Rev. B. F. Hungerford  


Shelby News, Thursday 12 October 1916


Rev. B. F. Hungerford, Venerable Baptist Divine Passes Away.


The Rev. B. F. Hungerford, the oldest, and one of the best known Baptist ministers in Shelby County, died last Thursday afternoon at 1:30 o’clock at the home of his son-in-law, Mr. F. M. Jesse, near Hempridge, following a month’s illness. Mr. Hungerford suffered a severe fall on September 1st, which proved a bad shock to his nervous system. He rallied slowly and for a time indications were that he would recover, but his great age had so weakened his vitality that his condition took a turn for the worse two weeks ago and he steadily declined from that time until the end.

Mr. Hungerford held pastorates in this county for more than half a century and was probably known to more people in the county than any other man. He is said to have baptized more than two thousand converts during his ministry, married nearly a thousand couples and officiated at about the dame number of funerals.

Mr. Hungerford was born on February 19, 1825, in the township of West Sparta, Livingston County, N. Y. In 1846 he was elected School Commissioner of West Sparta, but at the end of his four years’ term he was in such feeble health that his physician ordered him to a warmer climate. He converted all of his available resources into cash, and found himself in the possession of $300. Without any definite idea as to his ultimate destination, he embarked on a boat for Cleveland, but before he landed there he had been robbed of all his money except for a $10 gold piece. It required the larger part of this to carry him to Cincinnati. An accidental meeting with a relation there resulted in his locating in New Liberty, Owen County, Ky., where in 1851 he succeeded the Rev. J. W. Goodman as president of the New Liberty Female College. He married in 1853 to Miss Rose Ann Alnutt, of that place, and the following year was licensed to preach.

Mr. Hungerford removed to Shelbyville in 1859, succeeding Mr. Goodman again as president of the Kentucky Female College, and the following year was ordained to the full ministry as pastor of the Clayvillage, Little Mount and Pigeon Fork churches, preaching once a month at each. The Clayvillage pastorate continued for twenty-three years, the Little Mount pastorate twenty-four years and the Pigeon Fork pastorate fourteen years.

When the Kentucky Female College was closed in 1863 on account of the war, Mr. Hungerford accepted a proposition to establish a school in Rockbridge neighborhood, which he conducted successfully for eleven years, when he returned to Shelbyville he formed a partnership with the Rev. George Scearce in a private school.

In addition to those named above Mr. Hungerford served as pastor of the following churches: Mt. Moriah, Taylorsville and Elk Creek, in Spencer County; Burk’s Branch, Dover, Buffalo Lick, Salem and Graefenburg in Shelby County, Evergreen in Franklin County, Lawrenceburg in Anderson County, and Salem, Ind.

Two years ago the eighteenth of next month several hundred friends of Bro. Hungerford, members of all denominations, gathered at Waddy for an all-day meeting as a testimonial to the high regard in which he was held by our people. Addresses were made by the Rev. W. P. Harvey, of Harrodsburg; the Rev. D. T. Foust, the Rev. W. R. Anderson, the Rev. T. H. Athey and other commendatory of the life and work of the venerable divine. As a fitting climax of the service a purse of more than $200, voluntarily contributed by his numerous admirers was presented to Mr. Hungerford.

Mr. Hungerford leaves no children. His wife died in 1900 and his only daughter, Mrs. M. F. Jesse, passed away several years ago.

The funeral was held at the Shelbyville Baptist church Saturday morning at 11 o’clock with services conducted by the Rev. J. S. Gatton, of Cecelia, assisted by the Rev. D. T. Foust, of this city. The interment followed in Grove Hill Cemetery with Masonic honors conferred by J. B. Blumer, Past Master of Solomon’s Lodge, No. 5, F. & A. M. of which he had long been a member.

SOURCE OF INFORMATION:  Contributed by Tamryn Glaser.


Return to Main Obituary Index            Updated 061006               Return to Home Page