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).
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: