Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Clan William: Edith Minerva Brace, Teacher

Clan William descendant Emily Cowles and husband C Lusk Brace made smart little babies. Son Dr DeWitt Brace was a world-class physicist. His baby sister, Edith, is the one we will be talking about today. She was a biologist and teacher.

Capt Thomas Munson > Samuel Munson > Samuel James Munson > William Munson > Peter Munson > Lydia Munson > William Zelus Bristol > Emily Cowles Bristol > Edith Minerva Brace

Born 29 Dec 1867 in Lockport, Niagara County, New York, youngest child Edith was a smart cookie. 

She attended University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where brother DeWitt was on faculty. She studied biology with an emphasis on botany and zoology, her true passions.  I believe there was a good chance, since her mother was living with DeWitt prior to his marriage, that she also resided with them in Lincoln, though I have no source to prove that at this time. She received her bachelor of science degree, then attended the University of Chicago, where she recieved her master of science degree in biology. 

Rochester Free 
Many men of that era with such a scientific and resarch interest, might have gone on to teach at the college level. That was not an easy for a woman and an almost impossible option at that point in time, with rare exceptions. 

Women weren't open to attending University of Rochester prior to 1900, but at least 12 did, including Edith. Those individuals attended classes with men, but could not receive credit for their classes.

Her first noted teaching gig was beginning in late 1899 at the Rochester Free Academy, which was a secondary high school in Rochester, New York. While there she also stayed involved in the science research world, and was the editorial assistant for neurology for the Journal of  Applied Microscopy and Laboratory Methods from 1899.

It's not known when she left Rochester, but in 1904, she was teaching as a professor at Western Maryland University. During the summer of 1904, she participate in a summer program in zoology for the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Science teaching zoology.

In 1908, she began teaching at the secondary level in Brooklyn. Sorting through the various transfers was quite a project, but here's how it broke down so far.

Eastern District HS, Flatbush; Morris HS, South Bronx; Erasmus Hall HS, Flatbush

As I get access to more records, I hope to fill in the blanks for Edith's job history and housing history. Her obituary mentions she worked at Morris High School in the South Bronx between Eastern District and Erasmus Hall high schools, but the only reference I have to her teaching at Morris HS is in 1922, when in the 2nd semester, she was transferred from Morris to Eastern District. We do know she was at Erasmus Hall, teaching biology, from 1924 through her retirement in 1939. 
School and Home History

Some of Edith's residences

Edith wasn't all work. She also vacationed!  In a 1915 article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, titled "Notables at Easthampton," it's mentioned that Edith was spending time at The Osborne House in Long Island. During the middle half of the century, the Poconos Mountains of Pennsylvania was a hot spot for vacations - honeymooing, skiing, camping, swimming, fishing and more. In the 1940s, Edith visited several times. Buck Hill Inn was built in 1901 on 1,000 acres. The resort, one of the premier resorts in the Poconos, had horseback riding, golf, and tennis. The Inn had a downturn in business in the 1960s and 1970s and closed forever in 1990 and was finally demolished after several failed starts at renovation, starting in 2016.

Buck Hill Inn Entrance, Dining Room, and Olympic-sized pool

World War I and Loyalty Oaths

Now, to the most interesting part of Edith's records. Her opposition to signing a "Loyalty Oath" in 1917 at the onset of World War I.

Summarizing the issue in the most compact way possible, before our entry into World War I against "The Hun," (Germans), a trend swept across the nation to bolster support for us entering the war that required people in government, education, and other industries to sign "Loyalty Oaths," which basically said they agreed with the US involvement in the war and would not do anything to hinder or subvert our policies or efforts around the war.

Now, many people took issue with signing such an oath. Many people lost their jobs for failing to do so and it became basically a witch hunt to punish those who would not sign. That included the Quakers, conscientious objectors, and others who did not agree with the war. Teachers in New York who failed to sign were put in front of what to me sounds like a tribunal and forced to state their case. They were nearly all fired or transferred to less desirable schools. Some would later be rehired, but many were not.

The mob mentality of a large group of teachers against those who refused to sign formed committees and organizations to vilify those who wouldn't toe the line. One group even supported having those who didn't sign interred, as we would later do with the Japanese during World War II.

Our brave Edith made headlines over the course of several days despite the fact she signed the loyalty oath. She refused to sign the next document proferred, which opposed settling for a "negotiated peace." Below is one of the articles that best explains the situation (click the article at the bottom to enlarge). They published her home address and her salary!  

It does not appear as any significant fallout befell Edith for this defiance, but many, many educators fell victim to this rabid "patriotism" from 1917-1919.

One More Fight

In 1915, Edith, along with 200 other NYC teachers, marched on Albany around two different Senate proposed bills.

The Cromwell Bill or Senate Bill 1414, which would put the responsibility for determining the number and pay of teachers, under the Board of Estimate and Apportionment and the Alderman of the city. The NYC Controller was in favor of the move and stated he would not only recommend no raises, but would recommend reducing salaries. The bill was almost universally opposed by teachers. Imagine.

The second bill, known as the Boylen-Kelly Pension bill was supported by the NYC Interborough Association of Women Teachers.

Neither bill seems to have been passed and were left to die in committee.

Alice retired from teaching in February of 1939. She lived the remainder of her days in Brooklyn. At the age of 86 she became ill and was hospitalized in Brooklyn Hospital, where she died on 10 Nov 1954. Her only living relatives were nieces and nephews. 

Edith's Refusal to Sign

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Clan William: Physicist DeWitt Bristol Brace, PhD

Today's subject is the incredible pioneer scientist, DeWitt Bristol Brace, PhD. He was a brilliant physics professor and researcher who died young. Makes me wonder what he could have done had he lived a full life.

