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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published by Chapman Publishing Co., in 1895.  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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THOMAS T. MUNSON. There is in the development of every successful life a principle which is a lesson to every man, a lesson leading to a higher and more honorable position. Let a man be industriously ambitious, and honorable in his ambition, and he will rise, whether having the prestige of family or the obscurity of poverty. These reflections are called forth by the study of the life of Thomas Munson, who is one of the most extensive farmers in Seneca County. His possessions, which aggregate four hundred acres of some of the very best farming land, are located in the town of Tyre. He was born in the village of that name, April 14, 1839, and is the son of Ebenezer and Laney J. (Brink) Munson, the former of whom was born in New Jersey in 1806, and the latter in Phelps, Ontario County, N. Y.

The father of our subject later became one of the pioneers of Seneca County, where he was well known and highly respected, coming hither in 1820 with his parents. Heat once located in this town, on the place where his decease occurred March 7, 1889, when in his eighty-third year. “Brother” Munson, as he was familiarly called, was in many respects a remarkable man. At an early age, it is said, he began to manifest the strong traits of character for which his life was so conspicuous as a citizen and a Christian. He was a man of fine physical powers, and possessed a well balanced mind, stored with a rich fund of useful information. He was a thorough temperance man and was fearless in his opposition to the liquor traffic. According to the best information we have, he was converted about 1823, and was one of the founders of the first Methodist Episcopal Church in Tyre, continuing through life to be one of its most zealous supporters. He shared the honors and bore the labors of all the offices of the church for years, and was a representative to many of her councils, where he distinguished himself for piety and sound judgment.

Ebenezer Munson first married Miss Laney J. Brink, and one year after her decease was joined in wedlock with Miss Julia Kosbeth, who departed this life April 12, 1888. During his younger years the father of our subject learned the hatter’s trade, which he later abandoned in order to engage in milling, following this latter business for many years in Tyre. He afterward purchased a farm of two hundred acres, which is now included in the possessions of his son Thomas T.

The parental family included eleven children, nine of whom grew to mature years, and of whom six still survive. One son, George E., also lives in the town of Tyre, and a daughter, now the wife of Benjamin Armitage, makes her home in Clyde, Wayne County, N. Y. Ebenezer Munson became a strong Republican after the formation of the party, prior to which he served as Overseer of the Poor for many years. He received the nomination of his party for the Assembly in 1860, and although the county was strongly Democratic he was defeated by only eight or ten votes.

The boyhood days of our subject were passed on the farm where he now lives. In this locality he received his primary education in the district schools, and later attended Mynderse Academy in Seneca Falls. After reaching his majority he secured a school, and so satisfactory were his services that he was retained as teacher for several winters in the vicinity of his home. During the summer season he carried on farming, and in this way reaped a good income.

About 1870 our subject went West to Wilson County, Kan., where he entered from the Government a tract of one hundred and sixty acres of land. He made his home there for three years and a-half, when, in company with others, he drove from Kansas to Texas, spending one winter in the Lone Star State working on the railroad. On the expiration of that time he returned to Kansas, and after disposing of his interests there returned to New York, arriving here in 1874. He at once rented the old homestead, paying his father from that time until the latter’s death about $8,000. Desiring to retain possession of the farm, he purchased the interest of the other heirs in the estate and is now sole proprietor. He has been remarkably successful in all his undertakings, and to this tract of two hundred acres has added a like amount, so that now he is the owner of a handsome property, one of the most highly cultivated and best stocked farms in this portion of the state.

Following in the footsteps of his honored father, the subject of this sketch is a strong Republican in politics, casting his first vote for Abraham Lincoln. He has filled the position of Justice of the Peace for four years, notwithstanding the fact that the Democratic majority in this locality is very large. Mr. Munson became identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church of Tyre when nineteen years of age, and in this congregation has been Superintendent of the Sunday-school, teacher of the Bible Class, Trustee and Steward.

The lady to whom Mr. Munson was married, May 25, 1886, was Miss Sara P. Beers, who was born and reared in Saratoga County, this state. She, too, possesses an excellent education and has taught school for many years. Her parents were George W. and Mary A. (Wilson) Beers, natives of this state. By her union with our subject there has been born a son, Ebenezer Thomas, his birth occurring January 16, 1888.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published in 1895. 

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

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

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