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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Frank Erwin Munson

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 406-407 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Frank Erwin Munson, manager of the Herkimer Bottling Company, was born in Herkimer, New York, on September 25, 1863, the son of Erwin Cook and Emily E. (Eaton) Munson. Erwin Cook Munson was born in Herkimer, on April 23, 1838, and died in that village on June 15, 1920. In early life he was a telegraph operator and ticket agent for the New York Central Railroad, then engaged in the lumber business in Herkimer, finally becoming a contractor and builder, and one summer built thirty houses in that vicinity. He then became the pioneer furniture manufacturer in Herkimer, which led to that place becoming a prominent furniture manufacturing center. Herkimer is now noted as the largest producer of office furniture in the world. In later life Mr. Munson engaged in the coal business, which he continued until his retirement about ten years prior to his death. He was the son of Erwin A. and Margaret (Petrie) Munson. Erwin A. Munson was born in Salisbury, Herkimer county, on December 5, 1819, and died in Herkimer on December 9, 1874. He was a merchant in Little Falls, New York, then county clerk of Herkimer county, and later American Express agent for Herkimer. His wife was born in Petersborough and died in Herkimer on February 26, 1893, aged 83 years. Erwin A. Munson was the son of Abel and Mary (Cook) Munson. Abel Munson was born in Connecticut, and after moving to Salisbury became a tanner. His wife was born in Salisbury and later married Colonel Chatfield of Fairfield, where she died.

Emily E. (Eaton) Munson, mother of Frank Erwin Munson, was born in Ionia county, Michigan, on November 13, 1843, and died in Herkimer on June 16, 1910. She was the daughter of Volney and Elida (Herkimer) Eaton. Volney Eaton was born in Eatonville, New York, and died in Herkimer. As a young man he was a small merchant and later engaged in farming. He went to Michigan in the early '40's and took up a claim which he cleared and farmed, and afterward became sheriff of Ionia county. In 1849 he crossed the continent to California on horseback, during the gold rush, and returned via the Isthmus of Panama. He remained on the western coast for two years and the time required to make the journey was six months each way. After his return to the east he farmed for a few years in Pennsylvania, then went to Herkimer county and engaged in farming, and in the '70s was elected sheriff of Herkimer county, after which he retired. He owned and occupied the building now used by the county as an office building, adjoining the court house. His wife was born at Danube, New York, on October 1, 1819, and died in Herkimer on September 28, 1877. Parley Eaton, the maternal great-grandfather of Mr. Munson, was in the War of 1812, and his uncle, Parley Eaton (II), his mother's brother, served in the Civil war.

Frank E. Munson was educated in the public schools of Herkimer and at the age of fourteen entered his father's furniture factory in charge of the finishing department for eight years. He then entered the employ of the Mohawk & Ilion Street Railroad, now a part of the New York State Railroad. At that time the road was used for horse drawn cars. Following that he became deputy sheriff, under Joseph W. Baker, and had entire charge of the office for three years. He then became associated with Mr. Baker in the manufacture of carbonated drinks, known as the Herkimer Bottling Company, and the business has continued from 1900 to the present time. He also owns a farm of eighty-eight acres in the town of German Flats, New York. He served for two years as supervisor.

On August 14, 1912, Mr. Munson was united in marriage to Miss Edna Orendorf, who was born in German Flats on January 13, 1880, her parents being Thomas and Mary (Shoemaker) Orendorf. Thomas Orendorf, a farmer, was born in German Flats and died there. His wife was also born in German Flats and died at that place. Mrs. Munson attends the Dutch Reformed church at Herkimer. Mr. Munson is a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks Lodge and of the Down and Out Club, both of Herkimer. He attends the Dutch Reformed church and his political affiliations are with the democratic party. Mr. Munson has a wide circle of friends and is always found ready to advance the interests of the place wherein he resides.

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