Capt Thomas Munson > Samuel Munson > Samuel James Munson > William Munson > Peter Munson > Lydia Munson > William Zelus Bristol > Emily Cowles Bristol > DeWitt Bristol Brace, PhD

DeWitt Bristol Brace was born to Emily Cowles Bristol, our Munson descendant, and C. Lusk Brace near Wilson, Niagara County, New York on 05 Jan 1859. Lusk was a farmer and later a Lockport mill operator. Lusk and Emily had four children, DeWitt being the second son and child.

DeWitt received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from Boston College in 1881-1882. He then studied under Dr. Henry Augustus Rowland at Johns Hopkins University for two years. He then went to Berlin, Germany to study under Dr Hermann Helmholtz and Dr Gustav Kirchhoff at the University of Berlin. He received his PhD in 1885 in Berlin after he completed his dissertation on the magnetic rotation of the plane of polarization.

Dr Brace returned to the US, he traveled to the University of Michigan, where he spent a year as an assistant professor of physics. 

Old Physics Lab at UNL
The University of Nebraska at Lincoln was founded in 1869 and built in a four block section of the city. It's farm campus was built in 1873, outside of the city of Lincoln on the prairie. In the beginning, the science department was not divided into specialties like Chemistry and Physics. It was the first university west of the Missisippi to offer a doctoral program. There apparently was a bias in eastern academic circles that the western education insitutions were inferior in both the academic backgrounds of its faculty and its research capabilities. DeWitt helped dispell this myth when he arrived to take a full professorship in 1887. Part of his charge was to create a physics department.

Research had not necessarily been a big deal at UNL, but Brace believed that such research was critical to the operation of the University. He believed strongly that higher education centers must develop research.  His own research led to great distinction for the University. With a growing reputation, Brace used his clout to lobby for updated equipment, laboratories, facilities, and money for research. He built a very strong Physics department but the department still needed a home on campus. 

UNL Physics Staff 1905
UNL Library Archives
 "Brace also began building a graduate program and hired two additional instructors in 1896, Burton Evans Moore and Louis Trenchard More. A few years later Clarence Aurelius Skinner and John Edwin Almy were also added to the physics faculty. In 1896 one of Brace's students, Harold Allen, was awarded a Ph.D. degree by the University of Nebraska. This was the very first Ph.D. given by any school west of the Mississippi. With one or two exceptions, no further Ph.D.s were given until the present Ph.D. program in physics was initiated after World War II. The photograph on the left shows members of the Physics Department in May 1905 in front of the old Nebraska Hall, which is where the Department was housed until it moved into Brace Laboratory later that year."

DeWitt made a special study of radiation and optics and published, "The Laws of Radiation and Absorption," in 1901. Life in Nebraska was good. His mother lived with him and had been with him for many years. But, it was time to focus on more than just science. That same year, he went east to marry Iowa native Elizabeth Wing on 16 Oct 1901 in West Newton, Massachusetts. The couple returned to Lincoln and began their family.

Lincoln Journal Star, 12 Oct 1901, p 6

In addition to securing several patents in the course of his research, his body of work had continued to grow as evidenced here: 

"Brace’s own contributions to physical science were almost exclusively in the domain of optics. By the invention of his sensitive-strip polarizer, and his half-shade elliptic polarizer, he extended the range of observation far beyond that previously attained, and he devised and partly executed many experiments in which this increased sensitiveness could be used in the study of fundamental optical problems. Returning to the question which he dealt with in his first published paper, he succeeded in showing that the beam of polarized light which undergoes rotation in a magnetic field is susceptible of resolution into two circularly polarized beams. He showed that, to a very high order of sensitiveness, no effect is impressed upon a ray of light by a magnetic field, if its lines of force are at right angles to the ray. He showed that, up to the third order of the ratio of the velocities, no double refraction could be observed in a medium due to its motion through the ether. He planned and tested a method for determining the velocity of light, from which he expected still greater accuracy than that attained in the classical researches of Michelson and Newcomb. He executed several repetitions, with greatly improved instrumental appliances, of classical experiments bearing on the fundamental question of the relative motion of matter and the ether."  ~ © American Astronomical Society • Provided by the NASA Astrophysics Data System

Brace fought mightily to get a building in which to house the Physics department. The Regents approved $75,000 for a new building. Brace guided it's development and building with the construction team. Then he hit a roadblock when the all powerful athletics department which believed the building was perilously close to its football field. To keep things on track, Brace altered the footprint of the building. Progress on the new building with its state of the art laboratories continued through 1904 and 1905. 

At the beginning of the 1905 school year in September of that year, Brace became ill. He developed septicemia believed to have stemmed from an infection in having a carbuncle removed from his face (an infected boil)  and would die on 02 Oct 1905, having never seen the completion of the project. The school named the building the Brace Physics building in his honor. Much of his research would not be completed by Brace, leaving other physicists to continue his work. Today's Physics Chair, Dr Dan Claes, believes that Brace's research provided a result that "contributed to Einstein's theory of relativity."

New Brace Physical Science Building
(Click to enlarge)

From 1903 to 1905, the Brace's had three children born to them. The youngest, Alice, was born after her father's death in 1905. 
Dr. DeWitt Brace, wife Emily, Lloyd and Roger Brace about
1905. UNL Library Archives

Mrs. Brace moved to Massachusetts after her husband's death and her children would be educated at top East Coast schools as far from the prairie as they could be.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Clan William: Super Nerd Television Pioneer George Harvey Seward

C. Fred Wolcott, Chief Engineer of Gilfilan 
Laboratories and Television Engineers'
Institute of America President
George H. Seward, 1939
Electronics Magazine, Jan 1941
One thing about the Munsons and their progeny, there are a lot who were involved in advancements in
science and education generally. Today's fellow, George Harvey Seward, is about the greatest science geek/promoter I've read about yet. Here's the descendency:

Capt Thomas Munson > Samuel Munson > Samuel James Munson > William Munson > William Munson II > David Munson > Miranda Munson > Alice Jane Bird > George Harvey Seward m. Jessie Leiba

George Seward was born to Alice Jane Bird and Harvey Seward in New Haven, Connecticut on 17 Feb 1873. The oldest of two sons, George attended the Hopkins Grammar School, built on the New Haven Green and founded in 1660. The prestigious schools continues today. The school's website had an original dedication that read: "breeding up of hopeful youths...for the public service of the country in future times."

