Biography of Henry S. Munson


Munson, Henry S., Buffalo.-During the last half century the study of life insurance has become one of the economic problems of the civilized world. In America exceptional progress has been made. No one who professes any knowledge of financial matters, questions the soundness of the arguments used in demonstrating the insurance of human life to be one of the best of investments to the rich as well as the poor. This result has been accomplished by the managers of the different companies throughout the land, and among the most active and influential of this class is Henry S. Munson of Buffalo, Western New York agent for the Aetna Life and Accident Insurance Company, of Hartford, Connecticut. Mr. Munson was born May 19, 1837, at Rutland, five miles from Watertown, N. Y., a son of Dr. Isaac and Cornelia (Stebbins) Mnnson. Dr. Munson graduated in medicine at Fairfield College, Herkimer county, N. Y., and for many years conducted a large practice in and around Rutland with great success. He was elected county clerk in 1849, removed to Watertown, and while discharging the duties of that office was made vicepresident of the Agricultural Mutual Fire Insurance Co., of which, in 1853, he became secretary. In 1863 he effected a change in its organization, merged it into a stock company and was largely instrumental in its success. He continued in the capacity of secretary, and as president, until his death in 1886. Henry S. Munson prepared for college at Watertown, entered Hamilton College in 1854, but after a year was compelled to temporarily relinquish his studies because of failing eye-sight. He later attended Williston Seminary. Easthampton, Mass., and after completing his studies read law at Watertown, then took a year's course in the law school at Poughkeepsie. In 1857 he was admitted to practice at Dubuque, Iowa, from the office of United States Senator William B. Allison, practiced his chosen profession for ten years, and, at one time, was a partner of Hon. Emory A. Storrs, of Chicago, one of the ablest and most prominent criminal lawyers ever produced in this country. In 1867 Mr. Munson was induced to embark in insurance, and returning to Watertown, became associated with the Manhattan Company. Subsequently he was identified with the Empire State Life, of Watertown, as a manager nf agencies. In 1872 he assumed charge of the correspondence and general office duties for the Agricultural Fire Insurance Company, of Watertown, but two years later was elected secretary of the Homestead Fire Insurance Company, continuing as such by repeated elections three years. Life insurance better suited him, however, and in February, 1877. he became manager for Western New York for the Phcenix, of Hartford, continuing as such for fifteen years. Since then he has occupied his present position. In politics Mr. Munson is a sound money Democrat. As a Mason he has attained to the rank of Knight Templar. July 1, 1863, he married Miss Ruth A. Allen, by whom he is the father of five children, one son and two daughters now living. Inheriting a healthy and rugged constitution, Mr. Munson has retained much of the vigor and freshness of young manhood by living a temperate life and refusing to be worried over difficulties. Socially he is affable, entertaining and agreeable and an excellent companion. His long association in both branches of the insurance business has brought him into personal acquaintance with more agents, perhaps, than any other man in the business. In 1895 he was president of the Life Underwriters Association of Western New York. In his religious views Mr. Munson is of the Presbyterian faith.

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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