Alabama Pioneers HonoredBiographiesGenealogy Information

BIOGRAPHY: David W. Hunter born ca. 1800 & Ambrose Hunter ca. 1800 Lawrence County

These biographies are also in the book Biographies of Notable and Not-So-Notable: Alabama Pioneers (Volume 1) AND First Families of Lawrence County, Alabama Volume I


(b. ca. 1800 – 1855)


(b. ca. 1800 – 1852)

Early Pioneers of Lawrence County, Alabama

David and Ambrose Hunter were twin brothers and early pioneers of Lawrence County, Alabama. They came from East Tennessee. David and Ambrose were partners with Alexander, John and Matthew McGhee in Blount and Monroe Counties, Tennessee in 1820-22

David and Ambrose were merchants and business partners for some years and made independent livings. David W. was, under the average height but strong in build. He married Maria Leetch on Dec. 10, 1822 in Lawrence County, Alabama. She was the daughter of Capt. William Leetch, but she died a few years later and they had no children. (another source says they had one son, William L. Hunter).

The following information is related by James Edmonds Saunders who knew David. Hunter and Ambrose Hunter

“David was a man of fine business capacity. In addition to his merchandise, he turned a penny by horse trading. I might have forgotten this, but for an accident which happened to me when I lived at Moulton.

I purchased from David a match of horses. Some little time afterward, one Sunday morning, my boy, who had been copper colored the day before, came in nearly as white as a sheet.

“What’s the matter, Billy?”

He answered: “Why, sir, Wash and me was having a little race to see which horse was the swiftest, when my horse frowed me clean over a stump- and I lit on my hip upon a root- and I’m most ded, sir.”

Says I, “Go and lie down, and get your mammy to rub it with camphor.”

But Billy still lingered, and at length said: “And the horse, he’s ded too, sir.”

“The —-, you say?” “Yes, sir, he stump his toe, and fell wid his hed gin the stump, and broke his neck smack off.”

And so it was. I never complained of David, for he didn’t guarantee that the horses’ head was harder than a stump. David married for his second wife a widow named Green, (another source says he married Margaret Allen) and from that time commenced moving about and it was said that he moved so often that he wore out the tenons of his bedsteads.”

By 1740, David Hunter’s family was living in Monroe, Mississippi as was Ambrose’s family. David moved to Knox County, Tennessee in 1848. The family moved to Abingdon, Virginia in the summer and was listed on the Washington County, Virginia census in October. David and Margaret (Allen) Hunter had the following children with his second wife. She had two other daughters by a previous marriage.

  1. David M. Hunter, Jr.
  2. Alice Scott Hunter
  3. Jessie Hunter
  4. Trigg Hunter.

Ambrose R. Hunter, younger brother and business partner of brother David Hunter (above) of Moulton, Lawrence County Alabama was an early pioneer from East Tennessee. He was a “tall, well proportioned man, and a good merchant and citizen” While his circumstances had improved very much, he never could get clear of the East Tennessee drawl. “His friend Minnis (*prob. James M. Minnis, merchant and another early pioneer from East Tennessee) had the same infirmity; but was much the sharper man of the two, and always delighted to have a joke on his friends. He said that Ambrose one night was attacked with a pain in the top of his head and running down into his brain. He made out to stand it until daylight, when Dr. Glover was sent for in great haste.

The doctor removed a scratch, which Ambrose wore on the top of his head, secured by small slips of cloth, pasted to his head, when lol a large cockroach made his escape. He had been feeding on the paste, and by way of variety, taking a mouthful of the flesh-and this was the sum of his brain fever.” I never could tell how much of this story was true; for whenever it was alluded to in my presence, Minnis got so merry, and Ambrose so mad, that a full explanation never took place.

Ambrose Hunter married Margaret Grugett Feb. 19, 1828 and after her death, Jane G. who had an interest in the salt works in West Virginia, and I think he moved there.”

Ambrose and Margaret had two children.

  1. David Hunter (b. 1829)
  2. Margaret Ann Hunter ( b. ca. 1832)

Ambrose died in 1852 and David died at Goodlettsville, Tennessee in Davidson County, Tennesee in 1855.

After David’s death, Margaret remarried to James Ware and lived in Hopkinsville, KY where she died in 1884.


  1. EARLY SETTLERS OF ALABAMA NOTES AND GENEALOGIES by Col. JAMES EDMONDS SAUNDERS LAWRENCE COUNTY, ALA VOL I by his granddaughter ELIZABETH SAUNDERS BLAIR STUBBS NEW ORLEANS: L Graham & Son Ltd., Printers, 207-211 Baronne St. 1899 Reprinted by Willo Publishing Company Tuscaloosa, Alabama 1961
  2. Alabama Marriage Records before 1825

This biography is included in the books Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable  Alabama Pioneers Volume I

and in

First Families of Lawrence County, Alabama Volume I

Biographies of Notable and Not-So-Notable: Alabama Pioneers (Volume 1)

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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