Woman of the Century/Eva Munson Smith
SMITH, Mrs. Eva Munson, poet and composer, born in Monkton, Vt , 12th July, 1843. She is a daughter of William Chandler Munson and Hannah Bailey Munson. Her parents came of Puritan stock. Her father was descended from Capt. Thomas Munson, who was born in England in 1612 and came to the Colonies in 1639. He settled first in Hartford, Conn., and afterwards removed to New Haven, Conn. Her mother is a direct descendant of Hannah Bailey, of Revolutionary fame, who tore up her flannel petticoat to make wadding for the guns in battle. Eva Munson received a good education in the Mary Sharp College. Winchester. Tenn. Her family removed to Rockford, Ill., where her father died in 1867. She was graduated in 1864 in the female seminary in Rockford, and, being thrown upon her own resources after his death, she made good use of her attainments. She removed to Nebraska City. Neb., where she had full charge of the musical department of Otoe University. She there became the wife of George Clinton Smith. Her musical and poetical gifts appeared in her childhood, and she was, while yet a girl, a proficient musician, a fine singer and a writer of meritorious verse. EVA MUNSON SMITH. At the age of five years she composed little airs, and at fourteen she wrote her musical compositions in form for publication and preservation. She united early with the church, and her musical gifts were turned into the religious channel. She sang in church choirs, and she early observed that many of the choicest musical productions are the work of women. She decided to make a collection of the sacred compositions of women, and the result is her famous compilation, "Woman in Sacred Song" (Boston, 1885). The second edition, published in 1887, contains poetry written by eight-hundred-thirty women, and one-hundred-fifty musical compositions by fifty different women. The work is now known throughout the civilized world. Mrs. Smith has composed many popular pieces Her "Joy" was published in 1868. Among her best known productions are "'Woodland Warblings," "Home Sonata," "American Rifle Team March," and "I Will Not Leave You Comfortless." Her latest is a setting to music for voice and piano of Lincoln's favorite poem, "Oh, Why Should the Spirit of Mortal Be Proud?" She is now living in Springfield, Ill., and her home is the resort of a large circle of temperance and religious workers, and musical, literary and patriotic persons. She is in sympathy with missionary and all moral and patriotic movements, and for two years, during 1890 and 1891, was the president of Stephenson Woman's Relief Corps, No. 17, which position she filled with untiring zeal and satisfaction to all.