Guide to the
George W. P. Hunt (1859-1934) Collection, 1709-1955


VOLUME: 44 Boxes: 22 linear ft.

PROCESSED BY: Robert P. Spindler (February, 1990); Roann Monson

The George W.P. Hunt Collection was received in two accessions. Diaries, biographical materials, personal correspondence and miscellaneous publications and notebooks were received from Mrs. W.E. Frund (Virginia Hunt) in 1954 (ACC#54-038). Personal, business and political correspondence, genealogical and biographical materials, notebooks and scrapbooks were purchased from a dealer in 1978 (ACC# 78-038).

Arizona State University does not own copyright to this collection. The Department of Archives and Manuscripts recognizes that it is incumbent upon the researcher to procure permission to publish information from this collection from the owner of copyright.

Access to the original diaries in this collection has been restricted by the Department of Archives and Manuscripts because of the fragility of the material. See the Curator of Manuscripts regarding access to the original diaries.

The George W.P. Hunt Collection was reprocessed in 1990 in order to improve subject access and preserve the collection. The original box and folder numbers have been retained in order to insure consistency of existing published citations to the material.

However, when a folder number includes letter designations (e.g. 1-1F) the original (overfilled) folder has been divided into a group of folders in order to properly house the material. When a folder number is followed by "OV", this indicates that oversized material from that original folder has been housed in larger flat boxes. In some instances the entire content of an original folder has been rehoused in an oversize container.


Biographical Note

Series List

Scope and Content Note

Bibliography and Related Collections


GEORGE WYLLEY PAUL HUNT was born in Huntsville, Missouri on November 1, 1859, the son of George Washington and Sarah Elizabeth (Yates) Hunt. He received his education in various public and private schools in Missouri and then ran away from home in 1878. He spent time traveling and working in the midwest and Colorado, and finally arrived at Globe, Arizona in 1881.

Hunt worked at a number of odd jobs at Globe, and served as a delivery boy for A. Bailey and Company, a general store that eventually became the Old Dominion Commercial Company. He would become president of the retail outfit in later years. Hunt was elected to the Arizona Territorial Legislature in 1893 and served until 1898, when he left politics to pursue business and personal interests.

Hunt was married to Helen Duett Ellison in 1904, and later that year he was elected to the territorial legislature once again.

He was elected president of the legislative council in 1905 and again in 1909. Hunt was elected president of the Arizona Constitutional Convention in 1910 and was elected the first governor of the state of Arizona in 1912. He served as governor until January, 1917, when he surrendered his office to Thomas E. Campbell after the disputed election of 1916. Hunt was reinstated by the courts in December of 1917, but declined to run in 1918. While he was out of office, Hunt served as a federal labor conciliator at the request of President Woodrow Wilson.

In 1920 President Wilson nominated Hunt as US Minister at Siam, a post he held until September, 1921. Hunt returned to the governor's office in January, 1923 and served until his attempt for re-election was defeated in 1928. He defeated the incumbent Governor John C. Phillips in 1931 and served his final term as governor until 1933. George Hunt died at his home in Phoenix in 1934.

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The GEORGE W.P. HUNT COLLECTION contains correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, notebooks, biographical and genealogical material and printed matter. Although the collection ranges from 1709-1955, the bulk of the collection concerns Hunt's political activities and personal life from 1885-1932. The collection has been divided into five series: POLITICAL/PROFESSIONAL CORRESPONDENCE; PERSONAL PAPERS; NOTEBOOKS/SCRAPBOOKS/PUBLISHED MATERIALS; DIARIES; MEMORABILIA.

The POLITICAL/PROFESSIONAL CORRESPONDENCE in this collection extends from 1901-1935, and is largely concerned with Hunt's work as Governor of Arizona. A calendar of these letters is available from the reference archivist. The letters have been divided into broad subject categories, including "Constitution/Statehood", "Constitutional Convention", "Government/Politics", "Highway Construction", "Old Dominion Commercial Co.", and "Prison Reform".

