Arthur Elwin Hunt
- Jim Wade
- September 1, 2019
- 4 Min Read
Arthur Elwin Hunt was born August 22, 1892 in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England to Thomas Hunt (1868-1953) and Clara Tattersaw (1869-1933). He was the oldest child of eight – five boys and threes girls. His father was a self-employed gardener and florist.
On March 16, 1911 he arrived in Boston aboard the Ivernia and stated his trade as gardener. His final destination was Saginaw, Michigan.
By 1913, Art had moved to Almont. He registered for the World War I draft on June 5, 1917 with Charles Scully in Almont. He was working for Elmer Wallace in Almont delivering coal.
By 1920 he was living on Bristol Street in Almont next to Nick Liblong Sr. He was working as a truck driver, hauling local produce.
He met, courted, and wed the widow of Martin Stamman, Cloie Letitia Stanlake Stamman on August 8, 1923 in Lapeer. Cloie was born May 2, 1896 in Almont to Arthur Eugene Stanlake (1870-1939) and Lillie Elizabeth McKee (1874-1933). Cloie had married Matrin John Stamman on April 18, 1917. Martin and Cloie would have a daughter, Joyce, on October 1, 1918 in Almont. Unfortunately, Martin died on January 2, 1919 in Flint. Art married into a ready-made family.
Sometime in the 1920’s, Art went to work for Almont Manufacturing as a “moulder” in the foundry (corner of School Street and Van Dyke – Hurd Lock location, now Dollar General).
In 1930, Art went to work for the school district as a janitor/maintenance man. This may have been prompted by Almont Manufacturing moving most of its foundry operation to Imlay City and moving Hurd Lock into the building at the corner of School and Van Dyke.
On January 31, 1937, Cloie passed away at Imlay City Hospital in Imlay City. She was buried next to her first husband, Martin, in the Ferguson Cemetery in Almont. On June 25, 1938, Art’s stepdaughter, Joyce, married Kenyon Blow in Indiana.
After Cloie’s death, Art moved in with his brother-in-law, Eugene Stanlake, who was living on Branch Street next to Joe and Isabel Liblong.
During the 1930’s, 1940’s, and early 1950’s, Art was the school’s only janitor/maintenance man. He swept the floors, emptied the trash baskets, washed down the blackboards, cleaned the bathrooms, tended the grounds, and did the emergency repairs. He was the first to arrive and unlock the school and the last to leave after locking the doors. He took great pride in the appearance of the buildings and grounds. The addition of the Ag and Music Buildings added to his responsibilities. With the construction first of the 1952 addition and then the 1955 addition, additional help was needed to clean and maintain the entire building. But it was Art that was there during the day: taking care of the little emergencies caused by sick children or broken facilities.
In 1951, the “Almonte” was dedicated to Art for his 20 years of service and for having done so much in making the school a building of which the students were proud.
The 1957 “Almonte” was also dedicated to Art. As stated in the yearbook: “You have not only been an inspiration, but you’ve been much more, you’ve been a friend to each and every student.”
In 1962 for his retirement, Art was once again honored with the dedication of the “Almonte”. The dedication read, in part: “He’s the one who has seen us come as little children, and so as young adults, we are proud to honor him for helping us all these years.”
Arthur Elwin Hunt passed away on April 25, 1966 in Monroe, Michigan. He was buried near his wife in the Ferguson Cemetery in Almont.