Obituary Details

Joseph Albert Manorgan

(09/22/1865 - 02/12/1937)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 02/18/1937


Early Settler Passes to Reward After Long and Useful Life

J. A. Manorgan, one of the early pioneers of this section, and who was serving as Mayor of Manville, died at the Lusk Hospital in Lusk, Friday morning, February 12, following a heart attack.

He has been in failing health for some time, and came to the hospital in the hope that a few days' rest and care would be of benefit. He spent a good night Thursday night, and in the morning was apparently improved, but a heart attack snuffed out his life before anything could be done for him.

Mr. Manorgan was one of the most public-spirited citizens in the Manville community and was serving as Mayor of the town at the time of his death.

Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Homer E. Crissman, pastor of the Methodist Church of Douglas, Sunday. Rev. Crissman held a family service in the home of Mr. Manorgan, after which the funeral was held in the Methodist Church of Manville, which was largely attended by his many friends in the community, as well as from Casper, Douglas, Lusk, Crawford and Lance Creek.

The floral offerings were extensive and beautiful. The music was rendered by Mr. and Mrs. Mary Howard, Mrs. Marion Rasmussen and Carl Baughn. The pallbearers were L. C. Stoddard, Hans Gautschi, T. L. Cantwell, Fred Kettler, Chris Joss and Marion Rasmussen. Interment was made in the Dellview Cemetery, located on the homestead of Mr. Manorgan, and given to the Dellview Cemetery Association of Manville by the deceased.

Funeral arrangements were in the care of George Earl Peet of the Peet Mortuary of Lusk.

Among the distant attends to the funeral were Gaylord Allen and Geo. Brooks from Douglas, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Bartholomew and daughter of Crawford, Neb., and Bert Case, also from Crawford.

Joseph Albert Manorgan was the son of George and Margaret Manorgan; his father, a native of Scotland; his mother, a native of England.

He was born September 22, 1865, at Newport, Kentucky. Both his father and mother died in his early childhood. He was the youngest of six children, all now dead. After the death of his parents he was taken into the family of Newton B. Allen of Iowa, with whom he migrated to Wyoming at the age of 20, in the year 1885, before either the towns of Lusk or Manville were established.

His first work in Wyoming was freighting supplies and lumber into these pioneer sections. Afterward he worked on the construction of the first railroad built through this part of Wyoming Territory, the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railway, later the Northwestern.

In December, 1893, he was married to Elizabeth Lydia Kern, daughter of Rev. Kern of Kansas. They established a home on his homestead, one mile south of Manville. In 1894 he established a mercantile business in Manville, which he built up to one of the largest of its kind in this part of the country, and which he continued until 1919. Meanwhile, he was one of the organizers and a charter member of the First Methodist Church of Manville. His interest in church work is best illustrated by the fact that he sold the first cow he ever owned for $60.00 when it was found that the constuction fund for the church was insufficient. He was superintendent of the Sunday School for as many years as his health would allow. In the absence of a minister, many times he would himself serve in his stead.

He was the father of four children; a daughter born in August, 1894, and a son born in 1898, both of whom died in the first week of thelr lives. A son, Harold George Manorgan, born February, 1900, and a son, James Arthur, born in January of 1906, survive their father. Also two grand children, Marjorie Manorgan of Casper and Mary Lou of Lance Creek.

Mr. Manorgan took an intense interest in the growth and development of the town of Manville and the valley of the Running Water, where he chose to make his home. He built an addition to his store in which he placed a fireproof vault for a room for the Bank of Manville, and was one of its charter members and was cashier of the bank for a number of years. Later on, he became its vice-president. Soon after this, he helped promote the two-story brick building for the bank, which still stands as a monument to his assistance in developing the town.

Mr. Manorgan was always interested in cultural and civic development and served many years on the school board and city council. At the time of his death, on February 12, 1937, he was serving as mayor of Manville.

Mr. Manorgan was a charter member of the Modern Woodmen of America in Manville and for more than 20 years served as secretary or treasurer of the Lodge.

His passing robs the Manville community of one of its strongest characters, one who spent his life in the service of his family and his friends.

His philosophy of life is best expressed in the motto by which he guided his life, taken from Romans 8-28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God."

Images & Attachments


Photos courtesy of photographer Chuck James

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