Among the earliest men to penetrate the wilds of the lower Kootenai valley, we must mention the esteemed gentleman whose name appears above. Mr. Bunting is one of the real pioneers of this country and has been one of the vigorous men whose labors have transformed it into the abode of civilization. He is of exceptionally good standing and is a man of sound principles and deserving of the encomiums of an appreciative people, which he enjoys in generous measure.
Arthur E. Bunting was born in Woodstock, New Brunswick, on December 29. 1855, being the son of Robert and Mary A. (Weatherbee) Bunting, natives of England and New Brunswick, respectively. They are mentioned in another portion of this volume. Our subject received a good common school education in his native place, remained on the farm with his father until twenty-one and then removed to Rat Portage, and thence, in 1884, to the Kootenai valley. He at once entered the employ of the well known pioneer, Richard Fry, as salesman in the latter’s store. He soon occupied the position of general manager of the establishment, and remained thus employed for four years. Then he took a homestead where he now resides, one and one-fourth miles west from Bonners Ferry, it being the first homestead taken in this portion of the valley, and Mr. Bunting was the pioneer of the important industry of farming in the now wealthy and fertile valley of the Kootenai. He has a fine place, raises hay and handles stock and also raises considerable fruit.
In 1885 Mr. Bunting married Miss Christine, daughter of Richard and Jestine (Ira) Fry, especial mention of whom is made elsewhere in this volume. Mr. Fry was a thorough frontiersman in the true sense of the word and that means in addition to courage, physical powers of endurance, skill, wisdom and excellent practical judgment, a large heart and frankness, with a firm adherence to the principles of right. The mother of Mrs. Bunting is a descendant of the Colvilles and a beautiful romance attaches to her life in connection with her husband. His brother had been killed by the Indians and he was in great danger of being massacred, in fact, it was surely contemplated, and this faithful woman took a canoe and risking her own life, warned Mr. Fry of the impending danger and thus he fled and saved his life. He sought the noble woman who had thus befriended him and soon made her his wife. Mrs. Bunting is the oldest daughter of Mr. Fry and she accompanied her father on many trips in the wildness of the country and has seen all the hardships and dangers of real pioneer life. Mr. and Mrs. Bunting are among the leaders in this section and are prominent people, while their worth and integrity are well known to all. They are members of the Episcopal church.
– Page 838 “An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903 “