John Wesley Hunt

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John Wesley Hunt
Resting placeLexington Cemetery
ResidenceHunt-Morgan House
OccupationMerchant, horse breeder, banker, civic leader
Spouse(s)Catherine Hunt
ChildrenCharlton Hunt
RelativesJohn Hunt Morgan (grandson)
Thomas Hunt Morgan (great-grandson)

John Wesley Hunt (1773–1849) was a prominent businessman and early civic leader in Lexington, Kentucky. He was one of the first millionaires west of the Allegheny Mountains.


Early life[edit]

John Wesley Hunt was born in 1773 in Trenton, New Jersey. He was the son of a Lt. Col. in the Revolutionary War, Abraham Hunt, and Theodosia Pearson Hunt.[1]


Moving to Lexington in 1795, he became a merchant, horsebreeder, hemp manufacturer, and banker. In 1799, President John Adams named Hunt as postmaster of Lexington.

A horsebreeder, he introduced the Messenger strain to Kentucky in the winter of 1839-1840.

Personal life[edit]

He married Catherine Grosh, and in 1814, he built a two-story brick mansion known as "Hopemont" (today known as The Hunt-Morgan House) for him and his wife. Their son Charlton Hunt became the first mayor of Lexington.


He died in 1849. He was buried in the family plot at the Lexington Cemetery.


John Wesley Hunt's grandson, John Hunt Morgan, was a famous Confederate general during the American Civil War of 1861-1865. A great-grandson, Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan, was the first Kentuckian to win a Nobel Prize.


  • Ramage, James A., John Wesley Hunt, Pioneer Merchant, Manufacturer, & Financier, Lexington, Kentucky, University Press of Kentucky, 1974. ISBN 0-8131-0204-9.

External links[edit]