Munsell, Leander

Born: 1793-02-05 Cincinnati, Ohio

Died: 1862-07-09 Paris, Illinois

Munsell moved to Marietta, Ohio, with his family when he was very young. He later worked in the Kenawha Salt Works before serving in the War of 1812. After the war, he married Hannah See and purchased a farm in Kentucky. Munsell moved soon thereafter due to his opposition to slavery and resettled in Miami County, Ohio, near what is now the town of Fletcher. He won election as sheriff and later as state representative. Munsell moved to Neville around 1828 and purchased a steam mill. In 1832, he moved to Paris, Illinois, and became a merchant. He later opened branch stores throughout the region and purchased a large amount of land. He built the first steam flouring mill in Paris around 1852 and soon became very wealthy due to selling a large portion of his land to the Terre Haute and Alton Railroad. Munsell then retired from active business and became a philanthropist. During the Civil War, he used his money to support the families of Union soldiers until his death in 1862. Politically Munsell was a Whig, and later a Know-Nothing and Republican. He won election to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1840 but lost a bid for the state senate in 1842.

The History of Edgar County, Illinois (Chicago: William Le Baron, Jr., 1879), 584-85.