Friday, January 30, 2009

William Berry Munson 1855-1916

William was born on 17 Mar 1855 (or 1853) in New York (or New Jersey).

    William married Julia Ann Predmore on 11 Sep1877.  Julia Ann was born on 14 Dec 1862 in Sussix County, New Jersey and died on 24 Aug 1925 in Polk County, Texas.  She was the daughter of Daniel Ahijah Predmore (1842-1922) and Martha A Card (1841-1897) of Vernon Township, Sussix County, New Jersey.
    Family legend has it that William and Julia Ann wanted to be married, but did not have the support of their family.  We are not sure what the problem was, but it may have been due to her being only 14 years of age and wanting to marry a 22 year old man with 5 year old son).   They left New England before 1880 (after the birth of Charles and before the 1880 census) with his son Charles William Munson and moved to Texas.
    The picture above is of William when he was 37 years old.  The location of the original is unknown at this time but this copy is from the collection of his grand daughter, Zelda Walters Massey.
Mr. W.B. Munson, Dead
News reached here Monday night of the death of Mr. W.B. Munson, who lived about ten miles south of Livingston on the Liberty road. We failed to learn the particulars of his death, only that he had been sick just a few days.  Mr. Munson was one of Polk County's best citizens and had many friends over the county who will regret to learn of his death.  This writer knew this man to be a true and honorable gentleman in every way, for several years ago we knew him when we worked at the sawmill and he was loved and honored by all who knew him. He leaves a number of relatives to mourn his loss, and the "Enterprise" joins the many friends of the family to offer condolence.   The remains were laid to rest in the Bluewater  Cemetery, Tuesday.
    William became ill with the flu at the end of July 1916 died in Polk County, Texas on 31 Jul 1916 and his body was laid to rest at the Blue Water Cemetery in Polk County, Texas.  "Julia Ann was left to raise the younger  children and their grandson, Arthur Lee. On August  24, 1925 Julia Anne Munson  passed away and was laid to rest next to her husband  in the Blue Water Cemetery," Patsy Jackson.

Also according to Patsy Jackson:
    Together with their newborn son,  Charles William, W.B.'s son  from a previous marriage George Walter age 7, and  W.B's sister, they came to  Texas. The first documented place they have been  found in was Anderson County,  where they are listed on the 1880 US Census.  (Anderson County appears to  have been a common entry point into Texas.) Family  history states that his  sister married a man named Suggs and settled near  Troup, Smith County TX.  From Anderson County they next traveled to Plank, in  Hardin County .  W.B. was a farmer and they operated a sawmill at  Plank, TX. Next they   moved to Trinity County near the town of Glendale.  While in Trinity County he operated a sawmill. They  buried their five  month old son, Albert Carroll, in the Glendale  Cemetery in October 1884.  On November 11, 1895, W.B. Munson bought an 80 acre  tract of land in  Polk County, TX at 10 Mile Board for $1800.00, from  the estate of James Fowler.  William Berry and Julia Ann moved Ten Mile Board with  their children.  Family history records that they moved into a "cabin"  until their new two-story  home was completed. The drive way to their home was  lined with cedar trees.  There primary occupation was farming.
Note of George Walter Munson:
George's relationship to W.B. and Julia has been questioned for years but might be best explained by a story told by Edna Munson Shotwell, his niece. Edna often told the story, that when she was a little girl each Sunday afternoon her Grandmother's (Julia Anne) friends would come to visit. Edna liked to spend these afternoons with them because she always had special treats for the company. On one of these visits Edna was sent outside while the Ladies talked. From her vantage point, under an open window and behind a bush, she heard Julia Anne tell her friends why they came to Texas. William Berry had a child by his first wife and after her death, his son George went to live with her family. Once Julia Anne and W.B. were married, he wanted his son to live with them. Since his grandparents were unwilling to allow this. William Berry loaded up the family, went by and "stole" George and headed for Texas. The first few years they worried that George's grandparents might find them and retrieve George, so they moved around frequently.
Children of William and Julia Ann:
* George Munson  -  18 Feb 1873
* Charles William Munson  -  12 Apr 1880 to 24 Mar 1916 - Blue Water Cemetery
* Henry Owen Munson  -  23 Jan 1882 to 24 Mar 1934
* Albert Carrol Munson  -  18 May 1884 to 30 Oct 1884
* Oscar Lee Munson  -  16 May 1889
* Eddie "Ed" Bentley Munson  -  23 May 1892
* Jessie Leith Munson  -  27 Jul 1899 to Aug 1959
* Ira "Bill" Berry Munson  -  09 May 1900 to 1965 - Blue Water Cemetery with wife Abbye, 1898 to 1982
* Twin Girls of Bill and Abbye buried at Blue Water Cemetery
* Ida Mae Munson Walters Gulley - 19 Feb 1903 to 18 Mar 1986
* Alvin "Bus" Ernie Munson  -  24 Feb 1906

• Genealogy Notes of William's Granddaughter Zelda Walters Massey.
• Note from Patsy Jackson.
• Headstones of William and Julia Ann.
• "Polk County Enterprise," V0l. XII, No. 46, on Thursday, 05 Aug 1916
• 1870 Census: Jersey City, N.J.
• 1880 Census: Anderson Co. TX.
• 1900 Census: Polk Co. Tx. 59/63 page  117-A
• 1910 Census: Polk Co. Tx. 25/25 Sheet  2-B

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