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John Patrick Manning

(Head of Telegraph Operations in Ashtabula)


Born: July 24, 1837 in Ireland (immigrated to the U.S. in 1850)

Married: Margaret (Doran) Manning in 1857 - (They had eight children)

Lived at: 378 Lake St. Ashtabula, OH

Died: Unkown, in Ashtabula, Ohio



John P. Manning is one of the most interesting characters in our story. At the time of the disaster he was the head of telegraph operations in Ashtabula. He was also the man who trained America’s first African American telegraph operator, Charles B. Leek. (Read Charles Leek’s Story) Both John Manning and Charles Leek stayed at their post during the disaster for over 48 hours sending telegraphs and calling for help.

He was born in Ireland, July 24, 1837 and immigrated to the U.S. in 1850. He was married to Margaret (Doran) Manning in 1857. He was the telegraph operator at the Ashtabula train station the night of the disaster. He manned his post for 48 hours straight, sending telegraphs for help and messages to relatives and the press. He was a very loved and liked member of the community and lived at:  378 Lake St, Ashtabula, OH. He was also a Captain in the civil war and saw much action.

A relative sent me the following information:
CAPTAIN JOHN P. MANNING, the efficient and popular agent of the Lake Shore Railroad Company, at Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio, was born in Ireland, July 24, 1837. His parents, Michael and Mary (Doyle) Manning, were also natives of Ireland, who came to the United States about 1850, and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they passed the remainder of their lives.

The subject of this sketch was reared in the city of Brotherly Love, receiving his education in the public and high schools of that place. When sixteen years of age, he went West and spent two years, after which, in 1856, he came to Ashtabula, where he entered the service of the Lake Shore Railroad Company as telegraph operator at their depot in this city. He held this position twenty-three years, interrupted only by his service in the Civil war.

April 28, 1861, Mr. Manning enlisted as a private in Company 1. of the Nineteenth Ohio Regiment. The day after his enlistment, he was appointed Lieutenant of his company and afterward became Captain, which rank he held when the company was mustered out. He participated in the campaign of Western Virginia under McClellan and Rosecrans, and was in all the engagements of that time. Five months after his entrance into the army, he became an operator in the military telegraph service, but shortly afterward, in the latter part of 1861, he returned to Ashtabula, and resumed his position as telegraph operator at the Lake Shore Depot. July 1, 1879.  He was later appointed Depot Agent at the Ashtabula Harbor by the LS & MS railroad, which position he has ever since retained.

In 1857, Mr. Manning was married to Miss Margaret Doran, a lady esteemed for her many excellent qualities. They have had eight children, seven of whom survive: Mary, Anastacia, Margneretta, Michael F., John P., Nellie, Frank and Lizzie. All are living but Mary, who died at the age of twenty-three years.

In politics, Mr. Manning is conservative. He takes a deep interest in public affairs of importance and everything pertaining to the welfare of his city and county. He is an able member of the City Council of Ashtabula, in which he is serving his second term.

Socially, he affiliates with the G. A. R. As a businessman and citizen he is universally esteemed and has the best prospects for his future prosperity.







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