(June 16, 1827-Apr. 24, 1896). Phinius George Canning Hunt, founder of the Indiana Dental College and professional dental associations, was a native of Champaign County, Ohio (see Dentistry). He moved with his family to Wayne County, Indiana in 1830. At age 19, he apprenticed under his brother David, a dentist in Indianapolis. After David Hunt’s death in 1848, Phinius Hunt continued the practice located on the Circle.

Interested in elevating the state’s dental standards, Hunt was a founder of the Indiana State Dental Association in 1858 and served as its president (1861-1864, 1871). In 1879, he helped to establish the Indiana Dental College, located at 147 East Market Street, and became its first dean.

In 1895, Hunt joined with his son, Dr. George Edwin Hunt, as well as Dr. Harry Hicks and his sister, Mary, to acquire the college through a stock purchase. Elected as president of the board, Hunt oversaw the implementation of a progressive dental curriculum, which included studies in porcelain work, prosthetic techniques, and bacteriology.

Hunt also was instrumental in organizing the State Board of Dental Examiners to monitor dental practice statewide and served as its first president (1879-1895). He also was president of the American Dental Association (1872-1873).

Revised February 2021

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