Following grammar school, George received a bachelor's in philosophy from Yale in 1895. He worked as a optical cataloguer in 1900. At the age of 33, he married Jessie Lebia of Kentucky in 1905. I couldn't find the pair in 1910, but by 1920, they were located in Hollywood, California.

George was a real estate and insurance man and owned a 3-unit home at 765-767-769 Gower Street  on a 9,000 sq ft lot, right across the street from the storied RKO Studios (it's now Paramount Studios). From the earliest days in Hollywood he was nerding out. He operated a short wave radio station and became one of the earliest pioneers in developing television.

(Left) RKO Studios at the corner of Melrose and Gower
(Right) the Gower St. Entrance right across the street 
from the Seward residence (Click photo to increase size)

Sometime in the 1920s, his wife, Jessie, was sent to the Patton State Asylum for the Insane in Highland, San Bernardino. George then lived alone, with the assistance of an older woman, a housekeeper who made his meals and cared for the home for the amount of $600 per year. She would remain with him until his death.

While George was involved in a lot of community efforts, the thing he is most noted for was getting publicity for his hobbies in the press. He was a leader and organizer on a pretty decent scale and was always formulating ways to connect people with similar interests to advance the cause of his particular interest. He was also very involved in the Southern California Yale Club and was known to present scholarships to students attending Yale.

In 1935, he made time to write a clearly frustrated, but unrealistic plea for people not to take up the parking spaces in front of his house

Seward was a short wave expert and was selected by the War Department to participate in an emergency test to simulate a national emergency. While many, many short wave operators were invited to participate across the country, Seward was deft in getting the publicity to go with it! His channel was W6CCT. He also got press in 1935 when he sent an encoded message via his short wave - to advertise his Federated Radio Clubs banquet. 

Though many people and organizations had been working toward television broadcasts for many years, the first demonstration of television occured in London, England in 1926. From that moment, the modern race was on. In 1930, RCA created its first experimental television station, W2XBS. RCA then created the National Broadcast Channel (NBC) in 1931 and shortly after, Columbia Radio System (CBS) was started). These two experimental stations were broadcasting on a small scale. Enthusiasts across the country began working in earnest to advance the experimental capabilities. RCA would still not start selling televisions until 1956.

In the US, several people had developed home television receivers with varying degrees of success. Seward seemed to have a gift for pulling these people together with a lot of hype and publicity. Some of his more interesting television undertakings were related to communications via radio, short wave, and television.

  • Organizing the Hollywood Producers-Consumers Cooperative, the focus of which was sound recording and reproduction. Men with or without sound equipment were invited as were housewives, who'd make baked goodies to sell or barter with other cooperatives. (1934)
  • Television Engineers Institute of America, Inc. Organized by George to provided educational and social opportunities in the realm of burgeoning television research and application. (1939)
  • He also incorporated the Hollywood Television Society (1938) and the Television Artists and Writers Guild. (1939)

He was a great spokesperson and got a lot of media to draw attention in hopes of getting fellow enthusiasts together to advance the cause of developing a commercial and international ability to broadcast television. 

Dr. Lee DeForrest, the "father of radio"
In 1940, he sponsored a conference of over 200 people which headlined Dr. Lee DeForrest, known as
the "father of radio" and other technical speakers in both radio and television. He too, spoke, and never seemed to be short of things to say about his hobbies.

In the last year of his life, Seward decided to run for the Los Angeles Board of Education. He died before the election was held. 

George was honored by many organizations after his death on 30 Oct 1940 in Hollywood.  He was recognized by a number of organizations for his accomplishments to the burgeoning field of television. 

Seward was honored after his death by
many technical publications

His industry obituary read:

International Photographer
Vol 13, Jan-Dec 1941
(Click to enlarge)

And, though not a robust obituary, the hobbyist's death notice made the AP wire. 

Oakland Tribune, Oakland, CA 
31 Oct 1940, Thu, Pg 9

As a side note, Jessie would pass away in 1947, still a patient at the Patterson Asylum for the Insane in Highland, San Bernardino. The house, with it's three units, has been updated and is currently valued at over $1.1 million and is across from what is now Paramount Studios. I wonder if they still have the parking problems?
765-767-769 Gower St

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Clan William: Miles Standish Munson & Genevieve Mather

49th MA Infantry Regiment
Port Hudson, LA 1863
Today's post is about a fellow who left his New England home and went pioneering to Kansas. His name intrigued me - Miles Standish Munson. Along the way, I found some interesting tidbits about him, but moreover, about his wife, Jenny Mather.  

Capt Thomas Munson > Samuel Munson > Samuel James Munson > William Munson > William Munson II > David Munson > Stephen Munson > Miles Standish Munson m. Genevieve Mather

Miles Standish Munson was born to Stephen Munson, originally of Litchfield, Connecticut and his wife, Nancy Nash. An early account of the Munson's mentions that Nancy was related to a Virginia governor, but I don't know if that's true. Her lineage does go directly from the early Connecticut freeman, Thomas Nash, immigrant of England, who was a blacksmith.

By the time Miles was born on 05 Jul 1841, the couple lived in Sandisfield, Amherst, Massachusetts. Miles was the youngest surviving child.  Stephen was a carpenter and during the mid-1800s, many sawmills had popped up along the nearby river. A planned railway stop in nearby Farmington Hills failed and most industry in the area failed.

Miles was in Sheffield, Massachusetts in 1860. In 1862, he enlisted in the 49th Infantry Regiment of Massachusetts where he engaged in some minor skirmishes before being mustered out in Sep 1863. Miles arrived in Kansas in 1875 as a result of his Chicago business. 