The "Constitution/Statehood" files include letters from a number of prominent individuals offering their comments and advice on the proposed Arizona Constitution produced in 1910. Correspondents include Sen. Robert M. LaFollette (1/5/11), President Woodrow Wilson (1/11/11), William Jennings Bryan (3/1/11, 3/23/11, (resp.) 3/28/11), Governor Chase Osborn of Michigan (1/19/11), and Lindley W. Keasbey of the University of Texas at Austin. Arizonans Mulford Winsor, A.F. Parsons and Amos W. Cole are regular correspondents in these files. Of particular interest are letters from representatives of the Arizona Equal Suffrage Campaign Committee (1/27/11, 8/24/11, 10/23/11) and Kansas Equal Suffrage Association (2/16/11). A paper by Wiley E. Jones entitled "Can Arizona and New Mexico be Admitted as States by Act of Congress Alone..." is included with his letter of May 12, 1911.

The "Constitutional Convention" files include a number of letters from Mulford Winsor and various university presidents and faculty members concerning the proposed constitution. A letter from Senator Jonathan Bourne of Oregon (12/29/10) contains particularly lucid comments on the constitution. An undated document (Box 1, Folder 10A) entitled "Model Constitution of Ohio" contains a number of holograph insertions and deletions.

The "Government/Politics" files contain a wide variety of materials extending from 1907-1927. These materials include a number of letters of support for Hunt from Arizonans and often contain election returns and comments upon political conditions in various localities. Regular correspondents include Ed Chilson, John T. Hughes and Mulford Winsor. These files also contain a number of interesting items. Roll call slips from the 24th Territorial Legislature for House bills 2-160 are housed in Box 1, folder 3. A letter from the Arizona Cattle Growers Association (2/24/07) expresses support for retention of the Arizona Rangers. A number of letters from Francis W. Munds (1/14/12, 9/5/16, 9/10/18, 9/17/18, 11/24/18) of the Arizona Equal Suffrage Campaign Committee are included in these files. Of particular interest is a letter from Hunt to the Second Arizona Legislature (5/27/15) requesting commutation of the death sentence of five Mexican citizens. Telegrams from William Jennings Bryan and various Mexican officials are enclosed with the letter. Correspondence from May and June of 1916 concerns Mother Jones' visit to Arizona and her support for Hunt. A leaflet criticizing the politics of Hunt and Mother Jones entitled "Some Gems of Thought by Mother Jones" is located in Box 2, folder 3A. Other correspondence from John T. Hughes over the summer of 1916 regards establishment of a Spanish language newspaper at Tucson entitled El Combate. A letter from Hunt to the Arizona Gazette (5/25/18) refutes a recent editorial concerning Hunt's sympathy for the International Workers of the World (IWW). A mob action in the Clifton-Morenci mining district in the winter of 1915-16 is described in a letter from Norman Carmichael of Clifton (5/25/18). Hunt's reply to Carmichael is dated June 4, 1918.

The "Government/Politics" correspondence from 1923-26 contains information regarding the Colorado River Controversy. A letter from W.S. Norviel (3/26/23) responds to Hunt's "attack" upon his work as Arizona State Water Commissioner. This letter includes transcriptions of a number of communications regarding survey work for the Boulder Canyon "High Line Canal" and other irrigation projects. A letter from A.G. McGregor (7/24/25) concerns funding of Colorado River projects and the Swing-Johnson Bill. A typescript of Henry S. McCluskey's speech before the Los Angeles Realty Board (9/29/25) describes plans for development of the Colorado River and criticizes the Colorado River Compact. Correspondence from 1926 includes a series of cordial letters between Hunt and Governor George H. Dern of Utah regarding Colorado River negotiations, and a letter from Hunt to Henry F. Ashurst (2/3/26) concerning the testimony of witnesses before the Senate Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation. A letter from Hunt to Dwight B. Heard (5/5/26) refutes Heard's statement describing Hunt's political alliances and serves as a broad summary of the differences between Hunt and Heard positions on a number of issues.

