Born: September 17, 1845, Rootstown, Ohio.
Died: April 15, 1917, Marsh Brook Farm (near Lima), Indiana.
Buried: Riverside Cemetery, Howe, Indiana.
McManus was son of Jacob McManus and Fidelia Bettis, husband of Mary Magdalene Hillegass, and grandson of a Revolutionary War captain and a French woman who had known the Marquis de Lafayette.
In 1863, his family moved to Marsh Brook Farm, where he spent the rest of his life.
He graduated from the medical college in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and studied an additional year at the University of Michigan, though he opted for a career in writing rather than medicine.
He contributed to Puck, the Boston Transcript, the Detroit Free Press, the New York Independent, the Burlington Hawk Eye, and the Ram’s Horn.
From 1893–95, he served as an Indiana state senator.
Messengers white winged heavenward speed
To tell how one sweet deed was done,
A kindly act that to Christ won,
A hardened heart and planted seed
For higher living, holier need.
A flash is laggard in its flight,
’Twixt earth and sky, compared to this;
When for sin some holiness
Is nobly gained; like thrice-winged light,
The news speeds Godward in its flight.
High heaven and God come near to bless;
No space can They and us divide,
When day by day are multiplied,
Sweet deeds of tender graciousness.
Lo! Heaven and God come near to bless.
Silas Bettes McManus
Rural Rhymes, 1898