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Biographical Record of Linn County, 1901, pp.968-72

Among the energetic business men of Cedar Rapids none are more deserving of representation in this volume than Theodore C. Munger, who as a pump manufacturer has been prominently identified with the industrial interests of the city since the spring of 1881. Keen discrimination, unflagging industry and resolute purpose are numbered among his salient characteristics, and thus he has won that prosperity which is the merited reward of honest effort. His home is at No. 226 First avenue, west.

Mr. Munger was born in Oneida county, New York, September 4, 1839, and is a son of Theodore H. Munger, whose birth occurred in the same county, in 1815, the grandfather, Reuben Munger, being a pioneer of that locality. His great-grandfather was born in Massachusetts of English parentage, and was one of the first settlers of Oneida county, New York. The family was represented in the Revolutionary war, one of the ancestors of our subject having taken part in the battle of Lexington. On reaching manhood Theodore H. Munger engaged in merchandising in his native county, at what is now Deansboro, and there married Miss Emeline F. Hanchett, who was also born there, her father being also one of its early settlers. She died in New York in 1843, but he subsequently married again. In 1845 he removed to Illinois by way of the Great Lakes, and crossed that state to Peoria county in what was known as a prairie schooner. Subsequently he took up his residence in Fulton county, Illinois, where he put in operation an oil and sawmill, and was engaged in the manufacture of lumber for a time. In 1852 he went overland to California, and was engaged in mining there at the time of his death in 1854.

Theodore C. Munger, our subject, was about six years of age when the family removed to Illinois, and he grew to manhood in Peoria. and Fulton counties, receiving but limited school advantages. After his father's death he returned to New York and attended school in Clinton for a time, after which he engaged in teaching in Fulton county, Illinois, in 1858. 1859 and 1860.

On the inauguration of the Civil war in 1861, Mr. Munger responded to the president's first call for troops, but as the quota for the state was full the company was not accepted. Later he enlisted for three years as a private in Company C, Seventeenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, which regiment was assigned to the Army of the Tennessee. His first engagement was at Fredericksburg, Missouri, which was followed by the battles of Fort Donelson, Hatcher's Run, Inka, the siege of Vicksburg and the battle of Yazoo. On the 22nd of May, 1863, he and a comrade, Chauncey I Callaway, captured three prisoners who were fully armed with loaded muskets and were hiding under a brush heap, which they supposed was surrounded by the Union forces. This was during the storming of Vicksburg, when Mr. Munger and his companion were on the skirmish line. Under the command of General John A. Logan his regiment was the first to march into Vicksburg. On the expiration of his term of enlistment our subject was honorably discharged at Springfield, Illinois, in June, 1864, with the rank of sergeant.

On leaving the army Mr. Munger engaged in farming in Fulton county, Illinois, for two years, and then became interested in the agricultural implement business in La Harpe, where he remained until 1878. He was a traveling salesman a part of this time. In 1879 and 1880 he engaged in the manufacture of wooden pumps at La Harpe. Coming to Cedar Rapids in, 1881 he formed a partnership with James LaTourette, who was engaged in the manufacture of pumps at St. Louis, Missouri, and the year previous had established a branch here. In 1885 a stock company was formed with Mr. LaTourette as president; Mr. Munger as secretary and treasurer; and L. M. Rich, who is represented elsewhere in this volume, superintendent; these three gentlemen being the stockholders. They have enlarged the plant, and now furnish employment to sixty men. They manufacture pumps, piping and tubing, and have built up an excellent trade, which extends throughout several states. Mr. Munger has devoted his entire time and energies to this industry, and not a little-of its success is due to his able management, good business ability and sound judgment. The business having grown largely, in 1885 it was deemed advisable to erect a factory. A brick structure was built, 100x100 feet, two stories in height, on G avenue and Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, well equipped throughout and furnished with steam power. The capital stock of the company was first twenty-five thousand dollars, but this was increased from time to time until it is now one hundred thousand dollars. Since its organization, Mr. Munger has been president of the Cedar Rapids Building and Loan Association. He is a stockholder and director of the Citizens National Bank and the American Trust & Savings Bank, and was one of the organizers of both institutions. Also president of the Butter Company (Indiana),, engaged in the manufacture of windmills and bicycles.

On the 17th of October, 1877, Mr. Munger was married in Hancock county, Illinois, to Miss Grace Breed, a native of Fulton county, that state, and a daughter of Amos and, Mary (Flower) Breed, who were married in Illinois. Her father was born in Connecticut, and in 1833 removed to the Prairie state, becoming one of the first settlers of Fulton county. He was a son of Jonas Breed, a native of Stonington, Connecticut. The family to which he belonged was of English origin and, was founded in America in 1630. His ancestors first located, in Massachusetts, and were among those who fought for the independence of the colonies in the Revolutionary war, taking part in the battle of Bunker Hill, the engagement being on Breed's Hill, which was on the family estate. At an early day some of the family settled in Connecticut. From Fulton county Mrs. Munger's father removed to Hancock county, Illinois, and is still living in La Harpe. Her mother died there in 1891, and Mr. Breed has since married. Our Subject and his wife have nine children, namely: Alice, who, is now teaching in the schools of Cedar Rapids; Ruth and Mary, both at home; Bessie, Grant B., John M., James La T. and Clara Belle, all in school; and Winifred.

Mr. Munger has never failed in his allegiance to the Republican party since he cast his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and for two years, he acceptably served as alderman of Cedar Rapids, during which time he was active and successful in securing the present electric street car system with its west side extension, but has never cared for political honors. He and his wife hold membership in the Universalist Church, and he also belongs to T. Z. Cook Post, Grand Army of the Republic, of Cedar Rapids. He is a man of excellent business and executive ability, whose sound judgment, unflagging enterprise and capable management have brought him well-merited success. In manner he is pleasant and cordial, which, combined with his sterling worth, makes him one of the popular citizens of his county.

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