Reportedly, Miles went to Chicago to work for SP Brownell on South Water Street and later at Board of Trade for "several years." He worked for a company that John Lake was president of that provided the grain and hay for the street car horses. He came to Kansas to find pasture for retired street car horses at both Burlingame and Council Grove, where he was buying corn for the Chicago market.

Genevieve "Jenny" Mather's parents were Jebediah Peck Mather and Sara "Sally" Amelia Deming who originally hailed from Watertown, New York.  Jenny was born in 1859 in Kansas City, Missouri. Her family had lived in Butler County, but were living in Council Grove in Morris County, Kansas in 1877. Her background was described as follows:

"...The father was extensively engaged in the lumber business and rafted lumber down the Ohio river to Cincinnati for a number of years. In 1857 he had a great amount of lumber on hand, owing to his inability to run rafts on the river the two preceding years on account of low water. Being unable to sell his lumber in Cincinnati when he reached that point, he went on down the Ohio river and up the Mississippi, and after selling most of his lumber at St. Louis, he went up the Missouri river to Leavenworth, where he sold the first shingles to be sold in Kansas, and after disposing of his lumber he bought machinery for a flouring and saw mill, which he shipped from St. Louis by river transportation to Westport, which is now the site of Kansas City." 

"He had determined to haul his mill machinery to Council Grove and build a mill near the Kaw Indiana reservation, but when he reached Westport the Border war was raging with such fierceness that he decided to remain there for a time. However, the following year, or in 1860, he continued his journey with his mill machinery and erected a mill at Council Grove, according to his plan. This was the most distant mill west located in Kansas and the third one to be built in the State, the other two being at Lawrence and Fort Scott."

"The Mather mill at Council Grove on the Neosho river was a substantial three story building, built of brick, and was located near the old Kaw mission, the brick being manufactured on the east side of the river. When this mill was built it was a great wonder to the 3,000 Kaw Indians who lived on the reservation there and they called Mr. Mather Ta-poos-ka."

"Mr. Mather also built a twelve-room house in the vicinity of the mill, which in those days was considered a mansion. The house is still standing and is in a good state of preservation...Mrs. Mather, who was active in the early suffrage movement in Kansas, entertained in this house, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Kady Stanton and other prominent women of the times. J. P. Mather spent the last six years of his life in Emporia, where he died on May 8, 1905, aged ninety years..."

"...Mrs. Munson had an opportunity to observe much of the early life in Kansas, living in such close proximity to the Kaw Indian reservation, she had an opportunity to study the "Noble Red Man" in his native heath, and she has had many exciting experiences with Indians. She has seen three thousand Cheyenne redskins on the warpath, and at one time a drunken Indian came to the Mather home and threatend to scalp her, demanding $5 and some flour. Her sister covered the Indian with a revolver, whereupon the inebriated child of the forest departed. Mrs. Munson could speak the Kaw language fluently, and knows a lot about the traits of Indians. When she was a girl she owned an Indian pony and was some rider, too..."[1]

The Kaw Nation

Miles and Jenny married in Council Grove on 09 Apr 1877. A year later, they moved on to El Dorado, Butler County. At that time, he and Capt JT Anderson had a lumber business. Miles bought him out at some point and continued to operate the business for an additional 14 years.

Miles had his fingers in lots of pies and was a leading citizen of El Dorado.  He ran the coal works for many years, had real estate holdings, and loaned money to folks to help finance the purchase of homes and farms, and owned a 640-acre well improved farm. Things were going so well, that Mrs. Munson had a housekeeper. Munson reportedly never foreclosed on anyone. His humor was described as dry and sparkling with philosophy.[1]

El Dorado Republican, 15 Aug 1902

About the time Miles sold his lumber yard, he built a market on lots he owned east of the lumberyard. He continued to farm and raise horses and cattle and his coal yard continued to flourish. Around the turn of the 20th century, Miles sold the coal yard.

All through this period, his wife, Jennie, would participate in all sorts of women's clubs, beautification projects, and good works and built a stellar reputation as a lady of substance. 

The couple raised five children; four sons and a daughter.

On 10 Oct 1906, Miles died of heart disease at age 49. Jennie was named executrix.

This loss did not slow Jenny down. In 1908, she was the local representative to the state-level Woman's Federation of Clubs meeting. She also served as the Treasurer of her local club. This was also the year her mother, Sally Deming Mather, died in Emporia. 

Women's Suffrage Win in Kansas!

Events, they were a'changing in the country. Women were battling all over the country to get the right to vote. Wyoming was the first state to grant women that right.  Kansas was the eighth state to grant women equal rights to vote in November of 1912.  Reform was moving at the speed of molasses - it had been since 1867 when the idea was first proposed in the US. It still would not be until 1920 when the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution would be ratified.

A strange thing happened in Butler County in 1912, shortly after women received their rights. A judge in Butler County sat the first all-women jury for a trial, which included Jenny Munson. And here's what happened:

Reportedly, the case in question was originally tried with a jury of men, who could not reach a verdict. The judge felt the only option he had was to empanel a group of women.

"The first jury composed of women to sit in a case in district court in Kansas was empaneled in El Dorado, Butler County, part of the 19th judicial district. Wednesday morning, November 27 (1912). The case before the court is H H Boeck vs Carrie M Schreiber, et al. The case is a damage suit where the plaintiff alleges he purchased a tract of land from the estate of Carrie M Schreiber and when he received the land, it was not the tract which he alleges was shown him when he made the deal."

"The empanelling of the jury was not attended with undue excitement from spectators other than men, for but few women knew that the jury was to be called Wednesday morning. "

"Undersheriff Purcell was kept busy Tuesday night and Wednesday morning summoning the women. Many and varied excuses were given the undersheriff, to which he turned a deaf ear. Most of the women summoned were at the court house by 9 o'clock, others were a little late, but by 10:30, a jury was secured. And it did not take any longer to secure the jury than it would a jury composed of men."

