Munson, Thomas Volney (CAB03)

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MUNSON, Thomas Volney, viticulturist, was born near Astoria, Ill., Sept. 26, 1813; son of William and Maria (Linley) Munson, and grandson of Theodore and Lydia (Philbrook) Munson and of Joseph and Savella (Benjamin) Linley. Theodore Munson was the son of Richard Manson, the son of John Manson, Jr., the son of John Manson. Sr., the son of Capt. Richard Manson, who was a Scotch sea captain, of a titled Scotch family, and who settled in Portsmouth, N. H. about 1661. The name became changed in spelling in the family of Richard Manson, his great-grand-father. Thomas Volney Munson was brought up on a farm, attended Futton seminary and Bryant & Stratton's business college, taught school in Illinois three years, was graduated from Kentucky university, B. S., 1870, and filled the chair of science there, 1870-71. He was married in 1870 to Ellen Scott, daughter of C. S. Bell, florist, Lexington, Ky. He resided in Lincoln, Neb., 1873-76, and then settled in Denison, Texas, as a nurseryman and originator of improved fruits, especially grapes. He received the degree of M. Sc. from the State Agricultural and Mechanical college, Ky. in 1883 for a thesis on "Forests and Trees of Texas," and in 1888 be received a diploma and decorations of the Legion of Honor, with the title "Chevalier du Mérite Agricole," for aid to France in viticulture. He became known for his careful botanical classification and hybridization of grapes of which he produced many hundreds of much merit. He was elected a memer of the leading American agricultural, horticultural and pomological societies; of the American Academy of Social and Political Science, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the National Agricultural association of France. He is the author of: Grape Culture in the South and Horticulture in Texas in "Cyclopædia of American Horticulture"; "Bulletin 56" on Investigation and Improvement of American Grapes, Texas experimental station (1900); a monograph American Grapes, with natural size color plates of all native species for the department of agriculture (1889) and numerous articles on horticultural subjects for leading agricultural journals in the United States and France.