Lake County Ohio GenWeb

Henry Wetmore Munson

The following article is from the Painesville Telegraph, 28 February 1884 and reprinted in the April 1991 "LakeLines," the newsletter of the Lake County Genealogical Society, retranscribed here by Kerri O'Connor.

PIONEER HISTORY
HENRY WETMORE MUNSON - BY C. C. Bronson

He was the second child of Ashbel and Candace S. Munson, and would say their first child was born March 16th, 1799, and died august 10th, 1803, aged four years. H. W. Munson was born May 6th, 1800. He attended the common district schools of his native State and town with others of his day and generation. And the proficiency he made in school and his native talents were such that he held offices of trust which were given him by his fellow citizens. He was twenty-one years and one month old when his father with his family commenced their long journey for New Connecticut, another name for the Western Reserve; Harry as he was called in his native town driving the ox team to Ohio. On his arrival in Mentor he found that if the country was different from the rocky hills of his native town in Connecticut, a man had to go to work and get his living, and use prudence and economy in Ohio as well as on the hard soil of New England. But as he had no rich father to furnish money to buy him a farm there was no other alternative for him but to carve out his own fortune in the best way he could. Soon after their arrival in Mentor the Munson family very soon made themselves friends by their kindness, and their quiet, industrious habits, thus proving their determination to be not only good citizens but act well their part in the drama of life. Mentor being situated between Grand River on the east and the Chagrin River on the west, and the east branch running near the south line in Kirtland. Although the town is pretty well watered by springs the creeks are small. About a mile north of the town hall in Mentor, Joseph Sawyer at an early day built a saw mill for his own convenience, to saw lumber for his own buildings and others. He having erected his own buildings and the mill some distance from his residence, and not wishing to run it himself, he proposed to Mr. Ashbel Munson to give him a deed of land with the saw mill, on condition that Mr. Munson should saw 100,000 feet of lumber when he, Sawyer, should place the logs on the logway. Mr. Munson accepted the proposal and took possession in 1822. Harry and his father run the mill for many years when there was water. He also labored in a brick yard and other work so that his time was well occupied. All this time he was in his fathers house and one of the family, and this helped him to save his wages, and his parents in this way helped him. H. W. Munson in 1829 bought of the heirs of John Hill, deceased, 50 acres in tract 7 in the township of Mentor; he bought on credit and as fast as the heirs became of age Mr. Munson paid them and received deeds, until the heirs were all paid. This land was bought for a fraction less than $8 an acre. A great change in the value of land in Lake county in half a century. The mill was his, and his farm, and he past 30 years of age, began to think that it was not well for man to live alone, and he became acquainted with Miss Amanda M. Wilson, a native of Winsted, Connecticut, she was a half sister of Capt. Zenas Wilson, of Concord. They were married November 3rd, 1830. She received her education in the common schools of Connecticut and like others of that day was early initiated in all the various duties of housekeeping, and not forgetting the spinning wheels or the hand loom. the necessary appendages of a farm house at that day. They commenced their married life with willing minds and a determination that with their united efforts they would with industry, prudence and economy, and if health was given them, not only obtain a good living but a comfortable home and pleasant surroundings. And it can be said they were succesful, for he cleared the farm of timber and built a fine house and barn, and bought more land as others wished to sell. He educated his family and inculcated by example and by precept the principles of honesty and integrity. He was early elected Constable and he held the office of Justice of the Peace, and he was appointed to the office of Associate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for the county of Lake, May 3d, 1849. His commission was signed by Seabury Ford, Governor of the State of Ohio. He very soon after his settlement in Mentor was elected a non-commissioned officer in the militia company of Mentor, and he arose to the post of Captain. He was earnestly solicited to accept the office of Colonel of the regiment, but the expenses and other reasons were such that he respectfully declined and thus ended his military career. He continued to labor on his farm and to manage his business until admonished by failing health to withdraw from labor on his farm. His mental faculties he retained to the last. He died of cancer, November 13th, 1864, aged 64. An appropriate sermon was preached by Rev. Geo. F. Bronson, of Kirtland, from Rev., chapter 21, verse 4, the first clause of the verse, "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." His life was an exemplary one, and his sufferings were very great, but he was able by the grace of God to submit without a murmur, with the full assurance that he might cling to the promise: "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." To a friend who inquired how he felt in view of death, "He felt Christ would be well with him over the River."

Mr. and Mrs. Munson were the parents of three children, two sons and one daughter, all have families and are living in sight of the old homestead at this time, 1884. Mrs. Munson will be 82 March 25th, is smart and active for one of her age. Her home is with her daughter and she is amply provided for from the estate.

Henry W. Munson married Miss Jane Hollister, they are the parents of five children, have buried one, and also a grandchild which elevates Mrs. A. Munson to great-grand-ma.

Horatio N. Munson is a prominent man in the town and country. He has held the office of County Surveyor for several years, he is Justice of the Peace, and one of the active members of the M. E. Church and Sunday School. He was married in the State of New York to Miss Elizabeth Cullings, February 3d, 1864. They have three children, a son and two daughters.

Sylvia J. married Sylvanus Cleveland, February 5th, 1862, they have a very pleasant home in sight of her birthplace and a few rods from it; they have one daughter. H. N. Munson had the homestead and is one of the successful farmers of Mentor.

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Last updated 31 Dec 2003

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