"The plaintiff's lawyers used two challenges and the defendant's lawyers used one. Each side is entitled to three challenges, besides their challenges for cause." When the jury box was filled, Judge AIkman addressed the women with a few remarks giving them to understand that he had called the women to act as jurors in good faith. Also that if any lady was offended by being called as a juror, he would excuse her. And htat if they would serve he would appreciate the honor."

"In the examination of the women in the jury box, only three were challenged, three being excused for cause. Mrs Meeks stated that she objected to women being on a jury as did Miss Edna Smith. Mrs Kilgore was excused on account of sickness. Mrs. Ida Lawrence was excused on account of her little boy being sick, she not having had time to secure someone to remain with him during her absence..."

"...Judge Aikman announced to the jury after it had been empanelled that he woudl adjourn court in the afternoon and give the women a chance to look after necessitites about their homes. Court will convene again Friday morning."

El Dorado Republican (El Dorado, KS) 06 Dec 1912, Fri, p1

Walnut Valley Times, 04 Apr 1913
 After the two days of testimony, the panel went to the jury room to deliberate. Three hours later, at 11 pm, the forewoman handed the verdict to her husband, the bailiff, and he to the judge. The plaintiff won $1,200 dollars. Each juror received $2 for each day of service.

The next year, both plaintiff and defendant attempted for a new trial. Part of the argument was based on the process by which an all-women panel was selected. The verdict stood. Also in 1913, the mayoral race was heavily weighted for the elected Citizen's Party, but Mrs Munson managed to pull in one vote!

In 1917, Mrs. Munson and her five children were beneficiaries of a Munson uncle's will. The amount  was not known. I believe this money came from Albert Munson, who died in 1915 by way of his wife Sara Heath Munson, who died in 1917. 

Mrs. Munson continued to work in the community for the rest of her life. She bought and sold real estate like a champ. Her daughter lived with her until her death in 1938. Her daughter would never marry and never have a career, so I would assume assets were such that the children were left comfortable.

[1] History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney, Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kans: 1916. ill.; 894 pages (pages 428-421)

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Clan William: Judge Warren Bristol & Billy the Kid

Judge Warren H Bristol
Today, our subject is a Munson descendant who went West - twice. First to Red Wing, Minnesota and then to Mesilla and Deming, New Mexico: Judge Warren Bristol.

Capt Thomas Munson > Samuel Munson > Samuel James Munson > William Munson > Peter Munson > Lydia Munson > Burrage Bristol > Warren Bristol m. Louisa C Armstrong

Warren Henry Bristol was born in Stafford, Genesee County, New York on 19 Mar 1823 to Dr. Burrage Bristol and Sally Benham. The Bristol family were some of the early settlers to New England. Burrage was originally from Cheshire, Connecticut. After Burrage fought as a captain of the cavalry for three months in the War of 1812, his family settled further west in New York.  

Warren was educated in a number of institutions including Yates Academy, Lima Seminary, and Wilson Collegiate Institute. He then decided to study law and attended Fowler's Law School in Saratoga County, New York. After completing Fowler's, he studied in Lockport, NY,  under Edward J. Chase, brother of Chief Justice Chase. To support himself while he studied, he taught at Union School of Lockport.

Bristol's Partner in Firm, 1856
Red Wing Sentinel
After he passed the bar, he decided to head west. He jumped aboard a ship bound for Quincy, IL, but overslept and did not get off at his stop. He was then waiting in Keokuk, IA, waiting for a return trip when he heard soldiers speaking about the great land of Minnesota. He decided to go north and in Minnesota he landed on what turned out to be the last trip before Winter of 1850. He wasn't impressed. The harsh winter was upon him and he was nearly out of funds. As he had since he was 16 and on his own, he searched for a living as there was no way he could open a law office at the time. A kindly landlord found him a job taking mail from St Paul and the Falls of St Croix by way of Stillwater. 

Bristol recalled he had no form of amusement or mental stimulation, so he joined a debate club in St Paul which gave him some great connections, including a future US Senator, M. S. Wilkinson. It was from that point that Bristol decided to open his practice in Hennepin County, where Minneapolis would spring up (Bristol was part of the committee that named said city). He became the city's first county attorney, but resigned to move to Red Wing in Goodhue County. 

He began practice with J. N. Murdock. At about this time, he married Louisa Armstrong, an old friend from Lockport, NY (20 Apr 1854). He was elected as District Attorney for Goodhue County and afterwards was a probate judge. In 1855, he was in charge of the first Republican State convention, where the party organized. Then, he sat in the lower house of the legislature for one term and two as State Senator.  In 1864, he was a member of the Republic national convention in Baltimore, which renominated Abraham Lincoln. 

In 1872, President Ulysses Grant nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of New Mexico. This was a huge and cumbersome move for he and Louisa. He arrived at Mesilla, then Dona Ana's county seat where they sat up their first New Mexcio home. Almost immediately, he opened his first term of court in Grant County. He was reappointed by three different presidents in the coming years. But, not easily. Rutherford B. Hayes did not want to reappoint Bristol in 1880. He nominated three other inviduals, each failing to get through the confirmation process. Hayes finally gave up and reappointed Bristol. 

Serving three counties as circuit judge (Dona Ana, Lincoln, and Grant), he saw a lot of judicial action. He was on the bench during the "Lincoln County War," and the trials that were an outcropping of same, and the trial of "Billy the Kid."

Mrs. Bristol provided accounts of two incidents during those wild days:

Sheriff Brady
The first occurred during the spring term of court in the midst of the war. "The clerk by mistake had given notice of it a week earlier than the correct time, and Sheriff Brady, while on his way to Lincoln to notify the people court would not open until a week from that day, was shot and killed by persons concealed behind a high fence or wall."

