Office of University Communications
From Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:
Munro, Wilfred H.
Wilfred Harold Munro (1849-1934), professor of history, was born in Bristol, Rhode Island, on August 20, 1849. He attended Mowry and Goff’s English and Classical School and graduated from Brown in 1870. He was captain of the Class of 1870 baseball team which defeated the New England champion Lowells of Boston, 22 to 19, in a game played on June 17, 1868. In later years the members of the team were accustomed to hold reunions at Professor Munro’s home to reminisce about their triumph. A baseball feat of Munro’s, fondly recounted by his brother, Walter Lee Munro 1879 in The Old Back Campus at Brown, took place on the ball field on what is now the Middle Campus, when Wilfred Munro hit a foul fly ball to right field and broke all eight panes of a window in University Hall. After college, Munro taught at De Veaux College in Niagara Falls, was associate principal of St. Mark’s School in Salt Lake City in 1871, spent some time in Central and South America, was principal of the Academic Institute in Le Roy, New York, from 1875 to 1879, and returned to De Veaux College as president from 1881 to 1889. He resumed his study of history at Freiburg and Heidelburg in 1890 and 1891, and in 1891 began his teaching career at Brown as associate professor of history. His title was changed to professor of European history in 1899. His course on European history after 1815 was popular with the students, who called him “Pop” Munro. He was appointed the first director of University Extension in 1890-91, and, as he was traveling in Europe at the time of his appointment, he was able to study methods used in England before he initiated the extension program, which he continued to direct until 1899. He retired from teaching in 1911. He wrote on both European and local history. He was the author of the inscription on the memorial in Plymouth which commemorates the Mayflower passengers who died during the first year in Plymouth. He published History of Bristol, Rhode Island in 1880, Picturesque Rhode Island in 1881, and another history of Bristol, Tales of an Old Seaport in 1917. He was editor of The Works of William H. Prescott, and of two editions of Memorial Encyclopedia of the State of Rhode Island. He died on August 9, 1934 in Providence. In his obituary notice in the Brown Alumni Monthly it was noted:
“Many alumni will recall with affection his elective course, ‘European History After 1815.’ It was a popular course – a little too popular to suit some of Professor Munro’s colleagues. The lectures frequently failed to have anything to do with the wreck that was Europe after Napoleon went to St. Helena, but they were chatty, wise and informing. Professor Munro had been somewhere and had seen things. He liked to talk about his travels and his observations. He had an easy narrative style, which stirred interest and aroused longings. Anyone who failed in his course shouldn’t have been in college, anyway.”
The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright ©1993 by the Brown University Library. It is used here by permission of the author and the University and may not be copied or further distributed without permission.