Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
HIRAM McMANIS a retired farmer
and present mayor of the town of Wilbur, was born January 22, 1835, in
Brown county, Ohio. His father was Joseph McManis, a native of Pennsylvania,
and the son of Charles McManis who was a patriot soldier serving throughout
the Revolutionary war. The subject's mother was Jane (Donaldson)
Early in life Mr. McManis learned the cooper's
trade, though he never followed it to any material extent. He emigrated
to Marshal county, Illinois, in 1854, where he remained until May, 1861,
when he enlisted as a private in Company G, Seventeenth Illinois Infantry
and went to the front with his command. He was mustered out of service
June 26, 1864, having served continuously during this time. During
his service he was in the ranks commanded at different times by Generals
McPherson, Logan, and Grant, and was in the thickest of many of the great
battles of the war, including Fort Donelson, Pittsburg Landing, and the
forty-five days siege of Vicksburg, as well as innumerable lesser fights
and skirmishes. He was so fortunate as never to have been wounded,
although on divers occasions his uniform was pierced by bullets.
After the war he returned to Illinois.
He had accumulated a comfortable fortune before joining the army, but through
the ravages of war it was for the most part lost to him, so that he practically
had his life to begin over again.
Mr. McManis was married to Rachel Owen, July
4, 1867. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Owen, and was
born in Greene county, Pennsylvania, 1844. As a result of this union
four children have been born; Jesse G., Harry A., both of whom are now
dead; Nellie, wife of Fred Wolverston, living near Wilbur; and Nettie M.,
wife of Richard Drake, also of near Wilbur.
In 1871 Mr. McManis disposed of his interests
in Illinois to remove to and engaged in farming in Montgomery county, Iowa.
Twelve years later he came to the Big Bend, taking a homestead on Wilson
creek, about fifty-six miles from Sprague, then his nearest trading point.
He first embarked upon the business of stock raising, but he suffered so
extensively from losses during the severe winter of 1889-90 that he abandoned
this business for that of farming, in which he has been eminently successful.
Having sold his Wilson creek property, he now owns three hundred and twenty
acres of choice land eight miles northwest of Wilbur, all under cultivation
and well improved, besides five lots and a beautiful home in Wilbur.
He is now living a life of retirement.
Mr. McManis is one of the foremost G. A. R.
men of eastern Washington, having been a member of the order for several
years, and is now in his second term as commander of his post, R. L. McCook
Post, No. 39.