The Manker Pioneer Families

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The last of Abraham Scholl's eighteen children died in Pike county 44 years ago; this latest surviving child being Matilda, wife of William Howerton Wilson who died December 3, 1892, at the age of 81, and is buried in Wilson family cemetery in Fairmount near the Pike-Brown county line. Born in Clark county, Kentucky, not far from Boone's Fort, in 1811, she was 14 when the Scholl emigrants crossed the Illinois river into Pike county at the old Philips Ferry in 1825.

Of Abraham Scholl's many grandchildren, only three now (October, 1936) survive. They are: Mrs. Annie Scholl King, widow of the late Michael R. King and daughter of Abraham Scholl's son Peter, who resides in Mt. Sterling, county seat of Brown county, Illinois, at the age of 76; Mrs. Minnie Scholl Robison, wife of James Robison and also a daughter of Abraham's son Peter, who resides at 5595 Waterman Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri, aged 72; and Abram (William) B. Gibbs, son of Abraham Scholl's daughter Elizabeth, who resides in Curryville, Missouri, aged 82.

A fourth grandchild of Abraham Scholl died within the present year (1936) at the age of 88. This was Mrs. Anna Eliza Manker, widow of Perry Huffman Manker and a daughter of Abraham Scholl's latest surviving daughter, Matilda Scholl Wilson. Mrs. Manker died at the home of her son, Fred Manker, just north of Ocean Trail Park in Florence, Illinois, August 24, 1936. She is buried in the Catholic cemetery at Pittsfield.

Anna Eliza Manker was born on South Prairie, in Pike county, Illinois, September 12, 1848, the third daughter and eighth child of William Howerton Wilson and Matilda Scholl. At the age of 18 she married Perry Huffman Manker, a son of Absalom Manker, who came from Cincinnati, Ohio, when this region was still a wild country. The wedding was at the home of Anna Eliza's aunt, Mrs. Eliza Lovejoy, a daughter of Abraham Scholl, who then lived where the Thomas Crisp home on the Pittsfield-Detroit road is now located. A.C. Sanderson, a Detroit justice of the peace, performed the ceremony. The wedding was October 18, 1866.

Perry Manker, son of Absalom, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, where his Parents kept a hotel. Born in 1844, he was about three years of age when his father brought him to Pike county, Illinois. Here, the father became miller for Jonathan Frye at the early Frye water mill on Blue river (Big Blue Creek) in famous Frye's Hollow which in the 1840s ranked as the second place in the county in amount of business. For many years thereafter, the country round about remained largely in a wild state; deer, wolves and wild turkeys were numerous.

Mrs. Teresa Haney, a daughter of Perry Manker, remembers her father telling of jumping over a rail fence once and almost landing on a fawn that was curled up in a covert. Young Manker captured the beautiful creature and carried it in his arms to his fathers house. He raised it as a pet, keeping it for a long time and finally selling it to a man near Griggsville who had a fenced park with a number of deer therein.

Fred Manker of Florence, a son of Perry and Eliza Wilson Manker, recalls his mother's story of a great battle between a panther and her father's three dogs on a tributary of McGee in early days. William Howerton Wilson, Eliza's father, had gone out to cut logs for his first log cabin north of Griggsville, taking with him his three dogs. A panther was treed by the dogs. Wilson clubbed the panther out of the tree, and the creature, escaping the dogs, took to another tree, but as it ascended it was grabbed by the hind legs by two of the dogs which pulled it down, Wilson waiting at the foot of the tree with his axe in case the dogs were worsted. As the lithe creature hit the ground, the third dog grabbed it by the throat and then ensued what Wilson described as one of the greatest animal fights in the history of McGee. The two dogs with a grip on the animal's hind legs were most of the time whirling in the air, but with Wilson talking to and encouraging them, they never for a moment loosened their grip. The dog with his fangs set in the panther's throat also held on, until, after a long and furious combat, the worsted panther slumped in a lifeless heap. Wilson, to measure the creature, held its head at arm's reach above his own head, and the panther's tail still dragged the ground.

