Elmer, Missouri - Early History
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William Henry Mangus
(Reprinted from the History of Macon County, 1910)
Nature bestowed on William Henry Mangus, one of the prominent and successful farmers and stockmen of Easley township, in this county, an energetic and persistent disposition, however niggardly she may have been in her other gifts to him and grudging in the circumstances in which she placed him. He accepted her endowment at its full value and has made the utmost of his opportunities in the use of it. He was born in Adair county, Missouri, in May, 1867, and his boyhood was passed there at a period when the state was still suffering from the devastation of the Civil war, and the path to wealth and distinction for boys of moderate means was a narrow and thorny one. But he took the road as he found it, and made his way over it with steady advances, even though his progress was for a time slow and painful. His goal was, however, constantly in his vision, and no obstacle discouraged him from pressing onward toward it. His conquests in life are therefore all his own.
Mr. Mangus is a son of Jacob and Sarah (Kreps) Mangus, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Pennsylvania parentage, although born in Ohio. The father came with his parents from their Pennsylvania home to Missouri when he was ten years old. He was a farmer most of his life, and also took an active part in the public affairs of the locality in which he lived, always working with force and effect for the success of the Eepublican party and serving for a number of years as a member of the local school board. When the Civil war broke out he enlisted in the Union army in Company I, Seventh Missouri Cavalry, which was in service to the end of the conflict. Mr. Mangus took part in many battles and skirmishes, one of the most notable being the sanguinary contest of Perry Grove. Both he and his wife are still living and have their home at Gifford. They have had four children. Only two of the four are living, William H. and his sister. Airy Fritz. The latter is a resident of New Mexico.
William H. Mangus was reared to the life of a farmer and he has followed it all his years. His education was secured at the public schools near the family homestead, and he assisted his father in cultivating that while attending school and after he left school until 1888. He was then twenty-one years old and eager to begin operations on his own account. He therefore found or made a way for the gratification of his desire and began the career as a farmer, which he is still expanding and rendering more successful and impressive, and which he has been extending steadily from the start. His farm comprises 320 acres and the land is nearly all under cultivation except the grazing ground necessary as pasturage and a range for the large number of cattle and other stock he raises, feeds and ships every year. He is also a stockholder in the Farmers Exchange Bank of Gifford.
In politics Mr. Mangus is a Republican and a zealous worker for his party. He has served on the local school board nine years and is now president of it. His interest in the schools has been earnest and broad-minded, and he has aided them to great progress in elevating their standard and widening their usefulness in the most practical ways, making them more and more helpful to the pupils in lines of the greatest need. In 1893 he was married to Miss Bina Day, whose parents came to Missouri from Illinois, but who was born in Knox county of this state. They have five children, Nellie, Chester, Paul, Harry and Day. They are all living at home and still adding to the brightness and cheer of the family circle.