Description: Born just outside Palestine in 1866 to Nathaniel and Jennie (Beeson) Hunter, Mary Kate Hunter played a significant role in recording, promoting and preserving the history of Palestine and Anderson County. Educated at Palestine Female Academy and Sam Houston Normal Institute, she studied piano with classical musicians across the United States and in Germany, and taught piano to countless Palestine children. As a clubwoman, she was a charter member of the self-culture club in Palestine, organized in 1894; served as a delegate to the First Annual Meeting of the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1898; organized a local chapter of the Women’s National Foundation in 1921 for the preservation and study of local history; and founded and led the Fort Houston Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. A supporter of voting rights for women, Mary Kate Hunter organized and was first President of the Palestine Equal Suffrage Association, and held statewide office in the Texas Equal Suffrage Association in 1915-16. In Addition to her civic Duties, Hunter also was a published poet, Editor of a local society journal and board member of the Texas State Library. She extensively researched the History of Palestine and Anderson County and conducted dozens of oral history interviews with early area residents. At her death in 1945, she bequeathed her voluminous collection of material to the Palestine Public Library, where it remains in use as an important record of Anderson County History.
Partner: Palestine Public Library