son of Jacob (1804?-1887) and Fidelia Bettis (1811-1898) McManus
brother to 5: Lucy, Nelson, Henry Clay (1829-1898), Robert A. (1837-?), and Orrin Nathaniel (1841-1923)
On 21 Apr 1880 when Silas Bettes was 34, he married Mary Magdalene HILLEGASS1, daughter of Jacob HILLEGASS & Lucy A..2 Born on 19 Apr 1853 in Huntertown, Allen Co., IN.1 Mary Magdalene died in Le Mars, Plymouth Co., IA, on 30 Jun 1955; she was 102.2 She is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Howe, Lagrange Co., IN.1
father to one: (a daughter=) George Eliot McManus Von Berg
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The Honorable Silas Bettes McManus was the grandson of Revolutionary War Captain Nathaniel Bettes and a Candance Ives of French decent who was an acquaintance of the Marquis de Lafayette.
In 1863 he moved with his father Jacob and family from Summit County, Ohio to Lima (now Howe), Indiana in Lagrange county.
Eventually he took residence at "Marsh Brook Farm" near Lima (Howe) where he lived until his death. He graduated from the medical college in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and studied an additional year at the University of Michigan, though in the end he opted for a career in writing and literature rather than medicine. From 1876 to 1882 he worked as staff with the Fort Wayne Daily Gazette.
As a writer/poet and journalist he also contributed to Puck, the Boston Transcript, the Detroit Free Press, the New York Independent, the Burlington Hawk Eye, and the Ram's Horn.
He also became involved in politics and was elected to the Indiana State Senate and served from 1893 to 1895.
He was a contemporary of James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916) whom he knew. Like J. W. Riley, Silas wrote many of his poems in dialect.
In 1898 Curtis and Jennings of Cincinnati, Ohio published a book of his poems entitled Rural Rhymes. This book was republished in paperback and hardback in 2008. This work is also published on the Internet at various sites. His poetry seems to have taken on a minor revival almost a century after his death a suitable legacy for one who seems to have been a compassionate and caring person.
- Gary Earl McManus, great great nephew
I have a handwritten letter by S. B. McManus, dated 21 Dec 1896 Lima, Indiana, sent to my 3rd great-grandfather Reuben Cole Shaw, thanking him for the gift of Reubens new book ACROSS THE PLAINS IN FORTY-NINE.
Here is the transcription of that letter:
"Lima, Ind Dec. 21, 1896
Mr. R. C. Shaw
Noticing a notice in the Indianapolis Journal of the 18th installment of your book, Across The Plains in 49 I write to ask if you would exchange a copy of it with me for two or three copies my booklet called Papa Fot (written in dialect) "Would You Take For Me" and 9 or 10 other rhymes? It is rather a pretty little affair and sold for 25-40-50 cents per copy. Am endeavoring to make a collecor the works of Indiana authors and would be greatly pleased to have your book. Should you care to exchange, please put your autograph in it. If this does not interest you, do not bother to reply.
I am truly yours - S B McManus
PS The booklet tied with cord or ribbon makes a very pretty little holiday souvenir. SBW3"
- above handwritten letter from Silas to her 3rd great-grandfather (R.C. Shaw) was provided by Marta Jackson Vaillancourt Fort Wayne, IN
Mary Magdalene Hillegass McManus
1853–1955 (m. 1880)
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