William H. Manser

WILLIAM H. MANSER, M. D., has that splendid satisfaction which comes to the man who found himself in a congenial vocation early in life and has steadily broadened and improved his service and capacity for doing good. Dr. Manser is now the oldest physician in point of continuous service at Burden, where he has practiced thirty-three years.

Though of New England ancestry, the Mansers having located in Massachusetts in Colonial times, Dr. Manser is a native of old Virginia, born at Beckley in what was then simply Western Virginia and as a result of the Civil war became the State of West Virginia. Dr. Manser was born there March 29, 1859. His grandfather, Jared Manser, was born in Massachusetts in 1790, spent all his life in the Bay State, and died at Monterey in 1883. He was a hatter by trade and also followed farming. He married Laura Garfield, who was born in Massachusetts and died at Monterey in that state.

John Garfield Manser, father of Dr. Manser, was born at Monterey in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, in 1821. He was reared in his native locality, and when a young man went to Mercer County, Virginia, where he married. In 1851 he graduated M. D. from the Medical College of Ohio, and gave the rest of his active career of more than thirty years to the practice of medicine, chiefly in Mercer County, Virginia, and West Virginia. In 1884 he retired from practice and came to live with his son in Burden, where he died in 1885 He was on the southern side during the war between the states, and served as assistant surgeon of the Fifty-first Virginia Regiment in the Confederate army, but subsequently was detached from the army and detailed to a more important service in looking after the needs of his home people in Mercer County. He was a democrat, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and from early manhood was a loyal and consistent Mason. He married Virginia Pack, who was born in Mercer County, Virginia, in 1825, and died at Burden, Kansas, in 1889. Their children were: Araminta G., who lives at Burden, Kansas, widow of George H. Prince, who spent his active life as a merchant; Dr. William H.; Mary R., who lives at Burden with her brother; John A., a resident of Burden and a dentist; and Virginia Lee, wife of A. B. Woods, a hardware merchant at Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Dr. Manser grew up in West Virginia, attended public schools there, though such schools were of poor quality during the period of the war, and afterward was a student in the Concord Normal school of West Virginia. He pursued his medical studies in the same college his father had attended, the Medical College of Ohio at Cincinnati, where he was graduated M. D. in 1884. He has spared no effort to keep himself in touch with the advancing progress of medical knowledge, and in 1889 he finished a post-graduate course in the Kansas City Medical College and in 1898 was a student in the Post-graduate School and Hospital of Chicago.

Dr. Manser began practice at Burden, Kansas, in 1884, and none of his early contemporaries are still in the profession in the vicinity. He is both a physician and surgeon and has always had a large practice. Dr. Manser, having never married, has given all his time either to his profession or his business affairs and is one of the prosperous men of Kansas. He owns five farms in the vicinity of Burden, aggregating seven hundred and twenty acres, and has a residence on Main Street which was built in 1884. Dr. Manser is a member of the County and State Medical societies and the American Medical Association, and has long been prominent in Masonry. He is past master and has filled the chair of worshipful master at least nine terms in Clinton Lodge No. 233, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, at Burden. He also belongs to Winfield Chapter No. 31, Royal Accepted Masons, Winfield Commandery No. 15, Knights Templar, Wichita Consistory No. 2 of the Scottish Rite, Isis Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Selina, and also belongs to Winfield Lodge No. 732 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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