The Life and Times of Abram Hunsaker: First Settler of Union County
Genealogy Society of Southern Illinois
Abram Hunsaker is the first documented settler in what is now Union County, Illinois. His arrival in 1803 along with his nephew George Woolf, helped pave the way for settlement in western Southern Illinois. As a member of the German Baptist Brethren Church (Dunkers), he and his Anabaptist community brought to Southern Illinois a different religious perspective than that of the French Catholics living farther up the Mississippi River in Kaskaskia and Saint Genevieve.
The role of Abram Hunsaker will be portrayed by Steven Haldeman of Jonesboro, Illinois. The persona of Abram Hunsaker was first developed for the bicentennial events of 2018 when the City of Jonesboro, Union County, and the State of Illinois celebrated their historic 200th year anniversary. Steven Haldeman is a retired public school teacher, serving thirty-three years with Shawnee District #84. He is a U.S. Navy veteran, keeping active by substitute teaching and serving as a Jonesboro City Alderman. Haldeman is also a member of the Long Knives Chapter: Sons of the American Revolution, the Union County Economic Development Council, “Looking for Lincoln” National Heritage Trail committee, P.A.S.T. Historical Society, Jonesboro Library Board, and assists the Illinois Trail of Tears Association when needed. He received his Master of Education Degree from Southwest Baptist University and resides in Jonesboro with his wife Debbie.
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