Register of the Archibald Murchie Hunter Papers,

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Collection Inventory+/-

Biographical Note/Historical Note

Content Description

Collection Use

Administrative Information

Collection Overview +/-

Title: Archibald Murchie Hunter Papers
Dates: 1871-1933 (inclusive)
Collection Number: Mss B 68
Summary: Livestock man, mining speculator, Socialist. Correspondence, financial records, published items. Topics include livestock, particularly blooded horses raising, speculation in a Glen Canyon gold mining enterprise, and personal finances. There is a small section of Socialist literature included as well as some records form the Sevier Valley Coal Company.
Repository: Utah State Historical Society

Collection Inventory +/-

Box Folder Contents
box , folder : Correspondence
box 1, folder 1 : 1871-1899
box 1, folder 2 : 1901-1912
box 1, folder 3 : 1913-1914
box 1, folder 4 : 1915-1917
box 1, folder 5 : 1921-1924
box 1, folder 6 : 1925-1927
box 1, folder 7 : 1928-1929
box 1, folder 8 : 1930-1933
box 1, folder 9 : Undated
box , folder : Personal and business records
box 1, folder 10 : Account book, 1897-1926
box 1, folder 11 : Financial records
box 1, folder 12 : Livestock records and publications
box 1, folder 13 : Sevier Valley Coal Company records
box 1, folder 14 : Legal documents, W. H. Schock and Lydia Carlson estates
box 1, folder 15 : Land and business records
box , folder : Miscellaneous
box 1, folder 16-17 : Socialist Party literature
box 1, folder 18 : Miscellaneous cards and certificates
box 1, folder 19 : Advertising literature

Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-

When Apostle Orson Pratt organized the first Scottish branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Paisley in 1840, it was the first step leading to the emigration of some ten thousand Mormon converts from that country to the United States by 1900. While Archibald Murchie Hunter was not a member of that church, he was born in Paisley in 1843, and it seems likely that his appearance in this country at age eight and eventual arrival in Utah must have been at least partly a result of Mormon influence. A religious motive for emigration is not required in his case, for Scotland was poor and the Hunter family was large; a letter to Hunter from a younger brother, Clark, in 1871 appeals for money to purchase his discharge from the British army so he can return home to help support the family.

If Hunter's reasons for emigration to this country are not fully known, neither are his early travels after arriving in Boston in 1851. His obituary reports that he remained in that city only briefly, then headed for Utah. Where he lived and how he supported himself in Utah for perhaps the next ten years is not clear, and he left in 1862 for the mining camps of Nevada. He may have been successful in mining, for in 1874 he returned to Utah, taking up residence in Sevier County as a breeder of blooded race horses. In 1879 he joined the settlers in the Garfield County community known variously as Clover Flat, Grass Valley, Coyote, and, after 1920, Antimony. He spent the rest of his life there, supporting himself by various mining speculations, running a hotel, and raising and exporting to Scotland his fine horses.

One could hardly invent a person with a background seemingly less likely to harmonize with Antimony community life than Archibald Hunter. The settlement was composed of exceptionally devout Mormons who had moved there from the United Order of Enoch (the Mormons' communitarian order) at Kingston just barely before Hunter arrived. Hunter was not a Mormon at all, a foreign immigrant, an Odd Fellow, a life-long bachelor, and an ardent Socialist. The latter affiliation is probably the reason for his taking up residence in Antimony, for the Socialist Party was strong in that area, and he may have been attracted not only by the good pasture but by the compatible political climate as well. At any rate, cultural differences proved to be unimportant, and Hunter quickly became a valued neighbor and respected pillar of the community. Upon first moving to Antimony in 1879, Hunter became chairman of the school board, and residents who fell upon hard times testified of Hunter's financial generosity. Hunter cared for an, evidently widowed sister, Jane Talbot, and her five children in his home. Social responsibility, then, both toward his own family and his neighbors, no doubt aided acceptance by the community.

Hunter had at least one close friend outside of Antimony in the person of Dr. William H. Schock of Richfield, a practitioner of Thompsonian medicine, which emphasized "natural" medicines and treatments. Schock was also a bachelor, an Odd Fellow, and a Socialist, and he was Hunter's partner in both the horse breeding and mining ventures. Of the mining ventures, the most significant was the Gretchen Bar area in Glen Canyon of the Colorado River. Hunter seems to have been a financial backer only, while Schock was responsible for the actual engineering and production. A cabin and a trail bearing his name were familiar landmarks in Glen Canyon. After Schock's death in 1927, Hunter continued to work the Glen Canyon claims as executor of the estate, but the remoteness of the location and the difficulty of coordinating the complicated engineering and operations procedures necessary to save the extremely fine Glen Canyon gold make it doubtful that Hunter ever realized much return on his investment. Letters from Leigh W. Arbuckle, his agent, as late as 1929 are full of promises but report little progress.

Archibald Hunter died in Antimony in 1931. A contingent of members from the Richfield I.O.O.F. lodge journeyed to Antimony for his funeral, and he was buried in Salt Lake City.

Content Description +/-

The main outlines of the Archibald Hunter collection are suggested by his biography. It contains a great deal of personal and business correspondence, financial records relating to his horse breeding business, and extensive documentation of Socialist Party activities in Utah during the early twentieth century. The arrangement of the correspondence is chronological, and the rest of the papers are grouped by type.

Family correspondence takes up a large part of space during the early years of Hunter's residence in Utah. Given the span of time embraced, it appears that Hunter was not in frequent contact with either his Scottish relatives or family members who, like him, came to Utah (several brothers lived in the central part of the state). The extant letters do indicate a great deal of family love and contain large amounts of news on the family fortunes. Hunter's younger brother Clark became an agent for the horses exported to the Old Country, and letters from him reveal a great deal of business information.

The Schock letters are brief and business-like and contain only scraps of business and political information, but they are an important resource for information on Glen Canyon mining, a subject dependent largely upon oral sources and county mining records. There is little on Socialist matters in the Schock letters, but other letters from O. A. Kennedy and others give news of Socialist fortunes from one election to the next.

Two folders of Socialist Party literature are perhaps the most important group of papers in the remainder of the collection. They include all types of material, from theoretical treatises to announcements of political events.

Collection Use +/-

Restrictions on Access:

Restrictions on Access

Administrative Information +/-



Hunter, Archibald Murchie, 1843-1931.




Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008


1 box (0.5 linear ft.)

Language of the Finding Aid:

Finding aid written in Englishin Latin script

EAD Creation Date: