Governor George Hunt


Unknown Unknown po0741pa.jpg PO-0741 B&W 1700-0741-0001 po0741pa Print 3x5 Historic Photographs 1920-1930 Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives


George Wiley Paul Hunt (b. 1859 – d. 1934) was born November 1, 1859 in Huntsville, Missouri. He was the son of George Washington and Sarah Elizabeth (Yates) Hunt. He married Helen Duett Ellison in Holbrook, Arizona, on February 24, 1904. The couple had one daughter, Virginia.

Hunt arrived in Globe, Arizona with two burros and needing a job. He was a symbol of his time. Prior to becoming the first governor of the state of Arizona, his jobs included waiter, mine mucker, cowboy and store clerk.  Working at the Old Dominion Commercial Company in 1890, he later became secretary and president of the company. In 1904 he was elected the first mayor of Globe, Arizona. Hunt served in the Arizona Territorial Legislature in 1892 and 1894, and in the Arizona Territorial Council in 1896, 1898, 1904, 1906, and 1908, serving as president in 1905 and 1909. He also was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1900, and presided over the 1910 Arizona Constitutional Convention that led to statehood. 

Hunt became Arizona’s first governor on October 24, 1911, was reelected six times. His terms were: 1/12/1911-1/6/1919; 1/29/1923 – 1/7/1929; and 1/5/1931 – 1/2/1933.  Along with the president of the convention, he wrote Arizona’s constitution. During his seven terms in office, a pension plan passed for teachers with 25 years of service, the State Bureau of Mines was started, and the legislature passed a prohibition statute. The state law library and the Bureau of Statistics were created, and programs to pave and expand the highway systems with convict labor were initiated. Because of his advanced age and charges of political patronage in the newly established highway patrol, Hunt retired from public life, leaving office on January 2, 1933. 

He died December 24, 1934 in Phoenix, Arizona. He is interred in a white pyramid set atop a hill in Phoenix, Arizona’s Papago Park.

In this photo, he is shown wearing a hat, seated in the second row at Prescott, Arizona's Frontier Days Rodeo.


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