Adelaide Hunter was born in 1857, at the Homestead. Just a few months after her birth her father, David Hunter, died. This left her widowed mother to manage the household and farm with the help of her children, including young "Addie." Adelaide attended German Public School and then Ladies College in nearby Brantford. Growing up on a mid-19th century farm with its privations and isolation perhaps inspired her to take up the cause of domestic reform.