Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


M. R. Lunt, manager of the Soledad plant of the United Milk Company, was born at Springfield, Illinois, November 17, 1880, and is of English and Scotch extraction, His paternal ancestry moved from the state of Maine to Illinois at a comparatively early date. A few years after the close of the Civil war his father went to Chicago, where he became one of the banking firm of Lunt & Keane. He was one of the founders of the Northwestern University at Evanston, a suburb of Chicago, and the Lunt library at Evanston is his gift to that municipality. The great Chicago fire of October, 1871, brought reverses to his banking house and he removed to Springfield. Some years later he decided to take Horace Greeley's advice and "Go west." For a number of years he was right-of-way man for the coast division of the Southern Pacific Railroad, and during a large part of his life on the coast he was an inspector for the New York Life Insurance Company. He lived to the ripe old age of ninety-two years.

M. R. Lunt's mother, whose maiden name was Jennie Chase, was a daughter of Salmon P. Chase, who was chief justice of the United States supreme court during the greater part of President Lincoln's administration. Three brothers named Chase came over on the Mayflower and the family is one of the oldest in America. Mrs. Lunt died at the age of eighty-six years. M. R. Lunt is next to the youngest of twelve children born to his parents, who also adopted three children.

The subject of this sketch, like other American boys, acquired his elementary education in the public schools. He was graduated in the chemical course at the Northwestern University and came to California with his parents. Soon after his arrival in the state he entered the employ of the United Milk Company as a chemist. He was then engaged for five years as a chemical engineer at Summerland, after which he returned to the milk company and is now manager of the plant at Soledad, which handles about ten thousand gallons of milk daily. It is cooled to a temperature of thirty-three degrees and shipped to San Francisco in thermos tanks mounted on auto trucks, arriving there at a temperature of thirty-six degrees. The company is one of the largest concerns of its kind on the Pacific coast and has won numerous first prizes at state fairs for the purity of its product, lowest bacteria count, etc. This is largely due to soil and climatic conditions, which conduce to perfect sanitation.

Mr. Lunt is president of the Soledad Chamber of Commerce, vice president of the Soledad Mercantile Corporation, a Master Mason, a Son of the American Revolution, a member of the Druids Circle and a society of chemical engineers. He is also president of the Soledad school board and the California Building Association, of Oakland, a director of the Monterey County Economy League and a Granger. When it was decided to rebuild the old Soledad Mission he was placed in charge of the work, and he has been active in other ways for the promotion of the civic welfare of the city. He married Miss Nellie Quinn, of Oakland, a daughter of Stephen Quinn, who was one of the "49ers" and a member of the celebrated vigilance committee of San Francisco, which marked the beginning of law and order on the coast.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.