FRANK AUGUSTUS MONSON

In the passing of Frank Augustus Monson in New Haven on the 30th of June, 1908, the city mourned the loss of one who in every relation of life had conducted himself with such dignity and honor as to win a most enviable position in public regard. His life reflected credit upon a distinguished ancestry whose name has been handed down untarnished through generation after generation. Frank A. Monson was a representative of the descendants of Thomas Monson, of Stratford and of New Haven. He was born about 1612 and was in Hartford in 1637, in which year he participated in the Pequot war with the rank of captain. About 1640 he was in New Haven. He followed the carpenter's trade, filled various public offices and took an active and helpful part in the work of the Congregational church, passing away in that faith May 7, 1685, while his wife, Joanna, died on the 13th of December, 1678. Their son, Samuel Monson, was baptized August 7, 1643, and on the 26th of October, 1665, married Martha, daughter of William and Alice (Pritchard) Bradley. Mr. Monson was a shoemaker and tanner by trade and resided at different periods in New Haven and Wallingford. He, too, was of the Congregationalist faith and his death occurred in 1693. His son, Theophilus Monson, was born September 1, 1675, and married Esther Mix. He was a locksmith by trade and he held to the religious faith of the family. He also occupied various positions of public trust in New Haven and he passed away November 28, 1747, while his wife died September 16, 1746. Benjamin Monson, son of Theophilus Monson, was born March 28, 1711, and in June, 1732, married Abigail Punderson, a daughter of John and Abigail (Alling) Punderson. Benjamin Monson engaged in school teaching and resided in New Haven and in Branford, Connecticut. His son, Eneas Monson, born January 13. 1734, was married March 15, 1761, to Susannah, daughter of Stephen and Susannah Howell. She died April 21, 1803, and on the 24th of November, 1804, Eneas Monson wedded Sarah Perit, a widow. Eneas Monson was a Yale graduate of 1753 and became a minister, while later he engaged in the practice of medicine. He served as chaplain to Lord Gardner in the French and Indian war and in 1756 he located for the practice of medicine in Bedford, New York. He was a Congregationalist in religious faith and a whig in his political views, and during the period of the Revolutionary war he was seven times chosen to represent New Haven in the legislature. His death occurred in New Haven, June 16, 1826.

Dr. Eneas Monson, son of Eneas Monson, Sr., was born September 11, 1763, and on the 6th of May, 1794, married Mary Shepherd, who was born April 28, 1772, a daughter of Levi Shepard, of Northampton, Massachusetts. Eneas Monson was graduated from Yale and in 1780 was commissioned surgeon's mate in Colonel Swift's Seventh Connecticut Continental The following winter the regiment was on the Hudson, opposite West Point, and in 1781, was detached to assist Surgeon Thatcher, of the Massachusetts Line, in Colonel Light Infantry Corps. Later the command to which Dr. Monson belonged went to Yorktown. Virginia, participating in the siege of that city. Dr. Monson afterward re-turned to the north and rejoined his regiment, which in 1781-82 was the Fourth Connecticut, under Colonel Butler, thus serving until the command was disbanded in June, 1783, follow-ing the close of hostilities. He afterward became a prominent physician and leader in public affairs in New Haven and after practicing medicine for a number of years he engaged in merchandising and banking. His wife died February 6, 1848, while his death occurred August 22, 1852. His son, Alfred S. Monson, was born September 23, 1795, was also a Yale graduate, of 1815 and in 1819 was graduated from the University of Pennsyl-vania with the M. D. degree. He practiced medicine for a time in New Haven but retired from the profession many years prior to his death. He made extensive and judicious investments in real estate and left valuable property holdings to his family. He was offered the professorship of botany in Yale College and also a professorship in the Yale Medical School but declined both. He was married May 22, 1822, to Mary Ann Patten, a daughter of Nathaniel Patten, of Hartford. They were members of the Congregational church. Dr. Alfred S. Monson passed away May 22, 1870, while his wife died in April, 1887.

