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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


William Henry Manion

In Mr. Manion we find another Native Son of the Golden State, and in him too we find those characteristics which almost invariably stand out prominently in the make-up of her native sons and daughters. In the light of heredity this is but another demonstration of cause and effect. More often than not, the parents of these children have come to the west in their early married life, eager to establish a home in the midst of conditions that would develop and reward them for their labors. As their hopes and ambitions became realities their children wee naturally endowed with the same love for the locality, to the end that they rarely ever seek a home in any other p art of the country upon attaining years of maturity.

A perusal of the family records develops the fact that Mr. Manion comes of southern ancestry, his grandparents on the paternal side, Edmund and Elizabeth Manion, being natives of Kentucky, as were also his parents, William and Elizabeth (Barnett) Manion. An interesting account of the life and accomplishments of William Manion will be found elsewhere in this volume. Among the worthy pioneers who came to California during the period of the gold excitement was William Manion and his wife. Struggles and hardships were their lot for a considerable period, but hope of ultimate success in the accomplishment of the purpose for which they had risked their all buoyed them on and rewarded them at last. Settlement was made in Sonoma county, and it was on their ranch near Santa Rosa that their son William Henry was born October 16, 1856. With the other children in the parental family William attended the district school near his home, and early in life he became familiar with agricultural life through the performance of the duties that were required with agricultural life through the performance of the duties that were required of him by his methodical parents. The outcome of this training was that when he attained mature years there was no indecision in his mind as to his future career, and ever since entering upon business life he has continued to be a tiller of the soil. He lays claim to four hundred acres of as fine land as can be found in Sonoma county, five miles from Santa Rosa, on Rural Route No. 3. Believing in a diversity of interests he has not confined his attention to one branch of agriculture to the exclusion f others, but is maintaining a number of industries with equal success. Stock-raising forms one of these industries, about thirty head of cattle being fattened for the market at the present time, besides which he has about ten head of horses. Chicken-raising is also followed with very satisfactory results, about five hundred hens contributing to Mr. Manionís shipment of eggs, besides which he has about six hundred small chickens, three months old. Sufficient corn is grown on the ranch to supply the home needs, about ten acres being in corn. Another source of income to Mr. Manion is from the sale of wood cut from his property, from one hundred to one hundred and fifty cords being cut and sold each year, yielding about $700 annually. Much of this timber is cut from Bennettís peak, which is on his ranch, and which is not only a source of profit, but is also a mark of beauty and adds considerably to the value of his land.

In 1887 Mr. Manion was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Ann Johnson, who was born in Illinois in May, 1869, the daughter of Snelling and Amanda Johnson, the former deceased, but the latter still living in Santa Rosa. Three children have blessed this marriage, of whom we mention the following: The eldest, Edith Lee, born March 11, 1889, is now a trained nurse in Mary Jesse Hospital in Santa Rosa; Zelda M. was born January 23, 1894; and Zalene, born October 27, 1898, is now a student in the grammar school at Santa Rosa. Politically Mr. Manion is not an adherent of either of the parties, but nevertheless does his duty as a good citizen at election time by casting his vote for the best man for the office in question. With the exception of filling the office of school trustee he has been the incumbent of no public office, finding all of his time consumed in the care of his ranch.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011