Woman of the Century/Augusta Merrill Hunt
HUNT, Mrs. Augusta Merrill, philanthropist, born in Portland, Me., 6th June, 1842. She was the youngest daughter of George S. and Ellen Merrill Barston, of Portland, Me. In 1863 she became the wife of George S. Hunt, a prominent and successful merchant of Portland. From her AUGUSTA MERRILL HUNT. mother Mrs. Hunt inherited intellectual ability, an earnest religious faith and a cheerful disposition, and from her father practical common-sense, a strong sense of justice, and the courage of her convictions. She has been actively identified with many of the prominent charitable organizations of Portland, notably that of the Portland Fraternity, the Associated Charities, the Home for Aged Women, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the Woman's Suffrage Association. For seven years she has been the president of the Ladies' History Club, the first literary society organized by the women of Portland, which was originated in 1874. In the spring of 1876 a public meeting was called in Portland, composed of two women delegales from each church in the city, to consider the feasibility of forming a Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Mrs. Hunt was present as one of the representatives from the First Universalist Church, and was called to preside over the meeting, and when, as its result, the Woman's Temperance Society was formed, the members called her to the position of president Under her direction the coffee-house, diet kitchen and diet mission and the flower mission were successfully organized and carried forward. In 1878 the society became auxiliary to the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Mrs. Hunt continued as its president, which position she still retains. She has three times held the position of national superintendent in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the last department being that of higher education. In 1890 she was obliged to resign that position on account of ill health. In 1884 she was appointed by the governor of Maine as a member of the Reform School Committee. At the end of three years she declined a re-appointment on account of the pressure of other duties. In 1873, after the death of her mother, Mrs. Hunt assumed the place tins made vacant on the board of managers of the Home for Aged Women, and in 1889 was unanimously elected president of that association, which position she still retains. She has several times appeared before the Maine legislative committee in advocacy of the establishment of a reformatory prison for women in Maine, of better laws for the protection of young girls, of municipal suffrage for women, and of the cottage system in the Reform School for Boys.