The "Highway Construction" files also contain some items of particular interest. A letter from Henry F. Ashurst to Hunt (5/1/13) discusses appropriations for construction of Post Roads from Holbrook to Springerville. Hunts' response is dated May 8, 1913. A letter from the State Engineer (unidentified) to the Board of Supervisors of Globe (11/29/13) describes the use of prison labor in road construction. A description of administration of highway work (e.g. organization, funding, etc.) is provided in a letter from E.P. Adams to Sen. Dorsey W. Shackleford of Missouri (1/9/14). F.G. Twitchell's letter to the Gila County Board of Supervisors (2/1/14) contains an operations report for a road construction camp listing costs and production figures. An unsigned addendum to this report is dated March 5, 1914.

The "Prison Reform" files contain a number of important documents concerning Hunt's reforms in general and the capital punishment issue. Correspondence from 1912 deals with a variety of administrative matters including a number of requests for commutation of sentences. Letters written during May, 1912 concern a proposal to use the Fort Grant Military Reservation as a "reformatory institution". A letter from Robert B. Sims (Superintendent, Arizona State Prison) to Hon. C.S. Potts of Austin, Texas provides details of the road work program for convicts. This letter is enclosed with a cover letter to Hunt dated November 18, 1912. Prison Reform correspondence for 1913-14 describes Hunt reforms in a number of areas including parole of prisoners, censorship of prisoner's mail, prisoner entertainment and capital punishment. Many of these letters were written by J.J. Sanders, who was appointed Superintendent of the Arizona State Prison in 1913.

The "Miscellaneous Subjects" files concern a wide variety of topics, some of which overlap with the subject files described above. A 1907 report on the status of the Territorial Asylum for the Insane is included in Box 1, Folder 2. A series of letters from Mulford Winsor in 1909 concern Winsor's possible dismissal as Arizona State Historian by Governor Sloan. A letter from Michael G. Cuniff to Hunt (12/26/11) describes Sharlot Hall's qualifications for the position of State Historian. A letter from J.J. Healey of Phoenix to Hunt (2/23/12) and a series of letters written from August-December of 1912 relates to alleged mob violence perpetrated against Healey at Parker. These documents include Healey's description of his attempts to initiate a state or federal investigation. A letter from the Acting British Consul-General at San Francisco to Hunt (4/4/13) contains additional documentation of the Healey affair. A transcript of the Grand Jury proceedings in the Healey affair is located in Box 3, Folder 23A. The use of detectives and hired men for harassing mine workers and unemployed men at Jerome is described in a letter from representatives of the Socialist Party at Bisbee, Arizona (5/31/13). Similar activities by an individual investigator known as "Gila Monster" or "Maricopa Slim" are described in a series of letters written between May-August of 1913. A letter from Mulford Winsor (1/10/14) discusses the transportation and location of Elk in the Sitgreaves National Forest. A letter from Mother Jones to Hunt (1/16/20) concerns national politics and anti-Communist activities.

The "Miscellaneous Subjects" files for 1920 and 1921 mostly concern Hunt's activities as US Minister at Siam. However, many of the letters are from Hunts' personal friends and contain references to Arizona and United States politics. Regular correspondents include Mulford Winsor, Edna W. Corbett and Thomas Coleman, a sailor assigned to the USS Helena. Coleman's letters give details of his life at sea and continue after Hunts' return from Siam. An undated report with photographs on the Chiengmai Leper Asylum is located in Box 2. Folder 24. An important letter from Arthur P. Davis of the US Department of the Interior (2/13/23) includes a preliminary report on sites for Glen Canyon Dam and compares them with sites in Boulder Canyon. An undated letter from Hunt to Senator Marcus A. Smith describes Allan B. Jaynes attempt to block Hunt's confirmation as Minister to Siam on the grounds of sympathy with the IWW.

The Capital Punishment letterbook at the end of this series contains correspondence from Arizona citizens for and against executions. An index to the letterbook lists the city of residence for each correspondent.

