MANNING M. KESSINGER, who has attained prominence by the able manner in which he has discharged his duties as superintendent of the schools of Macoupin County, is a resident of Carlinville. He was born in this county February 7, 1868, and is a son of John and Eliza (Adams) Kessinger. The Kessinger family is of German extraction and was established in this country by two brothers who settled in Pennsylvania. One of these brothers later moved to Kentucky where Lynn Kessinger, grandfather of our subject, was born.
Lynn Kessinger moved from Kentucky to Illinois at an early day and became a prominent agriculturist of Macoupin County. He died in 1895 at the age of 93 years. He married Betsy Peebles, by whom he had the following children: Wilmith (Huskey); Ann (Logsdon); Elizabeth (McKain); Mary (Henry); Frank; Alexander; John; and Bird. Religiously, the family were Methodists.
John Kessinger, father of our subject, was born in Kentucky, where he was reared and lived until he reached the age of 19 years. Leaving his native State, he came to Illinois and located upon a tract of 800 acres of land in Bird township, Macoupin County, becoming one of the county's most prosperous farmers and stock dealers. He was united in marriage with Mrs. Eliza (Adams) Peebles, who by her union with Mr. Peebles, had one son, Horatio Peebles. She died in 1879, aged 54 years and was survived by her husband and the following children: Preston W.; Charles E.; Harriet (Solomon); Manford H.; William S.; Cythia (Sells); Loretta (Wills); J. P.; and Manning M., subject of this biography. John Kessinger, the father, died in December, 1890, aged 67 years. He was a member of the Masonic order, a loyal Democrat in politics, and held a number of township offices at different times, taking a deep interest in the affairs of the county.
Manning M. Kessinger was educated in the common schools of Macoupin County and attended Blackburn University at Carlinville. Soon after completing his studies he taught school until 1898 when he was elected to the office of county superintendent of schools of Macoupin County. He was elected by a majority of 4 votes and served out the term in most creditable style. He was recognized as the man for the office and was the unanimous choice of his party for a nomination for a second term; in the election which followed he was re-elected by a handsome majority of 441 votes. He is the first county superintendent of schools in the history of the county to succeed himself by a re-election to that office. He is well qualified for the office and has given it his best efforts, gaining the hearty support and cooperation of all citizens.
In July, 1891, Mr. Kessinger was joined in marriage with Elizabeth Edwards, a daughter of Charles M. Edwards of Scottville, Macoupin County, and they have one child, Mary Lazell. Both Mr. and Mrs. Kessinger are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Fraternally, he is a member of the Knights of Pythias.