Edward Hunter Jr. was sustained as Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1851 and served until his death on October 16, 1883. He was the longest-serving Presiding Bishop in the Church.
Hunter was born on June 22, 1793, in Newtown, Pennsylvania, to Edward and Hannah Hunter. He trained as a tanner and currier and worked in the mercantile business near Philadelphia from 1816 to 1822. He mastered the art of surveying, served in the United States Cavalry (for seven years) and as Delaware County Commissioner (for three years). He then farmed successfully in Delaware County for about four years.
He married Ann Standley in 1830 and they were the parents of three children. He was baptized a member of the Church by Orson Hyde on October 8, 1840. He served as a bishop in Nauvoo and immigrated with the Saints first to Winter Quarters in 1846 (where he also served as bishop) and then to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. He then served as a bishop in Salt Lake City. He also served one term on the Utah Territorial Assembly, beginning in 1851. Hunter had also served as a member of the Nauvoo City Council and a regent of University of Nauvoo from 1844 to 1846. He escorted the bodies of Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith after their martyrdoms and helped bury them privately.