10202 Briggs Road, Marion, IL 62959
618.521.2814  rich@jacobhuntertrust.org

About Us

The Jacob Hunter Trust was formed October 2, 1991 with the purpose to restore and maintain our family cemeteries and to preserve and distribute information about those related to, and descendants of, Jacob Hunter, the Revolutionary War soldier and his wife Mary “Polly” Dancer Hunter Lee.

The Jacob Hunter Cemetery, near White Ash, IL, named for the grandson of Jacob, the Revolutionary War soldier, was in a state of ruin and the Allen Hunter Cemetery, near Marion, IL was in need of major restoration.

In our first year, 16 people donated money to assist the Trust with our first project, to restore the Jacob Hunter Cemetery, repair grave markers, and install a fence and a sign. In 1993 the Trust was asked to care for the Allen Hunter Cemetery north of Marion, IL. This cemetery was named for the Reverend Allen Hunter, a brother to Jacob Hunter, and grandson of Jacob Hunter, the Revolutionary War soldier for whom this Trust is named.

In addition to restoring and maintaining the two family burial grounds, the Trust began publishing the Jacob Hunter Trust Newsletter. This served as a vehicle for distributing information about family history, providing revenue and expense detail, and recruiting support for the work of the Trust.

In 1999 we began work to locate and record the location of the Braxton Lee Cemetery in Ashland City, TN. This is the location where our great grandfathers Braxton Lee and Jacob Hunter, for whom this Trust is named, were buried. In 2009 we surveyed and recorded the location of this historic cemetery.

With the sacrifice and support of many, the Jacob Hunter Trust achieved multiple accomplishments:

  • Restored the Jacob Hunter Cemetery, installed a new fence, created and installed a sign, repaired broken grave markers, and purchased new headstones for those that had eroded.
  • Renovated the Allen Hunter Cemetery, created and installed a new sign, installed a new decorative fence and a new wire fence around the sides and back of the property, and re-engraved and repaired several headstones.
  • Mowed and maintained both cemeteries in a way that our ancestors deserve.
  • Regularly trimmed branches and fallen limbs and other debris that collects in the cemeteries.
  • On May 8, 2009 an inland hurricane hit southern Illinois and caused extensive damage. Many trees were broken and fallen in both the Jacob Hunter Cemetery and the Allen Hunter Cemetery. It cost the Trust $ 3,300 to remove the broken and fallen trees and remaining trees were trimmed of large broken branches. Three sections of the decorative fence at the Allen Hunter Cemetery were destroyed and the bid to have the fence repaired was $ 2,438.00. Given that expense, Tom Hunter and Rich Hunter decided to order replacement parts and repair the fence for a cost of around $ 500.00.
  • Published and distributed the Jacob Hunter Trust Newsletter annually that is now widely cited on historical and genealogical websites.
  • Negotiated the purchase of Emmanuel Hunter’s log home that he built in 1818 and donated it to John A. Logan Community College in Carterville, IL. This historic home will be part of a large historical display being funded by the Harrison-Bruce Foundation at Logan College.
  • Located the site where Jacob Hunter, Mary “Polly” Dancer Hunter Lee, Braxton Lee, and Elizabeth Ann Hatcher Lee are buried and are in the process of having the cemetery legally recognized and marked.


The work of the Jacob Hunter Trust and the articles we develop for the Newsletter carry forward the dedicated work of many who have contributed thousands of hours and dollars to uncover and preserve our rich family heritage. Our research and publications share and honor the contributions of people such as Clyde H. Hunter, A.J. Lee, Belva Hunter Hall, Pauline Mason, Lawrence and Lettie Hunter, Ernest E. Hunt, IV, R. David Lee, and others.

Our work is significantly aided and advanced by newer researchers such as Thomas E. Hunter, Bruce Lantrip, our Lee cousins in Tennessee, and by the generosity of Ernest E. Hunt, IV, Robert Hunter Howerton, and Judge Robert S. Hunter who, on his own, published and distributed the extensive notes and records Lettie and Lawrence Lee Hunter assembled after over 40 years of research.

We look forward to recruiting a new generation of people interested in advancing the work of the Trust through historical research, volunteering for various projects, assisting in the maintenance of our family cemeteries, and providing financial support.

Richard H. Hunter, Trustee

Please join us!