Absalom Manker and some of his sons later operated a mill of their own on Blue Creek, south of Bethel church, this also being a water mill. Came a great flood and so damaged the mill that they did not again resume the water power venture. At the same place they established a saw-mill, and there, in March, 1873, Absalom's son Leander was killed by the explosion of a boiler.

Absalom Manker and his wife, Elisabeth (Trop) Manker, were early comers to Pike county and raised a large family here. They had been married in Ohio September 3, 1818, the year that Illinois became a state, George Shinn, Esq., performing the ceremony. Absalom was a son of William and Rachel Manker, pioneers in western history; his wife was a daughter of Jacob and Catherine Trop, both of whom underwent thrilling experiences in the Indian wars. Absalom Manker was born October 30, 1795, the year of St. Clair's defeat; his wife, Elisabeth Trop, was born Feb. 14, 1799.

A tradition has come down in the Manker family that Catherine Trop, great grandmother of Perry Manker's children, was a woman of hidden wealth. When Catherine Trop was growing old, according to this tradition, a girl was placed in the household to take care of the aged lady. In making up the old ladys bed, the girl noticed that the bed-tick carried weight. Investigating, she found a sock-leg secreted in the bed, full of glittering golden coins. One day the girl was absent from the Trop home. During her absence, the sock-leg bank disappeared from the bed and, coincidently, an old Dutch oven that stood in the yard also disappeared. It was believed that the old lady secreted the golden treasure in the Dutch oven and buried it in some undiscovered place. It is assumed in the tradition that the treasure still lies where Catherine Trop buried it. Fred Manker remembers hearing from his mother this tradition of his great grandmother Trop.

Absalom and Elisabeth (Trop) Manker were parents of ten children from whom are descended various branches of the Manker family in Pike county. In an ancient family Bible, the cherished possession of Elisabeth (Trop) Manker and now possessed by her grandson, Fred Manker of Florence, are recorded the vital statistics of the Manker family in this region. Absalom Mankers first child, Rachel A., was born July 6, 1819 in Ohio and married Harper Willard in Ohio. Gaylord Manker, born December 14, 1822, married in Ohio. Eleanor J., born February 13, 1825, married in Ohio. Josephus J., born September 23, 1827, married first in Ohio, and second in Pike county, Mary Monday, November 29, 1852. He was sheriff of Pike county 1868-70. Charles H., born February 19, 1830, married Elizabeth Lightle, January 30, 1853. Harriet A., born. June 8, 1832, married C. Trimmer August 3, 1851. She died May 12, 1852 in her 20th year. Ira P. (Bob) Manker, born May 20, 1834, married Melissa Ann French, May 5, 1855. Leander Twin Manker, born May 4, 1837, married Eliza J. Lytle, January 14, 1858. He was killed by a boiler explosion at the Manker saw-mill on Big Blue March 18, 1873, in his 36th year. Dewit C. Manker, born February 9, 1840, married Ella Chaplan September 16, 1859, Perry Huffman Manker, youngest of the Absalom Manker children, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, March 10, 1844. He died at Florence May 24, 1904, aged 60, and is buried in the Catholic cemetery at Pittsfield.

Absalom Manker had several brothers from one of whom, Lewis Manker, are descended Walter and Charles Manker of Pittsfield. Another, Clinton Manker, was Frank Mankers father. All of Absalom and Elisabeth Mankers children were Ohio born.

Elisabeth (Trop) Manker, wife of Absalom, died in Pike county in 1876, aged 77. Her husband died August 28, 1879 in his 84th year. Both are buried in Gray cemetery in New Salem township.

