The Pioneers Whose Lives Are Spared
Written by Andrew L. Brown
Edited and compiled by Elmer Dickson
Kendall County Record, February 14, 1906.
Henry Munson --- Hendrik Monsen Kaldestad, is a native of Voss, Norway. Senator Nelson of Minnesota and many other worthy citizens came from this locality. He was born October 12, 1817, and is therefore 89 years of age. In the summer of 1845 he and his wife landed at New York. They came west by way of the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes to Chicago. From Chicago they came to Big Grove by wagon. They were in Albany, New York, July 4, 1845, waiting for the canal boat and it was there that they got their first idea of firecrackers. Hearing the strange crackling in every direction they wondered whether the devil was not loose in America. They were told he was running loose just once a year. When Mr. Munson came to Big Grove he worked as a farm hand four years for John West Mason. He worked five and a half years for Andrew Kirkland. He must have been a good hand or they would not have kept him so long. Mrs. Munson died in 1859. Her married life reached back about 16 years. On March 19, 1861, Mr. Munson married again. This time he married Miss Mary Lee, whose sister's son is our County Clerk. They have three children, Albert A. Munson of Slater, Iowa, Mrs. Lizzie Reitz of Chicago and Miss Marie B. Munson, cashier in the Newark branch of the Bank of Millington. In those early days when Mr. Munson was tired of working by the month he bought a farm northeast of Lisbon of Mr. Kirkland. That was his home for about 35 years. He has lived at Newark only about 15 years but his age and his worth as a man entitles him to this brief notice.