1843–1915

Born: Ju­ly 12, 1843, Monk­ton, Ver­mont.

Died: No­vem­ber 5, 1915, Jack­son­ville, Il­li­nois.

Buried: Oak Ridge Ce­me­te­ry, Spring­field, Il­li­nois (not far from the tomb of Am­er­i­can pre­si­dent Ab­ra­ham Lin­coln).

portrait

Eva was the daugh­ter of Will­iam C. Mun­son, a well-known ed­u­cat­or and mu­si­cian, and wife of drug­gist George Clin­ton Smith (mar­ried 1869).

Munson’s first school com­po­si­tion, writ­ten at age se­ven, was a rhyme. When she gra­du­at­ed from the Rock­ford Fe­male Se­mi­na­ry, she wrote both the words and mu­sic of the class song.

She did a great deal of writ­ing for var­i­ous news­pa­pers, con­trib­ut­ing sev­er­al years to the Il­li­nois State Jour­nal, and for two de­cades to the Il­li­nois State Re­gis­ter.

The Wo­man’s Ma­ga­zine for Ap­ril 1888 said of her: “She sang be­fore she could talk, warb­ling lit­tle me­lo­dies of her own, like a hap­py bird. Song was her na­tur­al ex­pres­sion, and when on­ly five years of age, she com­posed lit­tle airs which she played her­self up­on the pi­a­no.

None were writ­ten un­til she was four­teen, but her spe­cial gift was de­vel­op­ing un­der most fa­vor­a­ble cir­cum­stanc­es.

The pre­si­dent of Ma­ry-Sharp Col­lege, Win­ches­ter, Ten­nes­see, said in the Win­ches­ter Home Jour­nal: Years ago there lived among us a young girl, a pu­pil of the Ma­ry-Sharp Col­lege, Miss Eva F. Mun­son, whose ex­qui­site sing­ing carried a thrill of de­light through the ears of those who list­ened to it.

Again from the Wo­man’s Ma­ga­zine: “In 1868, Eva Mun­son set to mu­sic Mrs. Hen­ry’s beau­ti­ful song of ‘Joy.’ This was fol­lowed by ‘Wood­land Warb­lings’ which pri­ma don­nas ren­der at con­certs to the de­light al­ways of their au­di­enc­es.

“The breath of the leaves, the birds, the breeze, the shim­mer of soft sun­lit air, the charm of fern and wild-wood flow­er, are in these ‘Warb­lings.’

Lat­er pub­li­ca­tions are Am­er­i­can Ri­fle-Team March, and The Home So­na­ta, pub­lished in St. Lou­is in 1877.

Mun­son served as mu­sic chair­man for the Wo­men’s Chris­tian Tem­per­ance Un­ion for two years.

Her works in­clude:

  1. Persia