Frank Augustus Monson. one of a family of six children born to Dr. Monson, received his early education in the Russell Preparatory School of New Haven and afterward studied in the Brown Academy of West Haven. He was still pursuing his studies there when the Civil war was inaugurated and lie put aside his textbooks in order to aid in the preservation of the Union. Writing of this period of his life work, a contemporary biographer said: "With six of his schoolmates he left West Haven and, making his way to New York, en-listed his services in the United States government. He was about eighteen years old at the time and not only was his heart in the cause of the Union which he had espoused, but he possessed a talent in military matters and a personal bravery that augured well for rapid advancement. Nor was the augury unfulfilled, the gallantry he displayed in many engage-ments marking him out for promotion. Captain Frank A. Monson entered service as private in Company B, First New York Lincoln Cavalry, July 19, 1861; attached to defenses of Washington, to October, 1861; Franklin's Division, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1862; First Division, First Corps, Department of Rappahannock, to May, 1862; First Division, Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac, to August, 1862; service duty in defenses of Wash-ington, D. C., August, 1861, to March, 1862; actions at Falls Church, Virginia, September 8 and December 15, 1861; Fairfax Court House, September 29 and November 27, 1861; ex-pressed to Fredericksburg, April 3-19, 1862; detached as courier at headquarters of General McDowell, commanding Department of the Rappahannock, until June; rejoined regiment on the Peninsula, Virginia; seven days' battles before Richmond; battle of Mechanicsville, June 26; battle of Games' Mill, June 27; June 30, Malvern Hill; July 1, commissioned second lieutenant, Company L. Fifth New York Volunteer Cavalry, First Ira Harris Guard, to date from May 3, 1862; first lieutenant, October 24, 1862; and captain, September 14, 1863; attached to cavalry command, Department of Washington, to June, 1863; First Brigade, Third Division Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, to July, 1864; participated in the battle of Warrenton Junction, Virginia, May 3, 1863, where he was wounded in the shoulder; absent with wound until September 10, 1863; took part in battle of Brandy Station, Virginia, October 11, 1863: battle of Buckland's Mills, October 19-20, 1863; battle of Stevensburg, Virginia, November 8, 1863; Mine Run campaign, November 26 to December 2, 1863; battle of Raccoon Ford, Virginia, November 26-27, 1863; Kilpatrick's raid on Richmond, Virginia. February 28 to March 4, 1864; fortifications of Richmond, Virginia, March 1, 1864; detached on staff of General Kilpatrick during spring of 1864; Rapidan campaign, May-June, 1864; battle of Parker's Store, Virginia, May 5; Todd's Tavern, May 5-6; the Wilderness, May 6-9; Mattapony River, May 15; Milford Station, May 21; Ashland, May 30; White Oak Swamp, June 13; Malvern Hill, June 14; White House Landing, June 19, and took part in fifty-eight other engagements; disabled by reopening of wounds and sent to hospital at Annapolis, Maryland, June 20, 1864; resigned July 12, 1864, on account of disability from wounds received in action and honorably discharged from service."

After his military service was over Mr. Monson became a resident at Paterson, New Jersey, and was prominently identified with the silk industry of that place, there remaining until 1870, when on account of the death of his father he disposed of his business in-terests in Paterson and returned to New Haven. He afterward concentrated his energies upon the real estate and insurance business and operated most extensively along those lines. His business affairs were at all times wisely and carefully conducted and substantial results accordingly accrued.

On the 15th of May, 1873, Captain Monson was united in marriage to Miss Charlotte M. Bishop, also a native of New Haven and a daughter of Elias Bradley and Grace (Atwater) Bishop and a descendant of some of the most prominent families of the state. Mr. and Mrs. Monson became the parents of a daughter, Nellie Bishop, who became the wife of Roger Ellsworth Ailing, of New Haven.

The death of Captain Monson occurred in New Haven, June 30, 1908, and he was laid to rest in the Evergreen cemetery. His widow still makes her home in this city, residing at No. 317 St. Ronan street. The death of Captain Monson was deeply deplored not only by his immediate family but by many friends, for he had figured prominently in connection with public interests and with social activities of his city. He was identified with various vet-eran and military organizations, including Admiral Foote Post, No. 17, G. A. R.; the New York Commandery of the Loyal Legion of the United States; the Societies of the Army of the Potomac, of the Fifth New York Cavalry and the First New York Lincoln Cavalry; the Army and Navy Club of Connecticut; and David Humphreys' Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was also well known in Masonic circles and he became one of the organizers of the Quinnipiac Club of New Haven. His religious faith was that of the Episcopal church and he was long identified with Trinity parish. He gave most generously to the support of the church in its various activities and was a man of philanthropic spirit whose broad humanitarianism reached out in helpfulness to all mankind. His life ever measured up to the highest standards. He was patriotic and loyal in citizenship, valorous in military service, honorable and upright in every relation. In business affairs he displayed initiative as well as enterprise and never stopped short of the successful accomplishment of his purpose. While he won success in business, he also found time for the finer things which many men are prone to overlook—aid in money and personal attention to schools and churches, collection of rare objects of beauty and the artistic adornment of his city and of his home. His life and his character were as clear as the sunlight. No man came in contact with him but speedily appreciated him at his true worth and knew he was a man who cherished not only a high ideal of duty but who lived up to it.
 
 

Modern History of New Haven
and 
Eastern New Haven County

Illustrated

Volume II

New York – Chicago
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 
1918

pgs 64 - 67

 
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NEW HAVEN 
COUNTY BIOGRAPHIES
pages / text are copyrighted by
Elaine Kidd O'Leary & 
Anne Taylor-Czaplewski
May 2002