William Munroe of Concord and Boston, Massachusetts. Cabinetmaker.

William Munroe was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1778. He was the third son of five children born to Daniel Munroe senior and his wife Abigail Parker. All five boys were raised in Roxbury. The Munroe family is well connected to American History and to the clock trade. Daniel senior’s father, Jedediah Munroe died in the Battle of Lexington, Daniel’s mother, Abigail Parker of Roxbury was the eldest daughter of Jonathan Parker. Jonathan a farmer living in Roxbury was one of the 13 Patriots who participated in the Boston Tea Party. This act of defiance against the British rule and their taxation policies took place on Griffin’s Wharf on December 16, 1773.

It is thought that William had a limited education. At the age of thirteen, he was employed or placed with grandfather Parker to assist him on his farm. William was not a strong boy and disliked manual labor. At the age of fourteen, he was placed with Mr. Millis who was a wheelwright and worked on Roxbury Street. Here, William had a similar experience with hard work and lasted only five months. He then went off to Dorchester to apprentice to Major Stephen Badlam Esqr. Badlam operated a successful cabinetmaking business. William stayed there for two years sawing veneers, turning a lathe and farming. Next, he was employed by a Mr. John Paddleford who was a cabinetmaker located on Roxbury Street. William stayed with him until he was 17.5 years old when Paddleford relocated to Taunton, Massachusetts. William stayed in Roxbury and worked as an apprentice for the cabinetmaker Deacon Nehemiah Munroe. Nehemiah had a good business on the same street. He had a partner in Mr John Clap and they had at least four other apprentices at the time. They included Lemuel Chucrchill, Ephriam Capen, William Viles and Daniel Pierce. William recalls that Nehemiah was a hard person to work for and he stayed with him until he was 21. Here he learned carving and made the best quality furniture. In June of 1800, his brother Daniel convinced him to set up shop in Concord to make clock cases for him. He set up his first shop in Mr. William Heywoods cabinet shop. By July of 1802, it is recorded that he made 52 clock case up to that date. In July, he was taken in as a partner in his brothers business until 1804. After this, he made anything for anybody including clock and timepiece cases, gun stocks, bedsteads, tables, coffins, sideboards, etc. On Sept. 19, 1805, William married Patty Stone the daughter of the architect Captain John Stone. John Stone designed the Charles River Bridge. As the business of making clocks cases began to wind down due to the pressures of mass production in the late 1820’s, William turned to Pencil making. It is here he made a considerable fortune. William dies in Concord on March 6th, 1861.