1845–1917

Introduction

illustration

Born: Sep­tem­ber 17, 1845, Roots­town, Ohio.

Died: Ap­ril 15, 1917, Marsh Brook Farm (near Li­ma), In­di­a­na.

Buried: Ri­ver­side Ce­me­te­ry, Howe, In­di­a­na.

portrait

Biography

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.

Publications

Poem

For Christ’s Sake

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

Sources

Lyrics