Dr. Alice Mary Hunter was born in Grand Forks on September 30, 1891. She attended Belmont School and Grand Forks High School, and graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1914. After graduating from Chicago's Rush Medical College in June, 1919, she interned at Cincinnati General Hospital in Ohio. She practiced medicine in several states, and in 1924 took a six month course in anesthesia at the Mayo Clinic. She then came back to Grand Forks and joined Dr. William H. Witherstine in his practice, and handled anesthesia for other physicians in town.
Her parents, Adison I. and Alice Bailey Hunter, both originally from Indiana, were socially prominent in Grand Forks. Her father came to Grand Forks in 1883 to homestead, but apparently soon left farming. By 1890 he was the owner of a livery stable specializing in Kentucky thoroughbreds. A.I. Hunter turned to banking in 1909-1910, joining the Union National Bank of Grand Forks as cashier. Later he became president and chairman of the executive committee of the First National Bank of Grand Forks.
During the banking phase of his career, chain banking was common in North Dakota. Individuals from one bank would establish new banks in other communities, controlling them through interlocking directorates. A.I. Hunter was involved in three other small banks in the Grand Forks area, only one of which survived the Depression. He also held substantial interests in a wide variety of local businesses, and owned almost nine sections of land, both in the area and in Canada.
Dr. Hunter's mother died in 1925. Her father became ill in 1935, and she spent much of her time caring for him until he died in December 1936. About this time, she stopped practicing medicine, although the reason is unknown. She spent the rest of her life living in her parents' house, managing the land and money she had inherited, arguing with many and slowly turning into an eccentric and a local legend. She died in a nursing home on December 7, 1975.
The Dr. Alice Hunter Papers have been divided into eight series as follows:
Series 1: Personal and Family
Series 2: Business Correspondence
Series 3: Corporate Records
Series 4: Pamphlets and Flyers
Series 5: Newspaper Clippings and Scrapbooks
Series 6: Cookbooks
Series 7: Americus Township Records
Series 8: Miscellaneous