ROBERT J. MUNCE, M.D., a leading farmer and retired physician of North Strabane township, was born July 4, 1824, in South Strabane township, Washington Co., Penn. His grandfather, Thomas Munce, was a native of County Down, Ireland, where he was married and had the following named children: Robert, Joseph, Thomas, John, Samuel, and Mattie (Mrs. John Manown). In 1804 he immigrated with his family to the United States, landing at New Castle, Del., whence they at once proceeded to South Strabane township, this county, where they settled on a piece of land on which the grandfather passed the rest of his life.
Robert Munce, father of Dr. Munce, was educated in County Down, Ireland, and was reared to agricultural pursuits. He was married in Ireland to Mary, daughter of William Quail, and in 1804 immigrated to this country with the rest of his fatherís family, making a settlement on the farm in South Strabane township, this county, where, after rearing a family of children, he peacefully passed from earth. The mother died in 1856, and they sleep side by side in the cemetery at Washington borough. They were members of the Chartiers Presbyterian Church, and in politics Mr. Munce was an active Democrat. He was a successful farmer and stock raiser. The children born to this honored pioneer couple were Sarah (Mrs. William Morrison, deceased), Mary A. (Mrs. William Andrews, deceased), Margaret (deceased), Jane (Mrs. Robert Carron), Catherine (Mrs. John McLain), Thomas (deceased), William J. and Robert J.
Dr. Robert J. Munce received his primary education at the log school house of the locality of his birth, and as soon as he was old enough commenced to work on his fatherís farm, his chief occupation at first being to thresh the grain. Everything was of a very primitive nature, both inside and outside the old log cabin, and "homespun" was the material from which most of the clothing was made, while boots were looked upon as articles suggestive of extravagance in the extreme. In the spring of 1842 he entered Washington College, Washington, Penn., attending and teaching school alternately until September, 1847, when he graduated in a class of thirty-three, one of the number being the late Hon. James G. Blaine. In April, 1853, Dr. Munce married Mary Ann, daughter of Lewis Reighard, of Richland county, Ohio, and the young couple took up their residence in Henry county, Iowa, where they remained some five years, at the end of which time they returned to North Strabane township. Dr. Munce then purchased his present farm, which, by assiduous labor, he has brought to its present fertile condition. Our subject had studied medicine under the preceptorship of Dr. Stevens, of Washington, with whom he remained three years, and later took a course at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia. He first practiced in Richland county, Ohio, whence he moved to Henry county, Iowa, where he continued to practice, but his health failing he returned to this county, as already related. The children born to Dr. and Mrs. Munce are: Thomas, Robert, George, William, Anna, Maggie (Mrs. Park Weaver), Phoebe (wife of Rev. J. L. Thome), and Lizzie and Emma, who reside at home. The family are members of the Hill Presbyterian Church, of which the Doctor is a liberal supporter. He is a stanch Republican, and has served as a member of the school board several years. Dr. Munce has prospered in his farming, and is now the owner of 475 acres of as fine land as there is in the county.
Text taken from page 653 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed May 1997 by Laura M. Thomas of Enfield, CT as part of the Beers Project.
Published May 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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