Son of Jefferson Hunt and Celia Mounts. John's father marched with the Mormon Battalion accompanied by part of his family, including John. John traveled with his father and 15 other men to Southern California in late 1847 to purchase grain and cattle. In 1851, his father was called to settle in California. With other saints, they settled in San Bernardino. In 1856 he accompanied John McDonald, and others, in providing aid to the saints in Utah territory. After returning to San Bernardino, he married Lois Pratt 4 July 1857. They returned to Utah during the "Mormon War" and, in March 1858, his wife gave birth to a daughter (Ida Francis Hunt) at Hamilton's Fort in Iron County. By 1860 the family was back in San Bernardino where their next two daughters were born (May Louisa and Annella). The rest of their children (beginning with Christabell) were born in Beaver, Utah.
John and his mother were rebaptized in Salt Lake City on 8 August 1847.
Birthdate confirmed using A List of the names of the inhabitants of the Utah settlement, 1849 June 7.