The PERSONAL PAPERS series comprises correspondence, biographical and genealogical documents, bills and receipts and printed matter. Genealogical Material includes research notes and correspondence as well as Hunt's application for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution. The Miscellaneous Family Documents are comprised of bills, receipts, correspondence and estate papers mostly relating to the Christian family of Kentucky.

The correspondence in this series is composed of letters from family and friends. Letters written from 1879-1892 are mostly those received by Hunt from his mother and friends from Globe. Letters from Hunts' mother (Sarah E. Hunt) generally concern the health and activities of family members. Correspondence from friends usually relates news of Globe and activities of past and present citizens of Globe. After 1892 the correspondence is dominated by letters from Duett Ellison, who married Hunt in 1904. These letters generally concern family affairs and news of friends and acquaintances, but political affairs are occasionally addressed as well. As Hunt advanced in his political career the correspondence from his friends became more politically oriented. As a result many letters from friends touch upon political issues during Hunt's tenure as Governor.

A number of interesting items are included in the personal correspondence. A poem entitled "In Honor of the Democratic Candidates of Gila County" and a political cartoon depicting the state of Arizona sinking into a tureen of Democratic soup (11/9/92) are located in Box 5, Folder 3. A letter from William M. Griffith (US Marshall) to Hunt (10/16/97) indicates that Hunt was subpoenaed to testify in an unidentified case "on behalf of the Govt. before the U.S. Court." Hunt's self-portrait is enclosed with his letter to Duett of August 26, 1906. A letter from Sharlot Hall (6/5/08) concerns locations of the graves of Arizona pioneers and the state of historical collections in Arizona. A letter from Frances W. Munds (Arizona Equal Suffrage Campaign Committee) to Hunt (7/21/10) regards his candidacy for the Constitutional Convention delegation and his position on equal suffrage. Letters to Duett during the convention provide a sense of the atmosphere of the proceedings rather than the details. Hunts' letter to Duett of August 2, 1912 describes his journey with a road crew from the State Prison at Florence to the construction site near Globe. Another letter to Duett (8/20/12) describes an epidemic of an unidentified disease resulting in infantile paralysis and includes a copy of the "State Quarantine Orders." A letter from Leroy A. Ladd (Hunt's Secretary) to Duett Hunt (8/4/13) describes a national survey of governor's wives and includes a copy of Duetts' response to the survey.

The NOTEBOOKS/SCRAPBOOKS/PUBLISHED MATERIALS series contains information regarding Hunt's political career and his private life.

Poems of Sarah Elizabeth Yates Hunt is a privately published compilation of poetry by Hunt's mother. The volume includes a memorial of Mrs. Hunt by her sister Virginia Yates McCanne and a photograph of Mrs. Hunt and her two sons taken in 1865.

The 1898-1932 Notebook contains political, biographical and genealogical newsclippings. The 1915 Notebook contains a list of Arizona representatives at the US Navy Yard in Brooklyn, New York for the christening of the battleship USS Arizona. The Holbrook-St. John's Highway Notebook contains compilations of elevations taken along the route.

Miscellaneous Memo Books consist of five volumes containing a wide variety of material. The 1911-14 volume contains names of Hunt's acquaintances listed alphabetically by city and by last name under each city. The 1914-1919 volume includes poetry, personal health notes, a photograph of Duett and Virginia Hunt (1914) and a list of Colorado River Commission members. The 1918-1919 volume includes additional health notes. The 1923-32 volume contains notes on Duett's final illness and records of her funeral costs.

"Peace Upon the Earth" is a signed carbon typescript of E. S. Yamamoto's essay. The 1915-1932 Notebook includes a list of Hunt's acquaintances and personal notes on those that impressed him. The volume also includes personal financial notes and lists of gifts given to friends.

