William Harvey MUNRO

William Harvey MUNRO

Male 1836 -

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  • Name  William Harvey MUNRO  [1, 2
    Born  1836  Williamsburg, Dundas Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Christened  16 Jul 1837  Williamsburg, Dundas Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender  Male 
    Died  , , Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I33971  Munro
    Last Modified  2 Jun 2003 

    Father  Henry MUNRO,   b. Abt 1813, , , , Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother  Sophia WILLMAN,   b. Abt 1816, , , , Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married  17 Jun 1835  Williamsburg, Dundas Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F7378  Group Sheet

    Family  Julia Elizabeth POTTER,   b. 24 Aug 1845, , Steuben Co., New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Mar 1920, Flatonia, Fayette Co., Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  2 Feb 1862  Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • William and Julia were married at the Saint Petersburg Luthern Church. [2]
    Divorced  Yes, date unknown 
    Children 
    >1. William Harvey MUNRO, Jr.,   b. 18 Jan 1863, Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Oct 1898, Olive, Hardin Co., Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Gertrude MUNRO,   b. 15 Oct 1869, Corinne, Box Elder Co., Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1910-1911, Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
    >3. George Albert MUNRO,   b. 4 Apr 1873, Corinne, Box Elder Co., Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Aug 1933, Moulton, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified  20 Jan 2009 
    Family ID  F18  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • William was born about 1837 in Williamsburg, Dundas County, Ontario, Canada and was christened there in the St. Peters Lutheran Church on 16 Jul 1837.

      His ancestor, Captain John Munro, had fought on the side of the British in the American Revolutionary War, and had been banished to Canada with many other Loyalists.

      Family tradition says that William Harvey immigrated from Scotland. It is said that he arrived in his kilts and had papers to a castle in Scotland, but the papers were lost in the 1900 Galveston flood. In view of other evidence, this tradition is not likely.

      He spent his childhood in Williamsburg and is found there on the 1851 census where he is listed as a 13 year-old laborer living with his parents. This would place his birth in about 1838. He is also found in the 1861 Williamsburg census as being 24 years old, placing his birth in about 1837.

      William seemed to lack a sense of focus as a youngster. He moved from his parents' home in Williamsburg and went to Russel Township, Ontario and found work as a carpenter. He is listed there on the 1861 census, but he must have left shortly after the census was perpared because on 2 Feb 1862, he married Julia Elizabeth Potter in Galveston, Texas. Julia was the daughter of Albert M. and Elizabeth (Tuttle) Potter. Their first child, William Harvey Munro, Jr., was born in Galveston on 18 Jan 1863.

      Texas didn't hold his interest very long either. Possibly as early as 1869, William and his wife took their young son and made the long trek to Corinne City, Territory of Utah and settled there. Their second child, Gertrude, was born there on 15 Oct 1869. Since Corinne City was settled in Mar 1869, William must have been one of the founding fathers of that community.

      William first worked as a grocer in this infant settlement and with hard work and good luck, his fortunes began to brighten. He quickly became an influential businessman and community leader serving as Councilman (1869-1870 and 1873-1874), Mayor (3 Mar 1870-3 Jul 1872), and member of the Board of Trade (1871). He was one of the managers of a benefit to help build the new Episcopal Church in 1869, and he was an active member of this church.

      The following is the text of an article that appeared in a local Corinne newspaper on 6 Jul 1871:

      "Last night at the hour of 12 o'clock as Mayor Munro and family were retiring, his attention was attracted to something stirring outside. Promptly opening the blinds, a man was discovered crouched close to the house, when quick as thought our worthy executive bounded through the casement and gave chase to the stranger, who had, upon discovery, fled from the place. Over the fence flew the fleet pursuer and then the race ended, for the prowler was caught fast in the Mayor's grip. Mr. Munro started to take the rascal to jail, but the chilly night reminded him that the rainment he then had on was too thin for the hour, whereupon, with a dozen well directed kicks he let the marauder off, pledged never to be seen on Colorado street again. The adventure will have the effect of making housekeepers more watchful of nights."

      Also in 1869, he formed a partnership with John Creighton and founded the firm of Creighton and Munro, wholesale and retail grocers. His business grew to be one of the largest of its kind west of Omaha, Nebraska, and he owned a huge warehouse at the corner of Montana and 6th Streets which often contained nearly a million pounds of freight awaiting shipment. By 1871, when he sold his interest in the firm to his partner, he was the general western agent for the Far West Fast Freight Line Company and began to enjoy awesome success. He became known as "The Merchant Prince West of the Rockies."

      He served as Secretary of the Corinne Steam Navigation Company, which built a steamboat 130 feet long and three stories high to carry ore from the mines on the south shore of the Great Salt Lake to the smelters at Corinne. It was named "The City of Corinne" and was a very famous boat during that time (1871).

      An 18 Jun 1870 census of Corinne City, Box Elder County, Territory of Utah, shows William as 30 years old and working as a grocer. Also included in his household is his wife, Julia age 27, William age 7, Gertrude age 8 months and Annie Frew, age 18, a domestic servant from Scotland.

      William was not all work and no play. He owned a horse named "Sheep" which he enjoyed entering in local harness races. He also played third base on the town baseball team. He served on the reception and transportation committee for the Independence Day celebration in 1870, and was floor manager of the Christmas dance held 25 Dec 1869.

      After his third child, George, was born in Apr 1873, things seemed to begin falling apart for William. He moved his family back to Galveston, Texas, where in 1879, his wife, Julia, filed for divorce accusing William of neglect and drinking. The divorce was granted in Jan 1880. William received custody of their son, William, Jr. and their daughter, Gertrude, with 6 year old George going to Julia.

      Shortly after the divorce, William moved to Beaumont, Texas, where he lived in a boarding house and worked as a bookkeeper. William, Jr. worked as a hotel clerk and Gertrude, now 10 years old, attended school and boarded with George Stovall, a school teacher. All three are found on the 1880 census of Beaumont. By 1881, he had moved again, this time to Woodville, Texas, where he found a job as an agent for the East Texas Railroad.

      Nothing more is known about William Harvey Munro, wanderer, pioneer, merchant, entrepreneur.

      References:

      (1) Clan Munro files - Stroud, Anna Margaret - letter from Marian Danielson,
      recorder of Corinne City, Utah dated 6 Jul 1988

      (2) Clan Munro files - Muro, William Barton - "Yellowed Pages", Vol. 23, No. 2,
      Summer 1993, p. 34

      Compiled and edited by Allen Alger, Genealogist, Clan Munro Association, USA [2]

  • Sources 
    1. [S14] Clan Munro files - Munro, Henry Dallas, Henry Dallas Munro, GEDCOM file - prepared 8 Oct 1996 - RIN 79 (Reliability: 3).

    2. [S120] Clan Munro files - Munro, Harvey A., Jr., Harvey A. Munro, Jr., Membership application for Harvey A. Munro, Jr. (Reliability: 3).