I knew that Joseph had lived in Indiana and I had a little information about his birth and death dates. My son and I had decided to take pictures of a nearby graveyard and put them on Find A Grave for other people. When we were photographing we came across the grave of Joseph Manis. Here I had been looking for him and he came to me, but I guess he was there all along. I didn't think any of my family had ever lived in this area, I thought I was the first. Well I guess not. He had lived here years before me. My story about Joseph occurs near the end of his life.
Joseph was a farmer in Madison County in Stony Creek Township. He worked hard over the years. He was one of the early settlers to the area and had spent time clearing the land of trees and building a farm. He had lived in Tennessee, and in Henry County, Indiana. Joseph was married to his third wife, his two previous wives having died. He was the father of several children, ages spread out by years.
His third wife Temperance was quite a few years younger than him. Joseph and Temperance had three children together, Mary, Herman, and Ada. Temperance and Joseph did not have the best relationship. She had married him because he was a very respected citizen and had a decent amount of money. She thought he would probably not be around long since he was getting old. If she could stick it out with him for a few years she would inherit everything and he life would be better.
Well good old Joseph was in pretty good health and he intended to be around a long time. Temperance and their daughter, Ada, didn't like having to wait around to have control of the money so they started mistreating Joseph. As the days went by, they got more and more abusive. Joseph became paralyzed and was no longer able to defend himself.
When Temperance and Ada could wait no longer, the two of them beat Joseph with a club. The old man's bones were brittle and it broke three of his ribs.
Joseph's neighbors somehow found out what was going on. The neighbor's loved the old man and they wanted to protect him. Abuse charges were brought against Temperance and Ada.
They were both fined $25.00 and costs. The neighbors testified in Judge Lee's court. They said that Temperance had expressed her wishes that he would die for quite some time, so she could have the farm.
Joseph went back home to live with Temperance and Ada, but with a stern warning. The warning didn't come from the courts, it came from the neighbors. The neighbors served warning on the two. If Joseph wasn't treated kindly and well cared for, the women would answer to them, not the courts. The neighbors kept a close watch on everything from that point on, and he was treated well.
Joseph died two months later, due to pneumonia. Was the pneumonia caused by his injuries? He was 80 years, 5 months, and 5 days old.
Joseph was buried at Brookside Cemetery near Lapel, Indiana. Temperance is buried in the plot beside him. She died a year later! I wonder if she had time to spend his money? Maybe her daughter, Ada, was ready to get rid of her after he father died. Maybe she wanted the farm then. Who knows?
His daughter, Ada, and his son, Herman, are buried in graves beside him. They lived into their eighties.
I found this story in that had been printed in Anderson paper in 1906.
Article that appeared in an Anderson, Madison County, Indiana newspaper on April 6, 1906.