John Manross....Onward to Michigan
John W. Manross was the third of six children born to Ira L. Manross and Mary Magdalene Tubbs. John (not to be confused with his more famous uncle by the same name) was born August 14, 1851 in Tionesta, Venango County, PA . While the children were all young, the family moved to Oil Creek Township in Crawford County, PA. The 1860 US Census showed that John was only nine at the time. John’s father, Ira, was a lumberman like his father William.
Mary Magdalene, John's mother, died shortly after the 1860 US Census when John and the other children were very young. His father Ira, living on a farm, was left with very young children and no partner to help with the family. To take financial pressure off his father, and to earn money to help out, John took a job working as a farmhand and living away from his family. John’s younger brother, Henry M. Manross, did the same and both were shown living and working on farms in the area in the 1870 US Census.
In the 1860's, John’s father, Ira, married a recent widower, Susanna Prather. That marriage took the pressure off both John and his brother Henry. In 1872 John moved to Elsie, Clinton Co., Michigan and became a farmer. He married Adeline Culver on Christmas Day December 25, 1874. The Culver family resided nearby in Duplain, Clinton Co., Michigan. Adeline’s father was born in New York and her mother was born in the town of Hope, Ontario, Canada. The reason for John leaving his family behind and moving to Michigan is not known, but is likely related to the opening of the West and the vision of opportunity following the end of the Civil War.
Delbert, the first child born to John and Adeline, arrived on February 5, 1876 in Duplain. In 1878 their second child, Maude, was born. By 1880 John and Adeline had moved the family to Fairfield, Shiawasee, MI. Two more daughters were born , Lural in 1883, and Iva in 1885.
Elmira Township in Antrim Co., MI was first organized in 1877 and it appeared to present a new opportunity to John. John and Adeline moved there in the 1880s and found a long term home. The first minister to reside in Elmira Township was Rev. Harry McNish. Rev. McNish writes of traveling to Elmira with his wife and two daughters in a horse and buggy. He was met by John Manross at Central Lake and his family stayed at the Manross home until their household goods eventually arrived, and they then moved into their own home. John and Adeline's fifth child, Rehan, was born in 1898.
John’s younger brother, Henry, also arrived on the Michigan scene. Henry married Mary Onstott in Hickory, PA in 1877 and they moved to Duplain, MI in 1880. Henry and his family resided in Duplain until his death in 1912.
In 1901 John and Adeline moved their family from Elmira, MI. to Big Rapids, MI. One of the best outcomes of this move was that their children all attended Ferris Institute in Big Rapids and earned their college degrees. Today it is Ferris State University. John passed away in 1906 and Adeline took charge of providing for the family. She ran a boardinghouse and is pictured in front of it with her daughter Iva in a photo she sent to her oldest son, Delbert. In 1921 Adeline moved to San Diego, CA to be near her daughter, Maude, and family. She passed away in 1925.
In the early 1900’s another of John’s younger brothers, Dolphus, moved to Elmira, Michigan with his wife Isabella.