Walter H Hunt died 12 October 1896

Walter H Hunt was born 16 February 1858, in Colchester, Connecticut, the son of Edwin Hunt and Eliza Clark.  In 1860, the family lived in Colchester.  Walter’s father was a joiner (carpenter), and he owned $200 worth of personal property.  The household included his older sister Adelaid, and younger brother John.  It also included Adelaide Clark (probably Eliza’s sister) and Chester Hunt (probably Edwin’s brother.)  In 1870, the family was still in Colchester.  Edwin worked as a house carpenter. 

By 1880, Walter Hunt, age 22, lived in Plainfield, NH, where he was a farm laborer.  He lived with Curtis Lewin, whose next door neighbors were the Daniel F Blood family, which included 13-year-old daughter Abbie. Walter and Abbie were married five years later, in Cornish, NH on 31 January 1885.  They had three children:  Nina L (1886-aft 1930), Hugh H (1888-1970), and William F (1892-1918).  Walter may have worked as a mason (according to son William’s death record.)

Walter and Abbie lived next door to Irving Smith, a prosperous farmer of Plainfield.  Walter felt that Smith had developed an undue friendship with Abbie.  Later, Smith’s barns were burned, and Walter was arrested for incendiarism.  One news report says he served time, another says he was acquitted – perhaps there was more than one instance. 

On 12 October, 1896, Walter murdered Smith, and then killed himself. The Vermont Watchman (Montpelier) reported: The murder was attended with circumstances of unusual atrocity.  Hunt approached Smith while at work in his field, picked a quarrel, and after a few words, shot him down.  So close was the murderer to his victim that the charge of shot tore a hole through his chest.  Hunt then reloaded his gun and again fired, placing the muzzle of the weapon almost against Smith’s head, and blowing away a part of the skull.  Still another shot was fired into the body before the murderer fled.  When people from the nearest house reached the place Smith’s clothing was on fired.  Hunt is said to have threatened repeatedly to kill Smith, of whom he was madly jealous.  Lately he has been drinking heavily and that morning he was under the influence of liquor.  His jail record is bad, and he had served a term in jail for incendiarism. 

Walter died of a gunshot wound to the chest.  He is buried at Plainfield.



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