Kansas History and Heritage Project- Marshall County

Marshall County Biographies


In the memorial annals of St. Bridget township, this county, there is no name held in better remembrance than that of the late Ross Manly, who had been a resident of that township since the days of his boyhood and who became one of the best-known and most substantial farmers of the Summerfield neighborhood, leaving to his widow and children, at the time of his death in 1901, not only the inestimable heritage of a good name, but a comfortable home and a fine bit of farm property in St. Bridget township, where the family still make their residence.

Ross Manly was a native of Ohio, born on a farm in Harrison county, that state, May 5, 1860, son of Beveridge and Sidney (Stephens) Manly, natives of that same state, the former born on July 14, 1819, and the latter, September 1, 1824, who became pioneers of Marshall county and here spent their last days.

Beveridge Manly was a farmer in his native state and along in the middle seventies became attracted to the possibilities awaiting the earnest homestead farmer in Kansas. He came out here with his family and settled in the northeastern part of Marshall county, in that portion of what then was Guittard township now comprised in St. Bridget township, and became a well-to-do landowner, the proprietor of a fine farm of more than seven hundred acres, on which he engaged extensively in cattle raising, in addition to his general farming operations. His wife died on the home farm on January 2, 1892, and he survived her until 1907. They were married on March 4, 1846, and were the parents of seven children, of whom the subject of this memorial sketch was the fourth in order of birth, the others being as follow: Allen, who lives in Barber county, this state; Robert, a resident of Axtell; James, who died at his home in St. Bridget township; Rachel Ann, widow of J. Gallagher, living at Boise, Idaho; Mrs. Josephine Jennings, deceased, and Lucy, who married Walter Smith and is now deceased.

Ross Manly was still a boy in his teens when his parents came to this county and he grew to manhood on the home farm in St. Bridget township, completing his schooling in the schools of that neighborhood, and remained at home until his marriage, when be bought a partly-improved farm of eighty acres in section 17 of St. Bridget township, where he lived until after the death of his mother in 1892, when he bought an additional eighty, the west half of the northwest quarter of section 17 of that same township, and there established his home, his father thereafter making his home with him. Ross Manly was a good farmer and in addition to his general farming gave considerable attention to the raising of high-grade live stock and did very well, coming to be regarded as one of the most substantial and progressive farmers in that part of the county, and owning at the time of his death on May, 2, 1901, a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, on which he had erected a comfortable and attractive dwelling and which he had improved in excellent fashion. He was a Democrat and had ever given a good citizen's attention to local political affairs, but had never been included in the office-seeking class.

Ross Manly was united in marriage to Margaret Coughlin, who was born in St. Bridget township, this county, November 1, 1863, daughter of John and Honora (Rodgers) Coughlin, natives of Ireland, who were married in Kentucky and who came to Kansas in 1858, settling in St. Bridget township, this county, where they built a log cabin and made their home, thus having been among the very earliest settlers in Marshall county. In that pioneer log cabin five of the nine Coughlin children were born. Of these children Mrs. Manly was the third in order of birth, the others being as follows: Mary, who married Robert Manly, of Axtell; Catherine, who married W. Bowers and is living in Illinois; Anna, who married B. Gallagher, of Stockton, this state; John, who died when five years of age ; Joseph, a well-known farmer of St. Bridget township; Bernard, of Axtell; Jennie, deceased, and Alice, who is living at Summerfield with her widowed mother.

To Ross and Margaret (Coughlin) Manly three children were born, Alfred R., Earl and Roy, all of whom are at home with their mother. Mrs. Manly is a member of the Catholic church, as was her husband, and their children have been reared in that faith, the family ever taking an earnest interest in parish affairs and in all neighborhood good works. Mrs. Manly is the owner of a quarter of a section of land surrounding her home and she and her family are very pleasantly and very comfortably situated.

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This website created July 4, 2011 by Sheryl McClure.
2011 Kansas History and Heritage Project