Perry H. Manker and Anna Eliza Manker became parents of nine children: Leander Wilson Manker, born November 10, 1867, was mail carrier in the 1880s between Pittsfield and Rockport; at the latter place, his kinsman, Wilson Harshman, is now (1936) postmaster, being reputed the youngest postmaster in the county of Pike. Wilson Manker died September 25, 1889, at the age of 21.

Emma T. Manker, born September 12, 1869, married her second cousin, Nelson E. Scholl of Buckhorn, Brown County, a son of Silas W. Scholl who was a son of Abraham Scholls son William. They were married in Pike county September 29, 1887 and now reside in Kimberly, Idaho. They at one time resided in Utleyville, Colorado.

Nelson Scholl and Emma Manker became parents of the following: Marshall Scholl, who resides on Route 3, Ellensburg, Washington; Phena, who married Frank T. Burson and resides at Walsh, Colorado; Nora, who married Ora Taylor and resides at Kimberly, Idaho; Abraham Scholl (named for his noted great great grand-father), who resides at Guymon, Oklahoma; William Scholl (named for his paternal great grandfather), who resides at 1013 Cimarron Avenue, LaJunta, Colorado; Norman Scholl; Annie, who resides in Ulteyville, Col.; and Earl Scholl, who with his wife Irma, a grand-daughter of Edward P. Scholl of Mt. Sterling, resides at Timewell, Illinois.

Harvey Spencer Manker, third child of Perry and Eliza, born December 20, 1871, died August 22, 1874. Spencer was named for Dr. Abner F. Spencer, a Swedenborgian who lived northwest of town on what is now the McSorley place, this being then known as the Dr. Spencer place.

Tamson Mary Manker, born November 14, 1874, married William Minehan, son of Timothy and Ellen (Harley) Minehan, May 5, 1896. (Note: The names here given are as they appear on the marriage license record at the Pike county court house. In a family record the bride, known as Tammie Manker, is recorded as Delilah Tamson. Her married name is frequently recorded as Moynihan and Monihan) The Minehans resided in Pittsfield for a number of years and then moved to St. Louis where Tammie died May 16, 1930. She was the mother of nine children, as follows: Maria Teresa who married Herbert Hartwell and resides in St. Louis; Leo, who is unmarried and lives in St. Louis; Helena, who married Joseph Schneider and lives at 5530 Ashland Avenue, St. Louis, and is the mother of a son, Joseph, Jr.; Clementina, who married Robert Brazeli and lives at 1227 North Euclid Avenue, St. Louis; Genevieve, who is single and resides in Detroit, Michigan; Veronica, who resides in Chicago; Monica, who married L. Grosso and resides at 203 East 14th Street, Apartment 7, New York City; Wilson Benedict, born in Pittsfield May 18, 1916, is unmarried and lives with his sister, Mrs. Brazell, in St. Louis; Marquette, born in Pittsfield February 26, 1914, died March 2, 1914.

Minnesota Lillian, fifth child of Perry and Eliza Manker, was born June 11, 1876 and died the following July 21. Hortense Manker, sixth child, born August 17, 1879, died eight days later, August 25, 1879. The seventh child, born April 22, 1884, died the same day, unnamed.

Teresa A. Manker was born August 4, 1888, just north of Pleasant View school house (District 119) on the Pittsfield-El Dara road. She is now residing with her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Hicks Petty, on the old Haney farm a short distance west of the school house. When Teresa was about four years of age, her parents moved to the John Dean place at Pittsfield and resided there about two years, moving then to the Illinois river, adjacent to the pecan groves, where, some years afterward, Thomas Lawrence Haney went in search of pecans; then it was that he and Teresa renewed a boy and girl acquaintance begun in the old Haney neighborhood west of Pittsfield and were later married at Pittsfield April 12, 1904. Father Thomas O'Hara, Catholic priest, officiated.

