In New York City on August 12th 1801, William Manning was born.
following February 21st Isabella Sobers was born in Newport, Orleans, Vermont to
Jonathan and Hulda Sobers. Both families subsequently moved to Gatland, Wayne, New
York and Phelps, Ontario, New York. They met, fell in love and married in Phelps,
Ontario, New York in the year 1820. There first home was in Phelps, New York. They
were both fairly young. He was just barely nineteen and she was eighteen years old. They
both had relative both in Wayne and Ontario counties in the state of New York.
On July 11, 1821, their first child was born in Phelps, New York. They named him
William Daniel Manning. He was named after his father and grandfather. Two years later
on April 12, 1823 Isabella gave birth to a baby daughter. She was named Eliza Ann. She
was born in Williamson, New York. But within a few months, true challenges were to
enter their lives. On July 9, 1823 Eliza Ann died, followed shortly by her brother William
Daniel on August 19, 1823. This must have been a real challenge for them as they were
both still quite young.
Eighteen months later, they were blessed again with a baby daughter. This time
they named the daughter Hulda after her grandmother Sobers. Hulda was born on January
13, 1825. She, no doubt, brought an abundance of joy back into the home. Then again on
October 9, 1827 a new baby boy was born. However, this would prove to be another
trial. He died a year later on October 19, 1828.
According to the history of the family, they lived in Phelps for six more years.
During this time another son was born to this choice family. On May 24, 1831 Freeman
was born in Phelps, New York. A few years later, William and Isabella heard and
accepted the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of this testimony they had of the
gospel and because the Prophet Joseph Smith requested it, they disposed of their property
and moved to Ohio to joined the rest of the saints. They settled near Moundsville, Ohio
and there built a new home.
It was said that William was an ardent admirer of the Prophet Joseph Smith and
that he felt that he could never get enough of the gospel as it was imparted by that great
Once again this family was blessed with another child. They named her Rachel.
She was born on the 12th of April 1835 while they lived in Moundsville, Ohio. Times
were very difficult and the persecution of all the saints in the Kirkland area was very bad.
Also during these difficult times, Isabella gave birth to twin boys, Hyrum and Theodore on
October 15, 1837. They were born in Huntsburg, Ohio. Then death entered their home
once again and again and again. First Rachel died, then the twins and finally Hulda. This
happened we believe in about 1838. This left them heartbroken and still subject to their
hostile neighbors. But through it all they and their one remaining child Freeman remained
faithful. Thank goodness they had strong testimonies. What a heritage of strength and
perseverance. The they went through a lot, their sacrifices were great and this because
they had joined the restored Church of Jesus Christ.
They finally moved to Illinois to be with the rest of the Latter Day Saints. Here
the rest was welcome, but short. After moving to Illinois, their beloved Prophet, Joseph
Smith was shot down in cold blood in Cathage, Illinois. Also, the persecution became
severe and the saints were obliged to flee their homes and move west.
Winterquarters, Iowa would become a temporary home. The Mannings would live
there until 1852. Late in June of 1852 the 16th company of saints headed for the Great
Salt Lake valley would leave Winterquarters (Kanesville), Iowa. This was called the Uriah
Curtis Company. The Mannings were in this company. William and Isabella were both 50
years old and their son Freeman was 21. They arrived in the Salt Lake valley the first of
They settled in Salt Lake City for a time. Then Freeman Manning was called by
the Brigham Young to move families south of Salt Lake City, so with his yoke of oxen he
moved the Adams family and the Hannet family to Alpine, Utah. It is believed that his
parents, William and Isabella Manning came to live with him in Alpine. They also later
moved to Charleston at about the same time as his son Freeman. We know this because
he taught school there. William evidently came from a well educated family in New York
City. J. Herold Manning said that his own father spoke about 2 or 3 brothers who were
medical doctors of some repute. Some say his first month's salary was probably five
dollars a month. After a few years in the Charleston/Heber City area it appears that they
returned to the Alpine area. His son Freeman also moved to Provo and then on to
William Manning died in Alpine on January 28, 1868 at the age of sixty six.
Isabella, his wife, died ten years later in Richfield, Utah on February 28, 1878 at the age of
Acknowledgments: Clara Casto compiled most of this information.
She was a
historian for the Daughters of Utah Pioneers for Salina, Utah. Also J. Harold Manning
has also done a lot. Thanks. This above history was recreated by John Shaw, 4589 West
1650 North, Plain City (Ogden), Utah.