"The judge with the clerk and lawyers going from Mesilla and Las Cruces were designated 'the court party,' and it was inferred that the concealed assasins were expecting this party to follow the sheriff, when the same fate would be dealt to them. At the regular time, the judge, clerk and others, among whom I think were Judge Newcomb, of Las Cruces, and Col Fountain, of Mesilla, started for Lincoln county. Reaching Tularosa, about half way to the county seat, they heard of the condition of affairs at Lincoln, and the killing of the sheriff. While deliberating upon what they had better do, wheather to proceed or return, a detachment of soldiers under command of a lieutenant from the military post of Fort Stanton, came up. The lieutenant gave the judge a letter from Col Dudley, the commander at Lincoln, and tendering the military as an escort. The judge and party then proceeded to Fort Stanton. The judge was quartered there, and every day went to the county seat, nine miles distant, under a military guard, which was stationed round the bilding while he held court, and took him back at night. The guard also accompanied the party back to Las Cruces upon adjournment of court."

Billy the Kid

The second was: "In the trial of William Bonney, AKA Billy the Kid:" the judge afterwards related that knowing Billy's desperate nature and what he might do if the bailiffs with their weapons came within 'snatching' distance of him, he, the judge, never lost sight of the criminal during the entire trial. Billy afterwards said that if he could have got hold of one of those pistols there would have been lively times for a while. The judge in passing sentence always did it as briefly and in as few words as possible. Billy evidently expected that his evil deeds would be emphasized and he would be exhorted to repent. Upon hearing neither, he turned to a bailiff and said, 'That's business; the judge means business.'"

According to another source, the Billy the Kid Story, and the Judge himself, look a little differently. 

"A former assistant attorney general for New Mexico and author, Joel Jacobson, has written: "Like many other judges both before and after him, Bristol would sooner do something dishonest than something illegal." Before Billy the Kid faced Judge Bristol on charges of killing Lincoln County sheriff William Brady and deputy George Hindman, his friend Alexander McSween had been shot down by enemies in Lincoln town. 

In late 1880, Sheriff Pat Garrett captured Billy and several of his fellow outlaws east of Fort Sumner. After languishing in the Santa Fe County jail for three months, the Kid was sent downriver on the railroad for trial in Mesilla. It is clear from the beginning that the partisan judge intended to convict the accused. 

Billy's two-day trial before an all-Hispano (ed. note. non-English speaking) jury got under way on the morning of April 8, 1881. The cramped courtroom was in a narrow adobe building on one corner of the Mesilla Plaza. At the far end, the judge was seated behind a desk on an elevated platform, while the defendant sat to one side of him, handcuffed and attended by armed guards. 
Lincoln Co Jail & Courthouse
Bristol appeared to be a small, timid man "with a full gray beard and a cadaverous look about his eyes." In spite of his hopeless situation, Billy seemed defiant. The record of witness testimony and legal arguments has not been discovered. 

However, we know that Judge Bristol's lengthy instruction to the jury indicated that a guilty verdict was the only one possible. Thus, Billy the Kid was found guilty of first-degree murder and was ordered sent to Lincoln to await his execution by hanging. 

His subsequent escape, pursuit by Sheriff Garrett and killing at Fort Sumner is well known. The Mesilla trial stands as the high point in Warren Bristol's life. His irregularities in the proceedings failed to tarnish his reputation at the time. In other instances, though, he was accused of legal improprieties that cast a shadow over his career." Santa Fe New Mexican, 10/8/2010

Bristol was also mocked, when after not paying taxes for five years, he was forced to assess his belongings. He presented said, signed under oath, to the county. As it was then public record unidentified columnist "69" made sure to share it with the community in the Las Cruces Sun-News on 08 Jul 1882. It's pretty funny, and clearly not a fair assessment. I get how Bristol caught a hard time!

After the creation of the town of Deming, the Bristol's moved there in 1882. It had a railroad connection and was more convenient for his travels as a judge. His new home was gorgeous. He built the first wind-mill for irrigation in the area and created functional orchards.

Suddenly, he quit as Judge in 1884. Bristol helped develop law in a lawless land, allowing for safe settlement into the coming decades. His entire life had been given over to public service. His last service was to attend the constitutional convention in 1889. The people of the county of Grant selected him to represent them by vote. 

Historians have a really hard time with Bristol. Particularly in the way he handled the Billy the Kidd trial, but also on a more general level. He also was a bit of a quitter. He quit as county attorney, he quit as a state legislator, and he quit his judgeship. 

After the Judge's death on 12 Jan 1890, his wife Louisa returned to Lockport, NY and lasted another 24 years. She died on 18 Mar 1914. They had no children.


Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Clan William: Capt David Minard, MC, USN, MD

Capt David Minard, MC USN MD
Yesterday, we talked about Gladys (a Munson descendant) and Archibald Ellison Minard. Today, the
subject is one of their sons, Captain David Minard, MC USN MD. 

Capt Thomas Munson > Samuel Munson > Samuel James Munson > William Munson > Martha Munson > Rueben Doolittle > James Rood Doolittle > Sara Lovinia Doolittle > Gladys May Pease m. Archibald Ellsworth Minard > David Minard

David Minard was born 23  May 1913 in Fargo, North Dakota, where his father was a professor at nearby North Dakota Agricultural College. Minard grew up in Fargo, then attended college at the University of Chicago with a PhD in Physiology in 1937. He received his medical degree at UoC in 1943 and joined the US Navy (MC) as a physician. In 1954, he completed a master's in public health from Harvard University (his father's alma mater).

David served in the military from 1943 until 1963, attaining the rank of Captain (0-6). During the war, he was assigned to various command assignments such as Flagship 67/Division 23 and Group 10 staff on temporary duty as part of medical staff. 

Beginning in 1946, David headed the physiology department at the Naval Medical Research Center in Bethesda, MD. David met and married Sarah Prince "Sally" Zimmerman and their first child, a son, arrived in 1949; two more boys and a girl would follow before 1956. During the 1950s, he'd attained the rank of Captain.  In 1957, along with Constantin Yaglou, he developed a wet globe termperature index for Marines training at Parris Island, South Carolina. This had applications beyond the military - steel plants, in foot racing, and industrial environments, where humans were exposed to high temperatures.

