturbridge, MA

Joanna Howard, born Feb. 12, 1748, in Nova Scotia, Canada, died Jan. 4, 1826 at Calcium, NY


Children:  Daniel, Ebenezer, Ephraim Howard, Lucy, Thomas, Amos, Joanna


Ephraim Howard Dunton, born July 24, 1779, Sturbridge, MA,  died Feb. 5, 1866, at Huntertown, IN

            married January 22, 1806

Abigail Ann Ball, born June 18, 1786 ??? North Guilford, CT, died Aug. 9, 1863 at Huntertown, IN


Children:   Emily, Ephraim Howard, Joanna who died at age 3, Horace Friend, Amanda, Nancy,

            Lucy Sue, Clarissa, George W., Joanna who died at age 11, Paul G.



Another summary of the Dunten family……….

HORACE FRIEND DUNTEN and his uncle THOMAS DUNTEN came to Allen County in 1833 from Jefferson County, New York.  After finding suitable land they returned with their families (including EPHRAIM H. DUNTEN, a veteran of the War of 1812) to settle in Perry Township.

The Dunten family arrived from England to America about 1647 in Massachusetts.  It was in Sturbridge, Massachusetts where Ephraim’s father and grandfather, THOMAS and EBENEZER were enlisted in the Revolutionary War.  EPHRAIM was born in Sturbridge in 1777.  The family moved to Vermont for a short time and then to upstate New York (Jefferson County) around 1800.

The elder THOMAS DUNTEN died in 1832 and the following year much of the family migrated to Allen County, Perry Township, Indiana, to what is now called Huntertown.  HORACE worked on the construction of the Wabash and Erie Canal through the area and bought farmland with his earnings.  The first church in Perry Township was held in Horace’s cabin.  In 1837             HORACE married ALMENA TIMMERMAN, daughter of HENRY TIMMERMAN and ANNA (BROUGHTON) who also migrated from Jefferson County, New York, to Allen County in 1834 and later Noble County, Indiana.  HORACE and ALMENA had 9 boys and 1 girl.  These children were:




            ORVILLE ALONZO

            MILTON BOYD

            ALEXANDER BURD

            WINFIELD SCOTT

            FRIEND B.

            HENRY CLAY


            MARY HELEN (GUMP)

Five sons served as soldiers in the Union Army during the Civil War.

In 1850, in the company of his brother, GEORGE DUNTEN, JAMES BALLOU, JOEL DELONG and others from Allen County, HORACE FRIEND DUNTEN started overland to the goldfields of California on March 20 and arriving at Placerville (then called “Hangtown”) on August 4 of the same year.  They remained about a year and the return trip was made by water to Colon, across the Isthmus of Panama by ox-teams to the city of Panama, then by water to Kingston, Jamaica, and to New York, making the final lap of homeward journey by rail.   (from Fort Wayne Sentinel, March 6, 1911)

HORACE died in December 1904 at age 91 in Huntertown and his obituary stated that he “insisted upon being carried to the polls that he might cast what he realized would be his last vote”  (from Fort Wayne Sentinel, Dec. 9, 1904) because of failing health in November 1904. 

ORVILLE died in 1871 at age 28 from an accidental gunshot.  Sons, MANVILLE and HENRY remained in Allen County with many descendants still residing there today.   One of Manville’s granddaughters, FREEDONNA (DUNTEN) SMITH was a resident of Huntertown from her birth in 1899 until her death in 2001, a life that spanned parts of three centuries.

Several of Horace and Almena’s children homesteaded west to Nebraska and beyond.  Sons, ALEXANDER, WINFIELD, MILTON, and daughter, MARY, moved to Nebraska.  GRANVILLE moved to Illinois, CHARLES moved to California, and FRIEND was last known to be in Colorado.

MILTON married ELIZA RHODES-BADIAC in 1870 in Allen County before homesteading the same year to Nebraska.  They had 5 children, the youngest named MILDRED.  They moved to Omaha around 1895.  MILDRED DUNTEN married SAMUEL WHITTEN in 1910 and they lived in Omaha until they died in the 1960’s.  They had 4 daughters, HELEN (JAMES), JEAN (MORRIS), DOROTHY, and RUTH (MEESE & BOSWELL).   DOROTHY joined the women’s Marine Corps during World War II and met and married ROBERT MEYER, a Marine from Cincinnati, Ohio, in San Francisco, California, in 1945.  After getting out of the Marines in 1946, they drove across the country in a 1929 Model A Ford with fellow Marines and friends and would remain for sixty years, LEROY and JONNIE MARTENS.

