DENISON - W.B. Munson, 84, capitalist and one of the founders of
the city of Denison, died at 5:15 o'clock Thursday afternoon at his home
here, surrounded by members of his immediate family. Death was not
unexpected as Mr. Munson had been critically ill for some days.
Funeral services have been announced for Saturday afternoon at 3
o'clock from the family residence conducted by the Rev. C.C. Keller, rector
of the Episcopal church. Pall bearers will be Julian C. Field, F.B.
Hughes, J.W. Madden, Frans Kofeldt, Harry Tone and W.C. Green, and Long
Tuck and W.R. Brents of Sherman.
BORN ON FARM
Born Jan. 7, 1846, on a farm in Fulton county, Ill., Mr. Munson
grew to young manhood in the exacting environment of pioneer rural life.
His first schooling was received in the rural schools of Fulton county.
Later he entered a college at Abington, Ill., for a term of one year.
With the opening of the Agricultural and Mechanical college at Lexington,
Ky., (later reorganized as the University of Kentucky) Mr. Munson and his
brother T.V. Munson, now deceased, entered the first freshman class and
earned their way through school by working at odd jobs, among which was
cutting cord wood during Christmas holidays.
After completing the four-year university course in three years,
W.B. Munson received his Bachelor of Arts degree in June, 1869 and was
the first graduate of the school. For two years he enjoyed the distinction
of being the only alumnus of the university.
In 1871, Mr. Munson came to Texas, first locating at Sherman shere
he immediately began the study of law. At the end of six months of
study, he passed the state examination and was formerly admitted to the
HELPED LOCATE CITY
Shortly afterward, the M-K-T railway launched negotiations for a
Texas terminal. With Sherman turning the Katy proposal down, Mr.
Munson accompanied by railroad agents, came to the present site of Denison
and purchased land for the city in whose development he was destined to
be a material factor. Having already opened a real estate and surveying
agency at Sherman, Mr. Munson was in a position to assist in platting the
city and otherwise nourishing the growth of a then small village.
In 1873 Mr. Munson formed a partnership with Jot Gunter of Sherman,
the company being known as Gunter & Munson. The new firm engaged
in real estate business and the surveying and locating of land for railroads
and other companies. The firm became interested in the cattle business
operating ranches in Hutchison and Randell counties, which composed ....acres
and were stocked with 20,000 head of cattle. Then the partnership
with Mr.....Mr. Munson returned to....to reside temporarily.
Disposing of his cattle interests and dissolving the partnership
with Mr. Gunter, he returned to Denison to turn his attention again to
real estate. In this step he formed a partnership with his brother,
J.T. Munson, now deceased, in a firm known as Munson and Brother.
The firm of Munson and Brother was incorporated in 1915 as the Munson
Realty company, still in operation, of which Mr. Munson has been president
since its organization.
At one time he was president of the First National Bank of Denison.
He was instrumental in the establishment of the Citizens State Bank which
took over affairs of the defunct Denison Bank and Trust company and make
good deposits of the latter institution. Operating under a national
charter, this bank today is known as the Citizens National Bank of whose
directory Mr. Munson has been a member since the bank was established.
His son, W.B. Munson, Jr. is president of the institution.
Among railroad lines which Mr. Munson helped establish were the
Denison and Washita Valley railway; Sherman, shreveport and Southern railway,
and the D.B. & N.C. all of which were later taken over by the Katy.
Hoping to make Denison the railroad center of North Texas, Mr. Munson
secured charters for the building of the Frisco railway from the northeast,
and Rock Island and Santa Fe from the northwest. Due to influences
over which he had no control, these roads were never built. However,
he obtained franchise for the Frisco from the north, which line was constructed.
MARRIED SHERMAN GIRL
In September, 1876, Mr. Munson was married to Miss Mary Ella Newton
of Sherman and following a honeymoon trip to the centennial in Philadelphia,
the couple returned to Denison to make their home at the old homestead
here. In 1926 Mr. and Mrs. Munson observed their golden wedding anniversary.
One of the outstanding adventures of Mr. Munson's colorful career
was the organization of the Denison cotton Mill company in 1905 after two
previous attempts at the project had failed. He has served as president
of this company since its establishment. Mr. Munson also organized
the Southwestern Surety company which operated extensively here until merged
with the Southern Surety company.
Mr. Munson developed and was president of the Denison Light and
Power company and the Eastern Light and Power company which properties
were later sold to the Texas Power and Light company.
After his brother, J.T. Munson, deeded 130 acres adjoining the city
limits on the north to Denison for a park, Mr. Munson gave an additional
30 acres to the city and personally defrayed the expense of constructing
the present lake. The 50 acres included in Riverside park, northeast
of Denison, also represents the gift of Mr. Munson to Denison.
Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Mary Rila Munson; three daughters,
Mrs. L.M. Tonkin, McAlester, Okla., Mrs. R.L. McKinney, Little Rock, Ark.,
and Miss Eloise Munson, Denison; one son, W.B. Munson, Jr., Denison, and