William Benjamin Munson

b. 24 February 1824, d. 18 March 1848
William Benjamin Munson|b. 24 Feb 1824\nd. 18 Mar 1848|p2545.htm|Henry William Munson|b. 15 Jan 1793\nd. 6 Oct 1833|p2528.htm|Ann Binum Pearce|b. 17 Apr 1800\nd. 6 Sep 1865|p2532.htm|Jesse Munson||p2533.htm||||William Pearce|b. c 1754\nd. 6 Nov 1813|p2668.htm|Sarah Bray|d. 6 Jun 1801|p2669.htm|

Uncle of George Poindexter Munson Sr.
Great-granduncle of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Munson and Allied Families
     William Benjamin Munson was born on 24 February 1824 in Rapides Parish, Louisiana.1 He was the son of Henry William Munson and Ann Binum Pearce. He married George Ann Sutherland on 13 May 1847 at Texana, Jackson County, Texas.2 He died intestate on 18 March 1848 at Bailey's Prairie, Brazoria County, Texas, at age 24.3 He was buried in Peach Point Cemetery, Gulf Prairie, Brazoria County, Texas, beside his father.3 The estate of Henry W. Munson and William B. Munson was partitioned as ordered by the Probate Court of Brazoria County, Texas, on 21 September 1848.4
     William was less than a year old when the family moved in 1824 from Louisiana to the Trinity Settlement where he appeared on the famous Atascosito District Census of 31 July 1826 as the two year old son, born in Louisiana, of Henry W. Munson and Ann B. Pearce.5 In November 1828, four year old William Benjamin traveled with his family by barge to Gulf Prairie in Austin's Colony where his father had recently bought land from Stephen F. Austin.

     The three oldest Munson boys appear to have attended the first ten years of school together, and their educational expenses are listed in the final settlement of their father's estate in 1848. In 1833-34, they attended the Thomas I. Pilgrim school that Henry William and James F. Perry had arranged for before Henry's death in 1833. The school probably closed by 1835 when Pilgrim began teaching at Bell's Landing. In 1836-37, they attended school in Liverpool with Fayette Copeland. Mr. Copeland died in 1837, and they attended school with M. Newell in Velasco for part of the year. They were then sent away to school for three years, attending the school of Mr. and Mrs. James D. Rumsey in Hopkinsville, Kentucky between 1838 and 1841. In 1842 they attended Rutersville College seven miles northeast of La Grange, in Fayette County and their names appear on the roll. Rutersville College was the first chartered Protestant college in Texas. The institution, which flourished between 1840 and 1856, was the dream of Martin Ruter, a Methodist missionary from Tennessee and superintendent of the Methodist mission in Texas in the early days of the Republic. It was there that William met George Ann Sutherland of Jackson County who was also a student. The three brothers left Rutersville College in 1843 and thereafter attended different Methodist sponsored colleges east of the Mississippi River. William attended McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois.6

     President Polk declared war on Mexico on 13 May 1846. General Zachary Taylor crossed the Rio Grande on May 18 and occupied Matamoros. He there waited for new troops, one of whom was William Benjamin Munson. General Taylor then marched his army against the city of Monterrey. Nothing more is known of William's service, but he probably left the army because of illness. He wrote to his brother Mordello from Brazoria County on 8 October 1846, saying that he had been sick and unable to get out of bed for six weeks because of a rising on his thigh.7

     Soon after his marriage to George Ann, William wrote to Mordello from "our dear Mothers" that he "bought of Mills the place Russell lived on." He "gave Mills eleven hundred and eleven acres of the Oyster Creek tract for the place. . ." Although he believed it was a 500 acre tract with improvements, Williamson says a modern reconstruction makes it appear to have been about 368. Almost immediately, and over the years that followed, there were ownership disputes and a major law suit that involved portions of the property, the first bought by a Munson on Bailey's Prairie in Brazoria County. The problems make it unlikely that William and George Ann ever lived there. Nevertheless, almost the exact tract is today owned by the descendants of Joseph Waddy Munson who inherited the land in the 1907 division of Ridgley, the plantation home of Mordello and Sarah K. Munson.2

     George Ann's brother, William Depriest Sutherland, was killed at the Battle of the Alamo, and the Sutherland family Bible is preserved in the Alamo where one may read the entry of the marriage of William Benjamin and George Ann. They were married less than a year and died within a few months of each other in 1848. It is not known who died first because there are conflicting dates regarding the death of George Ann. The Munson bible gives the date of her death as February 22 and William's as March 18. The Caldwell-Munson bible gives the date of her death as July 22. They had no children.3


  1. [S20] Thurmond A. Williamson, The Munsons of Texas, an American Saga, First Edition manuscript (Dallas: n.pub., 1987), 85.
  2. [S20] Thurmond A. Williamson, Munsons of Texas, 139, 140.
  3. [S20] Thurmond A. Williamson, Munsons of Texas, 142.
  4. [S408] Henry W. Munson and William B. Munson, Probate file no. ?, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  5. [S403] Henry W. Munson, 31 July 1826 population census, Atascosito District, Coahuila and Texas, Republic of Mexico, original document, Library of Congress Washington, D.C.
  6. [S20] Thurmond A. Williamson, Munsons of Texas, 134-137.
  7. [S20] Thurmond A. Williamson, Munsons of Texas, 139.