Pages 440-443, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


[IMAGE]
T. P. Mannion

  HISTORY OF BUTLER COUNTY 440 cont'd

T. P. Mannion, the capable and efficient postmaster of El Dorado, Kans., is a Butler county pioneer, coming here when he was a child, one year of age, with his parents. T. P. Mannion was born in Macon City, Mo., March 2, 1866, and is a son of John and Margaret Mannion, natives of County Galway, Ireland. The father came to America in 1848, and the mother in 1849. They were married at St. Louis, Mo., in 1856, and for a few years after their marriage made their home in St. Louis, and the father followed steamboating on the Mississippi river, between New Orleans and as far north as navigation extended, until 1861. He then engaged in farming, near Macon, Mo., until 1867, when he removed to Kansas, and located in Butler county, settling on 160 acres of land, nine miles southwest of El Dorado, in what is now Spring township. He was probably the first man to prove up on his homestead in that township, and an unusual thing about the Mannion homestead, is that it was never mortgaged, nor never on the delinquent tax list, which may be taken as an index to the thrift and industry of John Mannion and his family.

At the time that the Mannion family settled in Butler county, the country was in a wild and unbroken state, and the broad prairies of Butler county seemed to be in about the same condition that the hand


  HISTORY OF BUTLER COUNTY 441

of the Creator had left them. There were still many Indians in this vicinity, and the Mannion family had just cause to fear uprisings of hostile Indians, along the border at that early day. The early day prairie fires, which, now and then, swept over the plains like the wind, was another source of great danger to the early pioneers who settled here about the same time.

The first home of the Mannion family was a pioneer log house, without a floor and with a straw roof, which was on the place when the father bought it. This makeshift of a home, however, was replaced by a more pretentious structure, built of hewed logs and well finished, a few months after the family settled here, and in the early days this residence was one of the best built in that section of the country at that time. About twelve years later a large frame residence was built, which is still standing. It was the scene of many early day social gatherings, such as dances, parties, etc., and some of the early church services were held here. Rev. Father Schurtz conducted services here at an early day. He was one of the pioneer priests of this section and is remembered as a splendid Christian gentleman.

T. P. Mannion has a store of interesting early day reminiscences, which he relates in a most interesting and entertaining manner. He remembers of seeing the Indians roaming over the plains in bands of varying numbers, at different times, and he also recalls the time when hunting parties went just a little west of Butler county on buffalo hunting expeditions, and recalls buffalo having been killed in the vicinity of Wichita. His first trip to Wichita was in 1876, on an occasion when his father and his sister, Kate, and himself drove to Wichita with two loads of corn which they exchanged for seed wheat. Mr. Mannion's first schooling in Butler county was in a log building, without any floor, the school being taught by Rev. Timothy Grow.

When the Mannion family settled in Butler county, Emporia was the nearest trading point of any importance, and the father frequently made the trip there for supplies, and sometimes he would be gone three weeks at a time on one of these trips. On one of these trips, he broke a wagon axle and had to go for miles to get it repaired, which required three days, and a new axle cost him fifteen dollars. We, of the present generation, in view of all modern methods of economizing time and annihilating space, can scarcely conceive of a condition of this kind, yet this is a fact, and such were the conditions which confronted the resolute men and women who laid the foundation for Butler county and the great progress which followed. This is not only true in Butler county but in hundreds of other counties, all over the great West.

John Mannion deserves to be classed as one of the pioneers of Butler county, who did his part nobly and well. He became a successful farmer and stock raiser and during his long career in Butler county he built up a reputation for honesty and integrity that will remain for many years to become a monument to his memory. He believed in


442 HISTORY OF BUTLER COUNTY  

square dealing. He died July 30, 1908, honored and respected by all who knew him. His widow now resides near Augusta, and belongs to that type of noble pioneer women who adapted themselves to the early day pioneer conditions, and furnished the husbands and children with the inspiration, without which the hardships and vicissitudes of those early times would have been unendurable.

John and Margaret Mannion were the parents of the following children: Mrs. Kate Shea, Wichita, Kans.; Mrs. Mary Lipscomb, Spring township; Mrs. Maggie Cody, Spring township; Mrs. Lizzie Armstrong, Spring township; T. P., the subject of this sketch; J. J., Augusta, Kans.; W. H., Lawrence, Kans., and J. C., Spring township.

T. P. Mannion was reared to manhood on the home place in Spring township, and after receiving a very good common school education, took a course in the Southwestern Business College at Wichita, Kans. About the time he completed his course of study, he was employed as a grain buyer for the Peavey Grain Company, with headquarters at Greensburg, Kans., and for three years followed that line of work. In 1894, he returned to the home farm in Spring township, where he was engaged in farming until February 1, 1904, when he came to El Dorado and engaged in the grocery business. He sold this business shortly afterwards and was employed in the insurance business in El Dorado for a time when he engaged in the insurance, real estate and loan business for himself and was successfully engaged in that line of work, to which he devoted his entire time and attention, until April 6, 1915, when he was appointed postmaster by President Wilson. However, Mr. Mannion still owns the insurance, loan and real estate agency which is conducted by his manager, Mr. Williams. Since receiving the appointment as postmaster, Mr. Mannion has been actively engaged in the duties of that office, the constant increasing patronage of which requires vigilent exercise of good business judgment and foresight, to meet the demands of the business. However, Mr. Mannion is equal to the occasion and is always on the job, and El Dorado has a postmaster who is a postmaster in fact, and the office is not a sinecure, like similiar positions are in many places. Mr. Mannion believes in the doctrine that public office is a public trust, and is fulfilling the letter of his belief.

Mr. Mannion was united in marriage February 5, 1896 with Miss Mary Hannon, a daughter of Richard and Mary Hannon, Butler county pioneers. To Mr. and Mrs. Mannion have been born the following children: May M., a graduate of the El Dorado High School and now stenographer in the law office of Kramer & Benson; William R.; Agnes Pauline, and T. P., Jr., all of whom are now attending school.

Mr. Mannion is a Democrat, and since reaching his majority has supported the policies and principles of the Democratic party. He has been active in both State and local politics, and he deserves as much, or more credit, than any other man in Butler county in maintaining the organization of his party in Butler county during some of the gloomy


  HISTORY OF BUTLER COUNTY 443

periods of the past. He is a member of the Catholic church and a member of the board of trustees of the local parish, and has also been a liberal contributor to his church and is entitled to no small amount of credit for the establishment and maintenance of the local Catholic church.


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Pages 440-443, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

tcward@columbus-ks.com


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