University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Mordello Stephen Munson Family Papers, 1825-1978

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Munson, Mordello Stephen
Title: Mordello Stephen Munson family papers
Dates: 1825-1978
Abstract: This collection includes the papers of Mordello Stephen Munson (1825-1903), a Brazoria County lawyer, planter, land agent, legislator, and Civil War veteran.
Identification: camh-arc-004252
Extent: 4.46 linear feet
Language: English .
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Mordello Stephen Munson was born on April 24, 1825, in Liberty County, Texas. He married Sarah Armour in 1850 in Brazoria County, Texas, after completing his education at La Grange college in Alabama. He practiced law and ran a 1,500-acre plantation. He also served for a time as the postmaster in Brazoria County. In 1957, he was elected as a representative to the Texas State Legislature. A supporter of slavery, he voted to leave the Union in 1861 and joined the Confederate Army.

During the American Civil War, he served in Waul's Texas Legion as a captain. He was captured in July 1863 during the Siege of Vicksburg. He was later paroled after promising never to take up arms against the United States again but rejoined the Confederate Army in 1864.

After the war, he returned to Brazoria County, where he was re-elected to the State Legislature several times. A supporter of education, Munson played a role in establishing both the University of Texas and Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University.

Munson died on October 13, 1903.

Source: Texas State Historical Association website. Munson, Mordello Stephen, by Stephanie P. Niemeyer.

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the papers of Mordello Stephen Munson (1825-1903), a Brazoria County lawyer, planter, land agent, legislator, and Civil War veteran, as well as the papers of his father, Henry William Munson (1793-1833); his stepfather, James P. Caldwell (1793-1856); his wife, Sarah Kimbrough Armour Munson (1831-1887); his brothers; and his eight children.

Also included are genealogical materials collected by Erma L. Rich, granddaughter of Mordello Munson and longtime custodian of the family papers.

Mordello Munson's personal correspondence contains letters from family members describing life in Brazoria County from the 1840s to the 1890s. His general correspondence with prominent Texans such as Thomas William House, John Adriance, Victor Marion Rose, and members of the Bryan and Perry families deals with his legal, agricultural, financial, and political activities. Munson's financial records consist of purchase receipts, tax receipts, bank statements, and documents relating to cotton and wool sales. Legal records are comprised of land deeds and lawsuit materials.

The papers of Sarah Munson consist of correspondence from family members and diaries written between 1864 and 1886. Papers of Mordello Munson's brothers include the 1831 baptism certificate of William Benjamin Munson (1824-1848) and testimony about the murder of Gerard Brandon Munson (1829-1864).

The papers of Mordello Munson's children contain the certificate of appointment of Henry William Munson II (1851-1924) to the Prairie Rangers in 1880, letters to Walter Bascom (1866-1949) and Milam Stephen Munson (1869-1950) during their attendance at Southwestern University and the University of Texas, Milam Stephen's school compositions and 1888 law exam, and records of the Munson and Munson law firm.


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.

Index Terms

Personal Names
Adriance, John, 1818-1903
House, Thomas William, 1814-1880
Munson, Mordello Stephen
Rose, Victor M., -1893
Family Names
Munson (Family : Brazoria County, Tex.)
Corporate Names
Confederate States of America. Army. Waul's Texas Legion
American Civil War (United States : 1861-1865)
Practice of law
Brazoria County -- Texas

Separated Material

Materials have been separated from the collection. See 3K438 for list of separated items.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Mordello Stephen Munson Family Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

Processed by Briscoe staff. Revised by Laura Grove, April 2020.

