James Manning was of English descent, his ancestors coming to the colonies in 1646 and he served in the Revolution as colonel and sustained a wound at Valley Forge. His son, James, was born in Maine, then a part of Massachusetts, in 1795, and married Jane Bowness, who was born in County Kent, in England, in 1805 and died in Maine, in 1884. Her father, Isaac Bowness, came to America in 1818 and was superintendent of public works in New Brunswick, receiving a large grant of land which is still in the family. To James and Jane Manning were born our subject on November 21, 1836, in Oldtown, Penobscot County, Maine; Cyrus M., who came to the vicinity of Lewiston, in 1862, worked at lumbering, fought in the Nez Perces war. and was killed in a runaway in 1880; Hamilton died when he was young: William C. who came to California with our subject and was companion with him in all the war hardships, being in Libby prison, was promoted to rank of major and died in 1892; John B., died in Oregon: Mrs. M. A. White, in Lewiston; Mrs. Lydia Cushman, in Spokane.

Our subject was educated in the Oldtown Academy and came to San Francisco, via Panama, in 1859, and mined two years with good success. In August, 1861, he enlisted in Company F, Second California Cavalry, as private and steadily began by merit to rise in rank. He was instrumental in arresting the principal members of the Knights of the Golden Circle on the Pacific coast. He gained the rank of second lieutenant in First California Cavalry and was detailed to organize a battalion to serve in the east. He went east as captain and his five hundred men were the only Californians who fought in the war in the east. He was attached to the Second Massachusetts. He was active in the service until February, 1864, when he was captured and languished in Libby prison, and others.

He was one of six hundred officers placed in Charleston to avoid bombardment of the city. He was in various places and was finally paroled at Raleigh and reached his own lines at Wilmington, North Carolina, in March, 1865, and went after Johnston but he surrendered before he was captured. After a most worthy service in the hardest of the fray, in the keenest of the suffering, the worthy subject of this article was mustered out on July 20, 1865, with rank of major and badly wounded in side and leg. He returned to Maine and remained there until December, 1869, when he went to California and then to Lewiston in 1870. He went to lumbering and farming, taking a preemption close to town which he still owns.

In 1878 Mr. Manning was a member of the tenth senate of the state. He has been clerk of the United States court, serving in 1880 and 1881. He was deputy United States marshal from 1882 to 1886, and district attorney of Kootenai County in 1888 and 1889. Then he took up real estate business and in 1890 he was appointed by the President one of the National Commissioners of the Columbian Exposition which position he held for eight years, since which time Mr. Manning has been giving his attention to fruit raising, milling and real estate.

On September 29, 1855, Mr. Manning married Miss Susan E., daughter of Frank and Elizabeth (Manning) Hawthorne. To them have been born three children: Fred M., proprietor of the Idaho steam laundry, in Lewiston; James A., raising fruit at Lewiston; Charles F., at Post Falls, Idaho. Mr. Hawthorne was born in Massachusetts as were his ancestors for generations back, being a descendant of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Mrs. Manning was born in Bangor, Maine, on December 15, 1836, and was educated in Boston. Her brother Charles is a lumberman in Maine and her brother Frank is a stockman in Colorado.

Mr. Manning is a prominent member of the G. A. R. and his wife affiliates with the Methodist Church. He is one of the prominent and leading men of our County and is highly respected by all.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903