Manning Home Page
Picture of: Four generations of Mannings
Numbers next to older names are Indices from Manning Genealogy.
(Taken in 1928)
m. Ella Jane Dimmick, Dec. 1, 1877, Thurston, NY.
(b. Dec. 24, 1858, Savona, NY; d. Nov. 3, 1929, Riverside, NY.)
George Elias Manning was born January 31, 1855, at Binghamton, New York. His family moved to the town of Thurston, in Steuben County, near Savona, NY, in 1871 or 1872. This George married Ella Jane Dimmick on December 1, 1877. They spent their early years at Thurston, NY, where their first three children were born. By 1891 they had moved into a home at 127 East Steuben Street, in Bath, NY. In later life they relocated to Painted Post and Riverside, NY.
My Aunt Elsie recalls:
"My grandfather, George Elias Manning, told me that he was ten years old when Lincoln was assassinated. He and his family had gone to Binghamton from their home in Nichols, NY to do some ‘trading' and they heard newsboys on the street screaming ‘EXTRA, EXTRA, LINCOLN SHOT'.
"Many times, when our parents went somewhere, we stayed with our grandparents. Grandma (Ella) was a calm and pleasant lady and mostly left us to do whatever we wanted to. If we needed to be told what was what, that was Grandpa's job. However, he was very good to us and taught us a great deal.
"He was a most philosophic person. At his 80th birthday party he said ‘When I turned seventy I gave a lot of thought to dying. Now I have given up the idea.'
George earned much of his living as an itinerant mason and plasterer, plying these trades for hire in the area in and around Thurston, Bath, and the nearby towns of Painted Post and Corning. The Steuben County Gazetteer of 1891 lists him as a mason, at the Bath address. By 1910, this had become a family business, and his son Eugene was involved.
The automobile became popular in his lifetime, but George never drove nor owned a car. He was the last in our line to rely on the horse for transportation. Late in life, he often relied on others with cars as a means of local travel.
In 1901 George and Ella moved to a house on the corner of Brewster and Bronson Streets, in Painted Post, New York. In 1920, George's son, Eugene, bought a small farm property, consisting of a house and a few acres of land, in Riverside, NY, a small town situated between Corning and Painted Post. George and Ella moved into the first floor of this house while their son Clifton was attending the University of Buffalo.
During the Twenties, the construction business maintained offices in a building in Corning, NY, on State Street near a viaduct over some railroad tracks. I can remember seeing the weather-beaten sign reading "Manning Construction" on this building years later, in the late 1950's.
My father, Eugene Carr Manning, recalls:
"In the 1921 decade, Manning Construction Company (in which E. A. Duke was associated with my father) occupied an office on State Street in Corning, NY, between the end of Market Street at the viaduct, and the Erie Railroad. It was mostly a warehouse building, in a sort of a flatiron shape, two stories with a railroad siding next to it on the south, and an alley on the north. Offices in the narrow end of it faced State Street. My sister Elsie (see below) worked there with Mrs. Smart, the original bookkeeper, after Elsie completed Meeker's Business Institute courses, in 1928 and part of 1929.
"In that period, Manning Construction Co. used my father's land, where my grandparents lived, as a storage yard for construction equipment such as scaffold jacks for plastering, planks, and mixers. They did a lot of plastering in those days, often sending a foreman and a crew of key men to places across the State like Amsterdam, Utica, Schenectady, and the Rochester area, plastering theaters, schools, and buildings of that sort.
"They had a wooden shed on the back lot, next to the road that ran alongside Riverside Builders Supply (a neighboring business) where they made concrete blocks for local use. All of the farm property then used by the Construction Co. was north of a crossroad just in front of the site on which Manning Construction Corp. offices were later built. This driveway led to the farmhouse from either direction. The rest of the area was strictly residence, with a garden on the west side (where I used to pick part of my grandparents' currants for my mother's jelly), and on the southeast was their front lawn, which I sometimes mowed for my grandfather.
"At this house, Ella had a stroke (about 1926) and after a time recovered, except for an impediment in her speech. She died of cancer in 1929, about the same time as we experienced the great depression.
"In that period the construction business was depressed like everything else. The Construction Co. place on State Street closed up at some point between the 1929 crash and the origin of the gas station on the Riverside property. Mr. Duke left the company, and opened a building supply place (Duke, van Dusen, and Duke) on East Pulteney Street. The other Duke was his brother Roddy who had worked as a bricklayer and plasterer for my father, and later worked for the Manning Construction Corp. again. In 1931 and 1932 my father was doing local construction work on a small scale, like sidewalks, curbs, and gutters for the Village of Painted Post and the City of Corning.
"The highway people were building a new route from the west end of Pulteney St., through Painted Post, and it was routed next to my grandfather's front yard in Riverside, instead of crossing the Erie Railroad tracks twice, as it had up to that time. This condition led to making better use of the Riverside property. My father was approached by a gas/oil distributor promoting the Correct Oil Service. He invested something (mostly time), and was instrumental in forming the Corning Correct Oil Corporation. In 1932, the farmhouse was moved to a new foundation on the rear corner of the original property, to make room for a new gas station. The house was jacked up, and the stone in the old foundation was removed and hauled to the new excavation, and relaid for the house to be moved to. I worked on both that job, and the construction of the new gas station, which stood on that site until the 1960's, although it had not been operated by the Correct Oil Corp. for many years by then.
"At the time the gas station was built, about 1932, and perhaps one or two years before that, my father's office was in one or two rooms of the old farmhouse, and my grandfather lived in the second floor apartment. Also there to care for him was a grandson, in my aunt Florence's family, and the grandson's wife.
"Mrs. Smart worked there as a bookkeeper. In the summer I worked in the operating gas station, and my sister Elsie often worked there on the office work. By the time I had graduated from Georgia Tech in 1939 my father's office had expanded to most of the first floor of the old farmhouse. My grandfather (George) lived in the upstairs apartment until he died, in 1944."
Ella died on November 3, 1929, and George on March 4, 1944. Both are buried in Hope Cemetery, in Corning New York. I was not yet 4 years old when my great grandfather George passed away, and I have no memory of him except for a home movie, which showed him to be an old man walking with a cane, and which amused me when I saw it in speeded-up motion.
George and Ella had five children: Elmer, Charles Edmund, Eugene, Florence Gertrude, and Clifton Fremont. Elmer died in childhood.
George's third-born son was Eugene Manning, my grandfather.