OCLC Number


Detailed Description of the Collection


Henry William Munson
3K438 [SRH1230017868] Correspondence, financial, legal, and estate records, 1829-1888
Ann Binum Pearce Munson
3K438 [SRH1230017868] Correspondence, 1825, 1828
William Benjamin Munson
3K438 [SRH1230017868] Baptism certificate, 1831
Diary [typescript only], 1842
Correspondence, 1847
Estate papers, 1848
Mordello Stephen Munson
3K438 [SRH1230017868] Personal correspondence, 1844-1889
3K439 [SRH1230017869] Personal correspondence, 1890-1900
General correspondence, 1844-1879
3K440 [SRH1230017870] General correspondence, 1844-1879
3K441 [SRH1230017871] General correspondence, 1897-1902
Drafts of letters sent, 1875-1894, undated
Financial records, 1843-1903, undated
Legal records, 1834-1892
3K442 [SRH1230017872] Legal records, 1846-1903, undated
Waul's Texas Legion, Assistant Quartermaster's records, 1863-1864
Legislative and political activities, circa 1859-1892
3K443 [SRH1230017873] School compositions and speeches, 1842-1893, undated
Sarah K. Armour Munson
3K443 [SRH1230017873] Correspondence, circa 1850-1887
Diaries, 1864-1886
Gerard Brandon Munson
3K443 [SRH1230017873] Correspondence, 1854-1862
Testimony relating to his death, 1864
George Poindexter and Agnes Davis Munson
3K443 [SRH1230017873] Tax receipts, 1871-1881
Henry William Munson III
3K443 [SRH1230017873] Correspondence, 1874, 1888
Financial records, 1881-1897
Legal records, 1876-1915
Prairie Ranger Resolution, circa 1880
George "Bud" Caldwell Munson
3K443 [SRH1230017873] Correspondence, 1869, undated
Financial records, 1878-1898
Emma Munson Murray
3K443 [SRH1230017873] Correspondence, undated
Sarah "Doll" Munson and Walter Kennedy
3K443 [SRH1230017873] Correspondence, circa 1875, 1893, 1895
Joseph Waddy Munson
3K444 [SRH1230017874] Correspondence, 1869-1888
Financial records, 1905-1912
Hillen Armour Munson
3K444 [SRH1230017874] Financial records, 1894-1900
Walter Bascom Munson
3K444 [SRH1230017874] Correspondence, 1875-1896
Financial and legal records, 1899-1900
Education records, 1884, undated
Milam Stephen Munson
3K444 [SRH1230017874] Correspondence, 1882-1902, 1921-1944, undated
Financial records, 1891-1900, 1933
School compositions (1880) and law exam (1888), circa 1880, 1888
Munson and Munson Law Firm
3K444 [SRH1230017874] Correspondence and finacial records, 1903-1912
Miscellaneous, undated
Other Munson family members, 1857, 1884-1890
James P. Caldwell
3K444 [SRH1230017874] Correspondence, 1838-1857
Financial and legal records, 1836-1856, undated
Robert Milam Caldwell and Thomas William Caldwell
3K445 [SRH1230017875] Correspondence and legal records, 1881-1905
Sarah Waddy Armour Black
3K445 [SRH1230017875] Diary, circa 1860
David K. Armour
3K445 [SRH1230017875] Legal documents, 1865
Genealogical files
3K445 [SRH1230017875] Munson record association, 1884-1953
Erma Rich correspondence and research materials, 1936-1978, undated
Printed materials
3K446 [SRH1230017876] Price-Current newsletters, 1839, 1854
Newspaper clippings, 1889, undated
U. S. House of Representatives documents on Brazos River development, 1888
Programs and invitations, 1884-1889, 1954, undated
Mordello S. Munson Memorial Card, 1903
Business cards, undated
Poetry and other unattributed literary productions, 1873, undated
Greeting cards and miscellaneous notes, 1845-1901, undated
Unpublished family history, "The Munsons of Texas: An American Saga," by Thurmond A. Williamson, 1987
Partial documents and fragments, undated
Non-Munson documents, 1835-1904
Duplicate typescripts of correspondence, 1825-1894
Oversized documents
2.325/V22 [SRH1230002561] Land agreement between Stephen F. Austin and Henry William Munson, 1828
Mordello S. Munson
2.325/V22 [SRH1230002561] Correspondence, 1846
Financial records, 1860-1899
Land grant certificate, 1848-1876
Other certificates, 1883, 1893
Printed items, 1855, 1886
Map of J. B. Bailey Tract, undated
Henry William Munson appointment Prarie Rangers, 1880
James P. Caldwell land grant certificate, 1848
Printed item of Galveston and Brazos Navigation Company, 1850
3Y508 [SRH1230028681] Albuman portraits of Mordello S. Munson, circa 1870, 1880
Unidentified cyanotype portrait of child, undated
Halftone reproduction of unidentified plantation house, undated
Postcard of U. S. capitol, 1943
Pencil sketches of military uniforms, by E. Godchaux, undated
OD1313 Panoramic photograph of group by beach and bathhouses, circa 1905