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Daniel E. Munn


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/16/2011 at 09:31:17

DANIEL E. MUNN. More than seventy-five years have passed over the head of the worthy man who is the subject of this sketch, leaving the impress in the whitening hair and lined features, but while the outward garments of the soul show the wear and tear of years, the man himself is richer and nobler and grander for the experience that each successive decade has brought him. Mr. Munn is one of the old settlers of Grundy County and the first merchant of the village of Grundy Centre, where for years his interests have been centered. Mr. Munn was born in the city of Troy, N. Y., in 1818, to the union of Rufus and Mary (Stowell) Munn, natives respectively of Greenfield, Mass., and Troy, N. Y.

When a young man, the father went to the Empire State, and for some time followed boating; he was also engaged in merchandising in Troy, where he met and married Miss Stowell. Four children were the fruits of his union: Lydia, wife of John White; Eliza, wife of Lorenzo Stockwell; D. E., our subject; and Rufus Sidney, deceased. The father was a member of the Methodist Episcopal, and the mother of the Presbyterian Church. In politics the former was a Whig. He was a soldier in the War of 1812 and drew a pension for his services. This worthy man lived to be one hundred and five years of age and hardly knew what it was to be sick until his death.

The scholastic advantages of our subject were received in the district schools, and when eighteen years of age he entered a woolen factory as a laborer. As time passed, he became Superintendent of the same and continued in that capacity for several years. Later, the same company bought a cotton factory, and our subject took charge of the large supply store, keeping the books and paying the men of both factories. He remained in the employ of this company for over twenty years, and had the entire confidence of the same. During this time he was married to Miss Sarah Haner, and the three children born to this union were: Sarah, wife of Peter Johnson; Hattie, wife of John F. Richmond, and one who died young.

After leaving the factory, April 6, 1860, Mr. Munn came to the Hawkeye State, and located at Grundy Centre, where he opened the first store in the county. This was the only store in the county for five years. He began with a general line of merchandise, valued at about $1,500, and this stock he increased as his business increased. He was in the store for a period of seven years. In 1857 he had bought seven hundred and twenty acres of land in what is now Washington Township, and after leaving the store he turned his attention strictly to the farm and to the nursery business, establishing the first nursery in that part of Iowa. From time to time he sold parts of his farm until he now owns about five hundred acres. Later in life he made stock-raising a specialty, preparing high-grade stock for the market.

While engaged in merchandising, Mr. Munn lost his first wife and a son, at about the same time. His second marriage was with Miss Minerva Baker, who now shares his home. In politics Mr. Munn first voted for William Henry Harrison, and later for Benjamin Harrison, and has ever been a strong supporter of Republican principles. He was chosen Judge of Grundy County and held that position in a satisfactory manner for several years. He has been Justice of the Peace for many years and has held other local positions. Not only is he one of the countyís most worthy citizens, but he is one of the oldest settlers and wealthiest farmers. Ardent in his nature and firm in his convictions, he is a marked man in any place and a force in any community.

He was one of five men who bought forty acres where the village of Morrison now stands, and was one of the company who incorporated the town September 4, 1877. In this town he has since lived. He established the postoffice here and was Postmaster two years. For several years he was Postmaster at Grundy Centre also. When Mr. Munn first settled in Grundy County, the people were building the first schoolhouse, where for some time there were but six pupils in attendance, three of them belonging to our subject. From that time on he held different school offices.

Mr. Munnís farm is known as Black Hawk Valley farm. He now has ten acres of grove, which he himself set out, furnishing fuel for a number of families in the neighborhood. The farm is well fenced and the posts are our subjectís own raising. He has in his possession the first paper that came from a printing press in the county. It is dated August 2, 1860, edited by Messrs. Hartman & Ingersoll, and in it the nomination of Abraham Lincoln for President appears. The Pioneer, as it was called, had no tax list, and was published for several years.

Portrait and Biographical Record
of Jasper, Marshall and Grundy Counties, Iowa


Grundy Biographies maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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