Hunter, Nathaniel “Nat”

Regimental Number: 3213164
Rank: Private
Branch: 1st Depot Battalion, Alberta Regiment

Nathaniel “Nat” was born on August 30, 1896 at Rockton; Ontario was the youngest of Samuel and Pamelia Hunter’s family of seven children. He had three brothers; George, Adam and Samuel and three sisters; Mary, Martha and Cecelia. The family had moved to Edmonton where he attended school. Nat decided to explore the Peace River district and filed a homestead application on land near Grimshaw. By 1916, he decided to see what was available for land in the Bezanson area and filed a homestead application on SE 2-72-3-W6. He built a log home and barn on the NE corner of the land and raised cattle.

Nathaniel was called-up for service on June 7, 1918 at Calgary with the 1st Depot Battalion Alberta. He sailed for England from Montreal on July 30, 1918. Once Nathaniel arrived at Manchester on August 16, he was transferred to the 21st Reserve Battalion and remained in England for the remainder of the war. Private Nathaniel Hunter was discharged on demobilization on June 25, 1919.

Once discharged, he returned to Glen Leslie to his farm. In an effort to supplement the farm income, Nat would raft down the Smoky River to McLennan where he would catch the train to southern Alberta to work on farms during the harvest season. In 1919, in order to qualify for two quarters of land through the Soldiers’ Settlement Board, Nat cancelled the homestead application on SE 2-72-3-W6 and re-filed on it and on NW 6-72-W6 through the SSB. Shortly thereafter, Nat purchased SW 2-72-4-W6. On October 25, 1933, Nat married Mabel (Robideau) Whalen who had two children, Eunice and Bobby and the family settled on the farm at Glen Leslie. After living in Glen Leslie for 10 years, the Hunter’s decided to sell their farm and moved to Kelowna, BC for the winter. In the spring of 1944, they returned to the area and bought land on the outskirts of Grande Prairie where they lived until Nat passed away in 1956. He was buried at the Glen Leslie Cemetery. Mabel sold the farm and bought two lots in the hamlet of Bezanson where she lived until she passed away in 1981. She was buried at the Glen Leslie Cemetery.

Contributed by Wanda Zenner

Sources: Smoky River to Grande Prairie, pg. 15, 16; Pioneers of the Peace p. 253
Bev (Bulford) Tissington – granddaughter-in-law of Nat’s brother Sam