The Fay Family: Betsey Fay Munger

Erastus D. Munger
by Sally J. Strickling
Erastus D. Munger was born in Middlebury, New York in 1811. His father is Chester Munger. Erastus' mother is Betsey (Fay) Munger. Chester may have had a brother, Hiram Munger. [We now know that he did in fact have several brothers.] Chester's father and Erastus' Grandfather is Solomon Munger. Chester's mother and Erastus' Grandmother is Anna (Moulton) Munger. Anna Moulton's parents are, Jonathan Moulton and Anna (Flynt) Munger. Erastus' mother, Betsey (Fay) Munger is the daughter of Thomas Fay and Ester (Chappell) Fay.
In 1830, Erastus' father, Chester, was living in Genessee Co., Attica when Erastus was 19 years old. There was a William Brotherton living in Genessee Co. in Middlebury. This is about the time that Erastus and Jemima Brotherton were married.
Erastus and Jemima had the following children:
In 1833, Betsey Jane Munger
In 1834, Adelia Munger
In 1838, Erastus' father Chester died in Attica, New York. Erastus' father had a will dated Sept. 1838, listing his wife, Betsey (Fay) Munger, as his heir. There was a search for any brothers or sisters of Chester's, but there was not any other claim. The will does not list Chester's children.
In 1839, another daughter is born, Susan Munger
In 1840, a son William Munger
In 1842, Merritt Munger is born in Batavia, N.Y. Died Nov. 17, 1905, in Ionia Co.
Also in that year, 1842, on May 30, or Sept. of 1843, Erastus' mother, Betsey (Fay) Munger, sold the 136 acre property in Attica, New York to Rowell Gardner. This was in Wyoming Co., established from Genesse Co.
In Sept. of 1843, Erastus' mother moved in with the family.
In the census for Genesse Co., village of Oakdale/Oakfield in New York, 1850: Erastus is a farmer, his wife Jemima is there, the children:
Betsey Jane Munger, age 17 sometime later married Gilbert McCord
Adelia Munger, age 16 sometime later married Stephen Showerman
Susan Munger, age 11 sometime later married Joseph Curtis
William Munger, age 10 sometime later married Susan Ward
Merritt Munger, age 8 sometime later married 1.(?)2. Florence Smith
Living with them is an elderly woman, Betsey Munger, age 68, stated born in Mass.
In Oct. of 1853, Adelia married Stephen Showerman. Stephen was born Dec. 31, 1819 in Deerfield, Madison Co., New York. Adelia was 19. Stephen was 34. Adelia and Stephen moved/returned to St. Joseph Co. MI. Stephen was a well-to-do farmer. Adelia gave birth to a son, Seymour Showerman and became ill. Her sister, Betsey Jane, moved to MI to help her sister.
Sometime between 1853 and 1860, Erastus moved with his family to (first I think) to Calhoun Co., Burlington Twp, MI, dwelling 2031, family #1884. Erastus, age 40?, wife Jemima 50, at home is William 20 and Merritt 17. Since Erastus' mother, Betsey (Fay) Munger is not listed, she may have died in New York before the move.
In 1856, Adelia (Munger) Showerman died. I do not know the date. Her son, Seymour could not have been more than 3 yrs. old. I do not know where Seymour went after this, he may have stayed with his father. In June of the same year, Betsey Jane Munger married Gilbert McCord, who was living in Burr Oak, St. Joseph Co., MI. Gilbert McCord was born in New York.
I am confused in the dates all this happened next, so I will write it as I have it.
Sometime Erastus and Jemima purchased land in Ionia Co MI. On Feb. 25, 1864, they sold their property in Ionia to their son William, then paid him cash to lease it from him to use and occupy for as long as they lived.
On Feb. 29, 1864, Merritt Munger enlisted in the Civil War and was mustered at Grand Rapids, MI. He served in Co. A, 21st Regiment, MI volunteers.
On Mar. 30, 1864, Erastus enlisted in the Civil War in Easton Twp., Ionia. He was mustered April 14, 1864 at St. Johns, MI. In the 2nd MI, unassigned/in the 27th Regiment of the MI Volunteers, assigned to the 9th Army Corps. Erastus said his age was 44, not 55, so he could serve.
On May 31, 1864 William Munger married Susan Ward. They had two children, William and Lily.
In May of 1865, Erastus was wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia. He was either struck by a shell or the tongue of an artillery wagon. He was discharged at Harpers General Hospital in Detroit and sent home.
In July or August of 1885 [sic], Merritt Munger was wounded in Chattanooga, TN, suffering a rupture. Merritt was discharged at Louisville, KY.
