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This biography is from Landmarks of Albany County, New York, edited by Amasa J. Parker of Albany, N. Y., Syracuse, N. Y.; D. Mason & Co. Publishers, 1897.

Samuel L. Munson

Samuel Lyman Munson descends, paternally and maternally, from the purest and earliest Puritan stock, his father's family settling in New Haven and his mother's, the Lymans, in Hartford, Conn., where they lived for several generations. His first American ancestor, Thomas Munson, came, it is supposed, from England in 1621, and was one of the founders of the New Haven colony. Mr. Munson's father, Garry Munson, of the eighth generation in this country from the pioneer Thomas, was a man of noble impulses, of remarkable industry, and of very considerable ability. He held several public offices, was a farmer, a wool dealer, and a manufacturer, and imparted to his children those sterling traits of character which have distinguished the family name. He married Harriet Lyman, a lineal descendant of Richard Lyman, another Puritan who, as early as 1635, was one of the little band that left Boston and founded the present city of Hartford, Conn. Her father, Samuel Lyman, was a colonel stationed at Boston in the war of 1812.

Samuel L. Munson was born in Norwich (now Huntington), Mass., June 14, 1844, was reared on the parental farm, and received his rudimentary education in the common schools of Huntington. When twelve years of age he entered Williston Seminary at Easthampton, Mass., where he pursued his studies for three years. He then became a clerk in a large dry goods store in Boston, but after an experience of two years in mercantile life he was compelled on account of his health to return to the farm. In 1863 he came to Albany and obtained a situation as commercial traveler for Wickes & Strong, manufacturers of clothing, his territory lying principally in the West. In 1867 he resigned this position, in which he had met with unusual success, and forming a copartnership with J. A. Richardson and L. R. Dwight, under the firm name of Munson, Richardson & Co., established a linen collar manufactory, of which he became sole proprietor in 1869. Through Mr. Munson's able business management this enterprise proved successful from the start. It was founded upon a modest scale, but by rapid strides increased to immense proportions, and within a few years larger and more convenient accommodations became necessary. In 1884 he purchased the old Hudson Avenue Methodist church, which he remodeled and enlarged for the manufacture of shirts, collars, cuffs, lace neckwear, etc. This building, which was opened and occupied by the business on December 21, 1885, is 140 by 68 feet and five stories high, and is equipped with the best machinery and conveniences. Between 400 and 500 persons are employed, and the goods find a sale in almost every State in the Union as well as abroad. This was among the first industries of the kind started in Albany, and has grown until it is now one of the largest and most successful in the State, employing a thousand persons. In 1889 he erected another shirt factory at Cobleskill, N. Y.

Mr. Munson is a representative business man. He is a trustee and secretary of the Home Savings Bank, a trustee and chairman of the committee on manufactures of the Albany Chamber of Commerce, the original treasurer of The Pure Baking Powder Company, a trustee of the Madison Avenue Reformed church, and formerly a director of the National Exchange Bank. He is a member of the Sons of the Revolution, through his great-grandfather, Stephen Munson; a life member of the New England Society; and a member of the Fort Orange Club of Albany and the Colonial and Republican Clubs of New York. He is also prominently identified with several literary, Masonic, athletic, and social organizations of Albany, is a great lover of literature and collector of books, and has traveled quite extensively.

In 1868 Mr. Munson was married to Miss Susan B., daughter of Lemuel J. Hopkins, of Albany, and they have four sons and two daughters: Harriet Lyman, Edward Garry, Paul Babcock, Samuel Lyman, Jr., Amy Treadwell, and Robert. The eldest son is associated with his father in business, the second is a member of the class of 1897 of Yale University, and the third, Samuel L., Jr., is a student at Harvard University, class of 1900.

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