ROBERT and DOROTHY have made their home in Cincinnati, Ohio since 1946.  They have five children, ROBERT, LINDA (LAUB), DENNIS, MICHAEL, and THOMAS, twelve grandchildren and three great grandchildren.  Son, MICHAEL MEYER has returned to Allen County on occasion to research and reacquaint with his Dunten relatives.  He and his wife, JANICE (EARHART) MEYER have three children, BETH, DANIEL, and NICOLE. 

Obituary of


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



 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



Fort Wayne and Allen County Biographical Sketches

It is now permitted to accord merited tribute to one of the native sons of Allen county who has passed the psalmist’s span of three-score years and ten and who has been worthily and prominently identified with civic, industrial and business affairs in the county. He now resides on his attractive homestead farm, in Perry township, about ten miles distant from Huntertown, from which village he receives service on rural mail route No. 2. Mr. Dunten served twelve years as postmaster at Huntertown, from which office he retired in 1913, and for five years was engaged in the dry-goods business in that village. Though now living in virtual retirement, he takes much satisfaction in giving a general supervision to his farm, is favored in the splendid retention of his physical and mental powers and takes a lively interest in all things pertaining to the county which has ever been his home and in the development and progress of which he has played well his part. Mr. Dunten was born at Huntertown, January 26, 1841, at which time the now progressive village was a mere hamlet in the midst of a partially developed agricultural district. He is a son of EPHRAIM HOWARD and PAMELIA (HICKS) DUNTEN, the former of whom was born in Jefferson county, New York, and the latter at Hartford, Connecticut, their marriage having been solemnized in the state of Michigan. The parents passed the closing years of their lives in Allen county, where the father died, July 24, 1854, the devoted mother having attained to venerable age and having passed on to the life eternal on July 17, 1894, after surviving her husband by fully forty years. The old homestead farm, of forty acres, is that now owned and occupied by the subject of this review, and the father operated in an early day the pioneer hotel in Huntertown, the same having been known as Dunten’s Tavern. His first wife was CLARINDA BENTLEY, of Jefferson county, New York, and her death occurred, February 26, 1839. The three children of this union were LOUISA, DANIEL I. and WILLIAM H., all of whom are now deceased. Of the four children of the second marriage WASHINGTON DUNTEN, of this review, is the oldest; LUCY A. is the wife of JACOB FURTH, who is president of one of the national banks in the city of Seattle, Washington, as well as president of a railroad company in the west; LUCIEN, who was born September 10, 1845, died on November 4 of the following year, and his funeral was held from the pioneer Dunten tavern or hotel at Huntertown, the same having been at the time the family home; ELLA MEDORA, who was born February 16, 1849, was about thirty-five years of age at the time of her death. He whose name initiates this review acquired his early education in the pioneer log school house at Huntertown, and his boyhood days were passed in the old-time hotel conducted by his father, though later he began to aid in the work of the home farm, of which he is now the owner. In addition to this old homestead of forty acres he owns an adjoining tract of eighty-eight acres, and the place is one of the well improved and valuable farms of Perry township. Mr. Dunten  has been an energetic and successful exponent of agricultural industry and also active in the mercantile business, as previously intimated in this article, besides which he has been known and honored as a man of sterling character and one who has been influential in community affairs. He has designated himself as a Lincoln Republican and has given effective service in the local ranks of his party, besides having held for twelve years the office of postmaster at Huntertown, as previously noted. He was formerly in active affiliation with a Fort Wayne lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and he and his wife have been earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal church for fully forty years. November 24, 1866, recorded the marriage of Mr. Dunten to Miss ALMENA E. FARRAND, and she passed to the life eternal on October 29, 1873. Two children were born of this union: WILNA AUGUSTA, who was born August 27, 1872, died June 26, 1909. The second marriage of Mr. Dunten was solemnized October 28, 1874, when Miss HANNAH WILCOX, of Coldwater, Branch county, Michigan became his wife. Mrs. Dunten is the daughter of JAMES R. and ANNA (PECKHAM) WILCOX, who were born in Jefferson county, New York, and became pioneer settlers in Michigan, where there passed the remainder of their lives. Concerning the three children of Mr. and Mrs. Dunten the following brief record is entered in conclusion of this review: CARRIE LOUISE, who was born April 13, 1880, died August 24, 1899; ERNEST W., who was born September 11, 1881. at Coldwater, Michigan, is now a resident of Huntertown;  and LOHMAN CLIFFORD, who was born November 17, 1886, remains at the parental home and has been the popular and efficient carrier on one of the rural mail routes from Huntertown since 1904.