The last column “Hunting for the Hunts” began with the father, Simon (or Simeon), and included his son, Thomas H. Hunt and only daughter Hannah Rogers Hunt Locke.

Abel Hunt was a very enterprising and interesting man, who was born in Camden on April 19, 1835, and another son of Simon and Hannah Rogers Hunt. After finishing school in Camden, he went on to Gorham Academy. Then he went into business with his father, who had the store on the corner of Elm and Chestnut streets (where the Village Green is today). The Hunts dealt in all types of saddler supplies, whips, blankets brushes, combs, trunks and carriage hardware. Then a few years later, Abel decided to order ready-made coffins and caskets, which the Hunts delivered by wheelbarrow.

Abel Hunt married Eveleina Knight, daughter of Hon. Elbridge Knight of Camden and the wedding took place in St. Thomas Episcopal Church. They had four children: Evelyn of New York, Rev. Walter Reid Hunt and Dr. Walter H. Hunt of New Jersey, and Edward J. Hunt of Pittsfield, Mass. Abel was one of the most widely-read men in Camden and Bangor. He helped many young businessmen get started by his wise council. He was a frequent contributor to papers and magazines, as well as member of several literary organizations.

Abel was a Democrat but a staunch supporter of Theodore Roosevelt. He was a Mason and a constant attendant of the Unitarian church.

When Simon died in 1965, his son Thomas H. Hunt took over the business with Abel. At the same time Abel also ran Hunt & Mero’s on Mechanic Street, and according to an advertisement in an 1868 Camden Directory he patented a carriage curtain fastener that was Japanned, silver or gold, furnished to order. But Abel was quite able and in September 1873, he left the Hunt family business and went to Bangor. There he found a casket maker, Enoch H. Tebbetts (or Tibbetts) who had been in the business for about 30 years and they became partners for about two years. They dissolved the partnership with Abel buying out Tibbetts. Somehow the agreement let Tibbetts sell caskets for another 14 years, so they occupied business stores next door to one another on Park Street in Bangor, called at that time “Undertakers Row.” Abel had a small building but it had about six floors that he used. He provided everything for funerals and became a “practical embalmer,” and traveled to the deceased home to conduct his “arterial” embalming right there. Funerals were held in homes then, so when finished, I guess he just put them to bed.

When his former partner died, Abel started his own casket company as another business, with his son being part of it. His funeral business expanded to two other buildings in Bangor. His business eventually became what is today the Brookings-Smith Funeral Home, from which some of my Bangor relatives used.

He died August 20, 1907, and notice of his death in The Camden Herald (that was taken from Bangor News) read as follows:

“Abel Hunt, for a score of years, one of Bangor’s [and Camden’s] foremost and respected citizens, died suddenly at Rainbow Lake a few minutes after 8 o’clock Tuesday morning. A messenger was at once dispatched to Norcross with the sad news, but it was a long trip and word did not reach this city until afternoon. ….Only the barest details as to the deplorable occurance are known. Mr. Hunt and Mr. Godding started from camp on Rainbow Lake, where they have been for the past ten days with friends, immediately after breakfast Tuesday morning to fish. They were seated on a log when suddenly Mr. Hunt toppled over without an utterance and when he reached his side, Mr. Godding found life extinct. There was not a moment’s hint of warning to the end. Mr. Hunt, although in his 73rd year, has always enjoyed the best of health, and with the exception of a slight indisposition last January, has been free from ills for a long period.”

It named the relatives on their way and the time of the funeral would be announced.

The Camden Herald stated Abel Hunt was a man whom any town might be proud to remember as having lived within its borders; and one who will be sincerely mourned.

Another interesting member of this family was Thomas A. Hunt, son of Thomas H., nephew of Abel and grandson of Simon.

Thomas A. Hunt was born in Camden on June 7, 1859, the eldest son of Thomas H. and Sarah Keene Hunt and was the last living member of his immediate family. He was educated in Camden schools, Camden High School and Kent’s Hill Seminary. He went on to Boston University Law School and afterward studied law with the Hon. Job Montgomery in Camden. After being admitted to the Knox County Bar, he left for Minneapolis, Minn., and practiced law for four years before returning to Camden.

Thomas A. gave up being a lawyer to open a retail clothing establishment and haberdashery (a word once used as store selling men’s shirts, socks, hats, etc.,) on Elm Street that was very successful for many years. In 1890, the business was listed as ”Singhi & Hunt, clothiers, hatters and outfitters in the Cleveland Block on Main Street.”

Thomas A. was very active in town affairs. He was a selectman when Camden and Rockport were one, and after their separation he was elected first selectman of Camden. He was a member of the first board of trustees at Camden Public Library and assessor of the old Village Corporation. In addition he was superintendent of schools for a number of years. In fraternal organizations, Thomas A. was a 32nd degree Mason, a past High Priest of the Keystone Chapter of R.A.M., a charter member of the Camden Commandery, No. 23, Knights Templar and a past Noble Grand of Mount Battie Lodge, I.O.O. F.

For many years he was Treasurer of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, of which his father was one of the incorporators.

Thomas A. moved from Camden to Denver, Colo., in 1920 and was a leading citizen there. He died at his home in Denver on Dec. 17, 1931, following an illness caused by heart trouble. He never married but was survived by several cousins: Rev. Walter Hunt, D.D., of Boston, who was head of the American Unitarian Association of America; E. R. Keene, city clerk of Rockland, and Ormond Keene of Palmer, Mass. His body arrived in Camden from Denver. Funeral services were conducted from St. Thomas Episcopal Church with Rev. Ralph Hayden officiating. He was buried at Mountain View Cemetery with Camden businessmen as pall bearers: Pearl G. Willey, J. H. Hobbs, J. C. Hobbs and C. P. Brown.

Barbara Dyer is Camden's official town historian.