Thomas Haney and Teresa Manker became parents of three daughters, as follows: Pearl Cecelia, born June 23, 1905, died when eleven weeks old; Alta Teresa, born July 6, 1907, married Neil V. Smith of Lutesville, Missouri, at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, in 1926 and now resides at Pittsfield; Mary Emma, born September 6, 1912, married D. D. Hicks Petty, a son of Henry and Silissia (Evans) Petty of Martinsburg township, December 6, 1930, at Phoenix, Arizona. Daniel David Hicks Petty was named for Colonel Daniel David Hicks, early Pike county school teacher, sheriff, merchant and banker, who came to Pike county in 1838 and became one of the county's most noted citizens. Hicks Petty and his wife now reside on the old Haney farm in Derry township. To them have been born four children, namely: Betty June, born at Phoenix, Arizona, December 26, 1931, who died the following New Year's Day and is buried in Calvary cemetery in Phoenix; John Henry, born in Arizona January 1, 1932; Daniel David Hicks, Jr., born in Pike county, December 10, 1934; and Joyce Ann, born in Pike county, June 12, 1936.

Thomas Lawrence Haney, Teresa's husband, was killed instantly by a bolt of lightning as he rode a corn cultivator in a field on the old Haney farm in Derry township June 18, 1919. He was born May 25, 1875, being only 44 when killed. Old birth records of the Haney family show that the name was originally spelled Haynie, the names of Thomas Lawrence and others of his family being thus spelled in these early records, now in possession of the Teresa Haney family.

Mrs. Haney and her daughter, Emma Petty, have numerous records of the famous Boone family, from which all the Manker children herein enumerated are descended. The Boones and Scholls intermarried in a very early day and the two families come down through history hand in hand. It is a thrilling record, a story of noble adventure and dauntless courage.

Among the Haney records are various recorded incidents herein before mentioned in this history. Among the records is a hitherto unrelated adventure wherein Abraham Scholl, one of his older brothers, and their father, William Scholl, were participants. The three Scholls were in camp in Kentucky, soon after the Revolutionary War. They were aroused one night by a commotion among their horses and, sallying forth prepared for battle, found the Indians trying to remove the hobbles from the horses. A fight ensued wherein the father, William Scholl, fell unconscious, stunned by a spent bullet that struck over his heart. He soon recovered. The battle was a short one, the Indians being driven off.

Frederick Thomas Manker, youngest child of Perry and Eliza, was born November 26, 1890. He married Floy Ethel Callender, daughter of Charles E. and Christine (Lord) Callender, September 22, 1918. They have four sons, namely: Joseph, born April 21, 1919; Eugene, born December 11, 1920; Frederick, Jr., born August 2, 1922; and Earl William, born January 28, 1924.

The life of Anna Eliza Manker spanned a mighty period in world history. In her was the blood of the pioneers, great conquerors of wilderness spaces, men and women inured to danger and hardship. By virtue of her grandfather Abraham Scholl's participation in the Indian wars under Colonel Daniel Boone, she was a true granddaughter of the Revolution and the proud possessor of a membership in the National Society of the D. A. R. Her membership certificate recited as follows: Member National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, in connection with Nancy Ross Chapter admitted by National Board of Management by virtue of her descent from Abraham Scholl who with unfailing loyalty rendered invaluable aid to the cause of American Independence as an Indian Fighter during the Revolutionary War.

John H., seventh child of William Howerton Wilson and Matilda Scholl, was born December 12, 1845 and died January 10, 1924, aged 78. He is buried in Wilson cemetery on McGee. He was never married. George S. Wilson, ninth child and next after Anna Eliza, was born March 12, 1851 and died September 2, 1923. He also was unmarried. He is buried on McGee Creek in the Wilson family burial place.

Fred Manker recalls visiting the old Wilson homestead on McGee in 1920, at which time John H. Wilson was plowing the garden; Wilson remarked that it was the 65th time the Wilsons had made garden on that spot. The spot was settled by William Howerton Wilson in 1856 in which year the raw land was first broken for a crop.