|William B. Munson|
William Benjamin Munson was born near Astoria in Fulton County, Illinois on January 7, 1845 or 1846. His parents were William and Maria (Linley) Munson. William Munson was a native of New Hampshire and Maria a native of Maysville in Mason County, Kentucky. William Munson’s early years were spent on a farm but he wanted more education than the county schools offered and he decided to work his way through college. In 1865, William and his brother, Thomas Volney Munson enrolled in the Kentucky Agricultural and Mechanical College. While students, the brothers boarded together; they did their own cooking and cleaning to save money as they each lived on one dollar per week. They both did manual labor, earning twenty cents an hour. In 1869, William Benjamin Munson earned a Bachelor of Science and became A&M’s first graduate (his brother was the second).
After graduation William Munson worked as a civil engineer with the railroad. He later practiced law and eventually moved into real estate. Munson organized and was President of the Denison & Washita Valley Railroad Company, and also organized the Southwestern Coal & Improvement Company.
In 1876, Munson married Ellen Newton in Sherman, Texas and they had six children. There is a profile of William Benjamin Munson in the October 1915 and 1929 Kentucky Alumnus.