On Nov. 16, 1866, Erastus' wife, Jemima (Brotherton) Munger died in Burlington, Calhoun Co MI. Since this is where they lived before, maybe they didn't move to Ionia Co. only purchased the land for William to live on. Jemima has a gravesite in Burr Oak, MI, the Sanbourne Cemetery, lot 32.
On Jan. 6, 1867, when Erastus D. Munger was 56 yrs old, he married Adeline (Fitch, wd. name) in Ionia Co. Adeline's husband had died in California. Adeline had two children from the fist [sic] marriage, a daughter Theodora, 13 and a son William 11.
At some time Merritt Munger marries, I do not know who to. Merritt has two children, Daniel and Mary Munger. Merritt marries again, but not until after the death of Erastus. The children of the 2nd marriage to Florance Smith on Jan. 1, 1891 are: Robert, Roy, Martha, Luella and Ruth. Florance was born in West Virginia, June 14, 1868. Her parents are Robert Smith and Ellen (Crum) Smith.
Also, at some time, William Munger moved to Seattle, Washington. I have no details on who he went with.
In 1870, Erastus and his new family lived in Danby Twp., Ionia Co. In that year they decided to move west. They packed their belongings and went by covered wagon to Leavenworth/Wichita Kansas. On Mar. 8, 1872, Erastus filed a land claim for 160 acres, paying an $18.00 filing fee at the Wichita Land office. The property was in Marion Co., East Branch Twp., #21, section 20. His certificate was #2508.
In the next 5 yrs, he built a small house, planted 150 fruit trees, 400 forest trees, 2 1/2 miles of hedge and put down 2 wells. Erastus received his land grant July 26, 1877, signed by D. D. Love, Sec. recorded Vol. 3, page 47, General Land Office.
On Mar. 22, 1876, Erastus paid $8 to the land office as final payment for the homestead, certificate # 1012. Total improvements of $600. His witnesses were John Knox and William Fitch. William being, Adeline's son, having a farm near by.
Erastus had returned to MI and brought his grandson, Charles Erastus Mccord, son of his daughter Betsey Jane (Munger) McCord and Gilbert McCord back with him to Kansas to help with the improvements.
In the 1880 census for Marion Co., Kansas, it lists: Erastus Munger 69, wife Adeline 64, living in Branch Twp., dwelling 97, family # 102. Living with them, grandson, Charles McCord 12.
Erastus returned to Ionia, MI late in 1880 or 1881 with his grandson to return him home. Erastus returned to Kansas.
Back in Michigan, a Joel Munger lived in Ionia Co, practically as neighbors are Joseph Curtis, Merritt Munger, Merritt McCord, and Gilbert McCord (probably Gilbert Jr.) Merritt McCord had bought Betsey Jane (Munger) McCord's property for $400.00.
Erastus had been in ill health for some time.
I have had a strange thing happen to me and cannot leave it out of this bio. After compiling all my notes on Erastus, I went back searching for a story I wanted to include. I was sure it had been in Irene (Speckin) Taylor's writings. It wasn't anywhere. I contacted her sister Trina Taylor, who has her sister's notes and she said she never heard the story. I phoned my daughter, Jaime Murray, who has a great deal of info on the family tree. She never heard the story either. I contacted Len Rizor who did a bio on Erastus Munger in "Family Histories of Ionia County Michigan". He never heard the story. I always hard copy all info that comes to me, so I haven't any idea why I think this. I have posted on the Marion Co., Kansas Roots Web board looking for someone who is willing to search the Peabody Gazette 1881-1882 for this story, to see if it did happen.
This is the story.
Erastus was stabbed in the hand by an Italian peddler. The wound never healed properly and his health deteriorated. Some men went out on horse back looking for the peddler. They were wanting to hang him when they found him, but I think they brought him back in to stand trial for the crime. End of story.
In 1882, Erastus sold his land and moved into the town of Peabody. He died 3 mos. later on Jan. 24/25, 1883 at 72 yrs. of age. Erastus' obituary from the Peabody Gazette, 1883, "Mr. E. Munger, an old resident of this place, who has been sick probably a year, died yesterday morning about 2 o'clock. The funeral takes place to-day in the Warehan neighborhood."
The contract was given to the Lee Marble Works, in Mar. of 1902 for Erastus' headstone. His gravesite is in the Prairie Lawn Cemetery, section 27, in a plot for veterans of the Civil War, in Peabody, Kansas, just NE of Peabody.
Gravesites for William Fitch, his wife and a headstone that just says mother, which is probably Adeline, are there also.
November 2004