The balance of the "notebooks" in this collection provide information on a number of subjects. The Addresses notebook (Box 10, Folder 5) includes a list of "friends" in the 1st Arizona Regiment (1916), a list of visitors taken to Florence Prison 1913-16, and 1914 and 1916 election results compiled by county and then by precinct. The "Misc. Government/Personal" notebook (Box 10, Folder 6) contains information on distribution of pheasants, turkey propagation and a register of plants (1919-24) probably acquired for the Hunt residence. The notebooks housed in Boxes 11-12 relate to a wide variety of personal and political topics. The notebooks described as "Personal Matter" contain private correspondence and public speeches mostly relating to Arizona politics and government. Many of these notebooks were indexed, and the indexes have been reproduced in the Appendix to provide additional access to this material. Of particular interest is the 1914 letter from Hunt to Wiley E. Jones (Arizona Attorney General) deferring the executions of Eduardo Perez, N.B. Chavez and Francisco Rodriquez (Box 12, Folder 2, pp.133-135). A letter from Hunt to Newton D. Baker (US Secretary of War) concerns the need for federal troops in the Globe-Miami, Ray and Ajo mining districts (Box 12, Folder 5).

The Newsclippings and Scrapbooks in this series are almost entirely associated with Hunt's political career. Scrapbooks identified with "OV" next to the folder number are in oversize archival containers. The "Constitutional Convention" scrapbook is comprised of printed petitions and propositions to the convention with some brief holograph notes. The 1882-1905 ledger (Box 16, Folder 3) consists of personal accounts and some Globe Hospital Association records. The Globe Hospital Association Record Book lists patients admitted and released and elected officers.

Miscellaneous Publications consist of political pamphlets and printed editions of various speeches and statements concerning the Colorado River controversy, capital punishment and prison reform. Of particular interest is a copy of the Standing Rules of the Arizona Constitutional Convention (Box 17, Folder 2), and a copy of J.J. Sanders pamphlet Prisoner's Mail (Box 19, Folder 1A).

The President's Mediation Commission Testimony is a transcript of the testimony of various witnesses on the mining strike at Globe in 1917. The "Compiled Messages of the ... Governors of Arizona" is a two-volume set of typescripts and published documents compiled by Henry S. McCluskey.

The Hunt DIARIES include the original volumes produced by Hunt and transcripts of the material. Access to the original volumes has been restricted in order to preserve the material. Transcripts are available for diaries written between 1913-1934. The diaries provide a glimpse of Hunt's daily activities and insight into Hunt's character. His personal views on political events and acquaintances are recorded in brief and candid statements. Diaries written while Hunt served in Siam generally concern Hunt's work as US Consul, and provide little information on political affairs in Arizona during his absence.

MEMORABILIA comprises empty notebooks, wallets, pins and buttons, a desk calendar (1932), a wooden curio box and business cards.

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Arizona Supreme Court, The Decision of the Supreme Court in the Hunt-Campbell Contest, Phoenix, s.n., 1917?

Boes, Charles Peter, The Biography of George W. P. Hunt, Tempe, Arizona State University, 1960.

Goff, John S., George W. P. Hunt and His Arizona, Pasadena, California, Socio Technical Publications, [1973].

Hunt-LeFebvre Presentation Album. Photographs. (HU 2.1 - 2.49/A)

Johnson, Alan Vernon, Governor George W. P. Hunt and Organized Labor, Tucson, University of Arizona MA Thesis, 1964.

McCluskey, Henry Stanley. Papers, 1908-1963. (MSS-54)

Osburn, Charles R.,"Through the Papago Country", Presentation Album w/ Photographs. (HU 13/A)

Stuart, William Plato. Stuart Family Papers, 1903-1963. (MSS-77)

Warren, Collette. Photographs. (SPC-99)

Photographs removed from this collection and other photographs relating to Hunt are available. Consult the Arizona and Southwest Collections Index for further information.

A number of published speeches by Hunt are available at the ASU Library. Consult ASU Library One Search for further information.

Additional George W. P. Hunt Papers are located at the Arizona Department of Library, Archives and Public Records, the Arizona HIstorical Foundation, the Arizona Historical Society, Tucson, and the Department of Special Collections, University of Arizona.

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Arizona Collection
Department of Archives and Manuscripts
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Last updated: June 30th, 1998
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