Mercury 7 Astronauts
In 1960, David used the Index to evaluate the astronauts of Mercury 7, the.first manned space flights in the United States.  The program, started in 1958, ended with six manned flights between 1961 and 1963. 

David's most newsworthy research occurred in 1962 when the news of the experiments hit the newspapers across the country.  The research involved taking a group of 98 sailors and two officers and medical personnel into a 25x48 concrete shelter built on the grounds of the Research Center at Bethesda. They stayed in the shelter for 14 consecutive days. The purpose was to test psychological, physical, and physiological effects of long stays in such environments. 

The experiment included TV cameras which could continually monitor everything that happened during the process. Two individuals would exit the shelter on a daily basis to take Geiger and other readings. And, while being equipped with electricity there was no heat other than body heat. Food was provided at 2,000 calories each day. There was no real recreation other than books and magazines. 

For their part, the sailors, from the US Naval Training Center at Great Lakes, Illinois, each received a 72-hour pass after their release from the shelter and follow-on testing. David called it a "great success."

Capt Minard about to enter
fallout shelter saying goodbye
to his family
In 1963, David left the military and moved on as a Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate
School of Public Health. He was named Professor Emeritus in 1974. 

David and his wife Sally divorced. Son Nicholas, aged 21 died in Pittsburgh in 1975. At about the same time, David remarried, this time to Dorotha J Rittenhouse Fallong, mother of two.

Sally went on to marry Walter Limbach. She lived to the ripe age of 90, dying in 2014. After her divorce from David, she worked as a family therapist working with women who survived domestic abuse at the Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. 

David went back to clinical work at US Steel and at the Easton Memorial Hospital in Easton, Maryland. He finally retired in 1980. On 09 Oct 2005 after a stroke, in Cambridge, Maryland. His wife Dorotha died in 2012.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Clan William: Gladys Pease and Archibald Ellsworth Minard

Sen. James Rood Doolittle with
children (Sara seated)
Those Munson women seemed to attach themselves to some high-achieving men. In this case, Gladys
connected herself to Archibald Ellsworth Minard, a Harvard graduate who would travel west to North Dakota. The Clan William connections is as listed:

Capt Thomas Munson > Samuel Munson > Samuel James Munson > William Munson > Martha Munson > Rueben Doolittle > James Rood Doolittle > Sara Lovinia Doolittle > Gladys May Pease m. Archibald Ellsworth Minard

Gladys came from "good stock." Her grandfather was Senator James Rood Doolittle, an attorney, who had hailed from Hampton, Washington County, New York. He had relocated to Racine, Wisconsin in 1851 where he was elected judge of the first judicial circuit in 1853 and then in 1857 began serving two terms as a US Senator. He later was a professor of law at Chicago University and was a trustee of same.

The marriage of her father, Edwin Hatfield Pease and mother, Sara Doolittle, was the social event of the year in Racine in 1879. Edwin had served as a private in the Civil War in Company F of the Illinois 93rd Infantry Regiment. A manufacturer/businessman of good repute in Racine, he died of complications of the flu/pneumonia at age 49 in 1890. Gladys was the fourth of the five children, born in 1887.

Archibald Ellsworth Minard
Sara Doolittle Pease married John Adams Prindle, a widower with five surviving children in 1895. In 1900, the family moved to Springvale, Stark, North Dakota to pioneer. Sadly, John died in 1907 in Fargo, North Dakota.  In 1910, Sara relocated to the Sioux City, Iowa area and lived with her son the veterinarian, Edward Pease, for a few months, then she moved in with son H. T. Pease in Deer Park, Washington, where she died on 27 Jul 1911.

Daughter Gladys had made a "good marriage" with Archibald Ellsworth Minard, a native of Novia Scotia born in 1878, who had emigrated to the US when he was 11 years old.  Archibald received his degrees from Harvard and became a professor of English and Philosophy at North Dakota Agricultural College (now North Dakota State University). The couple had married in 1908 and proceeded to have four children; two boys and two girls. 

Professor Minard served as interim president for three months in 1929, then became the Dean of the School for Applied Arts and Sciences the same year. He would hold that position until 1949. 

Gladys died in 1939 at the age of 48. She had just seen her daughter Lois married in 1936 and son Edwin in 1938. 

Archibald remarried in 1941 to a widow with two grown children, Elita Gustava Olson McArdle. 

One of the noteworthy things that Archibald did while at NDAC, was to write the school song, the lyrics of which are today, quite awful, but for the time, far less offensive:

...He wanted to incorporate the school colors, yellow and green, with North Dakota’s landscape and characteristics. Minard thought he could use his song as well for the State’s song. Minard wrote the lyrics and then took the song to Clarence Putnam, the head of the music department at the time. “The Yellow And The Green” did become the University's official school song, but it did make it as the state’s song as Minard would have hoped. Instead, Putnam wrote the music for what became the state's song in 1947 and used the lyrics from James W. Foley’s “The North Dakota Hymn.” There has been some controversy surrounding the school song. In the third stanza of the song, it speaks of the red man scavenging the land for scraps, while the white anglo saxons prevail and conquer the prairies...

In 1949, Minard retired as Dean, but continued to teach philosophy at the School. The former Science building, built in 1902 and which had a fourth floor added in 1919, was named after Minard in honor of his 46 years of service at NDAC. The fourth floor of the building was where dances were held. In 2011, the building collapsed in on itself and would not be revived until 2013. It is still in use.

Minard died on 09 May 1950 died at Bethesda Naval Hospital, where he had been hospitalized for four weeks. Son David lived nearby.

Minard Hall, former Science Hall at NDAC


Sunday, July 10, 2022

Clan William: Chester Case Lord and Julia Elizabeth Munson

Chester Case Lord
Today's Munson is Julia Elizabeth Munson "Elizabeth" of Montreat, North Carolina. Elizabeth and Chester lived the good life in a village founded specifically on religious principals in the beautiful Flat Creek Valley surrounded by mountains on three sides in Buncombe County, North Carolina.

