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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published by John M. Gresham & Co. in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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ALSON N. MUNSON. An industry that, although of comparatively recent origin, has grown to considerable proportions within a few years, is the raising, packing and forwarding of grapes to market. One of the larger operators in this industry is Alson N. Munson, of Westfield, who is a son of Samuel and Polly (Hulburt) Munson, and was born in the town of Portland, Chautauqua county, New York, April 20, 1834. Ancestral history is traced to the historical character, Captain Munson, of two hundred years ago. Samuel Munson, Sr. (grandfather), was a native of Connecticut, moved to Oneida county, this State, prior to 1800, and came from there to Portland town, where he settled in 1818. He was a brick-maker by trade, and followed it for years. When the war with England, in 1812, made a demand for soldiers, he responded to the call and went to the front, serving with gallantry and distinction. After coming to Portland, he began to farm, and followed it until 1841, when he died, February 27th, aged seventy-nine years. He had eight children, — four sons and four daughters.

Samuel Munson (father) was born in 1803 in Oneida county, where he lived until fifteen years of age. Like many farmer boys of the time, his parents thought the farm work paramount to “schooling,” and his education was acquired during the winter months, when there was no work to be done at home. He came to Portland town in 1818, and, upon attaining manhood, bought fifty acres from the Holland Land company, and built a home, which is now owned by Alson N. Munson. In 1823 he married Polly Hulburt, of Onondaga county, and had five children, — four sons and one daughter. His entire life was spent as a farmer, and none better nor more successful was to be found in the town. Good stock was his delight, and plenty of it could always be found in his barns and pastures. Mr. Munson was an active, energetic man, who was anxious to advance the prosperity of the community. He was a republican, but did not engage actively in politics, his taste being more domestic. His wife died July 19, 1875, aged seventy-five years, and he followed her upon the long journey June 9, 1883.

Alson N. Munson was reared in the town of Portland, passing his boyhood and young manhood upon the farm. He received a good common-school education in the public schools of his district, and then engaged in farming in his own behalf. He spent the whole of his life prior to 1886 farming in Portland town; then he moved to Westfield, and occupied the pretty farm where he now lives. The residence is a nice frame building exteriorly, and the interior is a comfortable, cheerful home. He still owns the old homestead in Portland, and on its smooth acres has planted a beautiful vineyard, which is producing in large quantities. For the past fourteen years he has been engaged in buying and shipping grapes for a Chicago firm in almost unlimited quantities. The first car-load ever shipped from Westfield station was credited to him.

January 1, 1862, he married Julia Healy, a daughter of William Healy, of Chautauqua town, and they have one child, — Harlan L., who is now a student at Cornell University.

A. N. Munson is a business man of natural and trained ability, a fanner of more than ordinary success, and a gentleman with as many friends as he has acquaintances.

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This family biography is one of 658 biographies included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published in 1891. 

View additional Chautauqua County, New York family biographies here: Chautauqua County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Chautauqua County, New York here: Chautauqua County, New York Map

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