NATHANIEL N. MARIS, a farmer and stock-raiser of Nineveh Township, was born in Belmont County, Ohio, October 9, 1827, son of Curtis and Mary (Newnan) Manis. The father was a native of Chester County, Penn., born in 1808, and was of English descent. He went to Ohio with his parents at the age of five years, and in 1853, came to Indiana where he remained until his death, which occurred in 1858. The mother was a native of Delaware, and came with her parents to Ohio when but ten years old, where, in after years she was married, and came here with her husband, where she remained until her death in 1883. Our subject was reared on a farm in Belmont County, Ohio, where he received a common school education, and at the age of seventeen years he began life for himself. He first served an apprenticeship at the gunsmith's trade, which he continued for many years. He came to Indiana when twenty-three years of age, and worked at his trade a few years, and then settled on 160 acres of land and cleared it up and cultivated it. During the late war he was provost-marshal for his congressional district, and rendered some very valuable service to the government. Near the close of the war, in Brown County, there had accumulated a number of deserters and hard characters, who had been indicted by the United States grand jury, and the United States marshal refusing to sign the warrants, the same were then placed in the hands of Mr. Manis to be served. He accepted the responsibility, and commenced his campaign at once. His first duty was to arrest three persons in Brown County, who, by force, had taken a deserter away from two Union soldiers. After a perilous ride after night in a snow storm, until about 11:30 o'clock, he captured the ring leader of the trio, and two days later he captured his game in a log hut. He then proceeded to Indianapolis, where the three culprits were arraigned, and entered a plea of guilty and were fined $100 each, and costs. June 6, 1854, he was united in marriage with Mary Richardson, a daughter of Dudley and Elizabeth (Brent) Richardson. The father, a native of Kentucky, born in 1799, came to Indiana about 1836, where he remained until his death March 5, 1852. The mother was also a native of Kentucky, born 1803, came with her husband to Indiana in 1836, and died March 27, 1857. This union was blessed with one child: Tamar M., born March 19, 1855, who was united in marriage with James D. Lacy in 1873. The mother of this child was born February 26, 1834. He and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a member of the Masonic order, and in politics is an ardent republican, casting his first presidential vote for Zachariah Taylor. At one time, while living in Brown County in 1858, he was nominated for the office of county commissioner; he ran against a majority of 500 or 6oo, and was elected by a majority of 278 votes. He now owns 350 acres of fine farming land, besides an elegant home in Williamsburgh. For about eleven years he has been giving a great deal of attention to the raising of fine stock, making a specialty of short-horn cattle, clydesdale and English draft horses. Among them may be named Lord Clyde, an imported horse from Scotland, which, it may be said, has credit that he never failed to get the first premium at all the county fairs where he has been shown. For five years past, he has been devoting considerable of his time to the culture of German carp fish. He has three nice fish ponds in his yard and an abundance of fish.
Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker
Banta, D.D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888.