Capt Thomas Munson > Samuel Munson > Samuel James Munson > William Munson > William Munson II> Seba Munson > George Pardee Munson > Julia Elizabeth Munson m. Chester Case Lord

Chester Lord was born in Killingworth, CT, 09 Sep 1857, but lived with his family in Cheshire after his birth. He was the son of Benjmain and Antoinette Goodrich Case Lord. In 1883, he married Juline Louisa Atwater, daughter of Elizur Punderson and Julia Augusta Hemingway Atwater. Juline was five years Chester's senior. Chester farmed with Juline's father for several years. During this time, he was a fervent advocate of the Grange Movement and led the charge in Cheshire to institute The Grange in 1885 [1]. 

The Patrons of Husbandry, or the Grange, was founded in 1867 to advance methods of agriculture, as well as to promote the social and economic needs of farmers in the United States. The financial crisis of 1873, along with falling crop prices, increases in railroad fees to ship crops, and Congress’s reduction of paper money in favor of gold and silver devastated farmers’ livelihoods and caused a surge in Grange membership in the mid-1870s. Both at the state and national level, Grangers gave their support to reform-minded groups such as the Greenback Party, the Populist Party, and, eventually, the Progressives.[2]

In 1889, he was a foreman at hardware manufacturer Sargent & Co. in New Haven. Lord's health was suffering, so he decided to move to a better climate in 1897. His wife, Juline, and young children, Robert Atwater Lord (1887-1972) and Margery Juline Lord (1891-1984) remained in New Haven while he scouted a new place to live in The Mountain Retreat, Buncombe County, North Carolina.

The Mountain Retreat sat nestled in between  mountains on three sides. It was selected by the evangelist Rev John C Collins, of New Haven who wanted to create a mountain retreat community and a health resort for rescue mission workers. The first program was held in July 1897.  Think annual tent camp religion. People would come and gather, sleep in platform tents and worship in large open areas, seated at benches in the great outdoors. The retreat grew and the village became Montreat. I  higly recommend reading the full story of the retreat here.

C C Lord and family became the first residents of Montreat and built the first house in the area.  The home was 18 x 24 and two stories. [5] After the house was built, the family, wife Juline, son Robert Atwater Lord (1887-1972) and Margery Lord (1891-1981) joined Chester in Montreat in 1898. The family hosted boarders who were missionaries who were looking for respite after serving their tours of duty. After just months in Montreat, Lord's health was improved and he put on twenty pounds, according to his Connecticut doctor who had visited the Lord's in North Carolina.

Photo: Preservation Society of Asheville Buncombe

Photo: Preservation Society of Asheville Buncombe

By 1899, the village continued to grow, particularly during the summer months. Montreat sported a school, post office, hotel, circulating library and a temporary bank. Housing was booming too and 20 new cottages were built. Montreat was on its way.
Elizabeth Munson Lord

The Lord's had brought Juline's mother down to Montreat in 1899 and she suddenly died of pneumonia. Months later, Juline Atwater Lord died  on September 28, 1900. She left now 12-year-old Robert and 8-year-old Margery.  Juline was just 48.  The children were left well-provided the inheritance Juline left and the money would even send Margery to medical school years later. 

Just a year later, on 11 Oct 1901, C C went to New Haven and married Julia Elizabeth Munson. Julia went by Elizabeth. Elizabeth was a first cousin to Juline. Julia's mother was sister to Juline's father. 

The lives of the Lords went on in Montreat. C C joined the board of the Mountain Retreat Association, which was in charge of all parts of development in Montreat. He became the Secretary/Recorder of the management committee. He also served in several other capacities, including as general manager in 1904. 

Housing was of foremost concern during the "tourist" months. Lord built a 2-story boarding house for the coming summer that was named, "Truda" on the Lord property. It became a very popular destination within Montreat.

Chester and Elizabeth Lord in front of their Truda Cottage
Photo: Preservation Society of Ashville Bumcombe

Lord had fingers in lots of pies in Montreat. In addition to running his boarding house and civic activities, he also became a bit of a real estate developer. He would take unimproved lots and improve them and sell them at a profit. 

Lord's religious interests continued as well, and in 1906, a small group of citizens got together to form a Presbyterian church. In 1908, Lord built a grocery store next to the post office. He sold the store to the Association in 1914. 

In 1922, Lord created a 10-room addition to his home and renovated much of the old property. He was also named Postmaster of Montreat. Lord remained post officer until 1932, when he was 75. 
Photo: Preservation Society of Ashevill Buncombe

Unfortunately, this is also the year that his wife Elizabeth died of breast cancer at age 60.  A service was held in Montreat and her body was taken for a funeral back in Cheshire. She was buried in Hillside Cemetery next to her cousin, Juline Atwater Lord, Chester's first wife.

In 1926, Lord bought into the reorganized Black Mountain Lumber Company and was one of two major owners. The same year, he joined two partners to start the Spruce Pine Lumber Company.  Seems he was never going to retire, but he did slow down. He lived his last years working with the Presbyterian church as an elder and attended to Association business. On May 8, 1942, he passed away at age 86. He left all of his holdings in Montreat to his daughter, Dr. Margery Lord, with whom he shared his home in his last years.

[1]The Connecticut Granges: An Historical Account of the Rise and Growth of the Patrons of Husbandry : Sketches of the State, Pomona, and Subordinate Granges of Connecticut, with Valuable Statistics, Notices of Prominent Members, Portraits, and Illustrations; New Haven Publishing Company, New Haven, Connecticut, 1900
[2] The Gilder Lehman Institute of American History, History Resources, The Grange Movement 1875;
[3] Presbyterian Heritage Center, History, retrieved 7/10/22,
[4] Preservation Society of Asheville, Buncombe, retrieved 7/10/22,
[5] The Alumnae Record by Salem College (Winston-Salem, N.C.), 1924