Hugh Manley (1856-1925)

Hugh Manley was the second surviving son of Edward and Margaret Manley. He was born on the 14th of September, 1856 in Port Dalhousie, ON with the same humble beginnings as his older brother John. When he died in 1925 he was a hero...

He appeared in the census listings of 1861 and 1871 with his parents in Grantham Twp. and Thorold, ON. On Jan 28, 1879 Hugh married Henrietta (Ettie) Potter, daughter of Martin Potter and Eliza McCarthy at Holy Rosary RC church in Thorold, ON. On the 24th of June, 1879 Ettie gave birth to their first son, Edward A. Manley. Sometime later that year or early in 1880, Hugh, Ettie and Edward moved to Chicago, IL. I'm not sure what inspired this move but the family spent the remainder of their lives there.

Their infant son Edward became ill and died on the 19th of April, 1880. At the time of his death the family was living at 127 North Market St. in the 18th Ward. Henrietta gave birth to their second child, a daughter on Jun 4, 1881 and named her Margaret Frances. She was born at 13 E. Erie Street in Chicago. Margaret Frances died on the 7th of Sep, 1882 at the age of 15 months. On the 9th of March, 1883 Ettie gave birth to their second son who they named John Joseph Manley. At some point they moved to 8 Pleasant St in the 22nd Ward. It was there that Hugh's wife Ettie died on the 13th of January, 1894 leaving Hugh with his young son John.

On the 22nd of April, 1896 Hugh married Mary R. Cooney in Chicago, IL. Mary, Hugh and John appear together in the 1900 census living in the 25th ward. Hugh's occupation is listed as a 'Stationary Engineer'. As yet, I have not located Hugh, Mary or John in the 1910 census but by the time of the 1920 census Hugh is listed as a lodger (alone), in the 23rd Ward. His son John had married in 1910. I do not know what became of Mary R. Cooney, Hugh's second wife.

Why is our Hugh Manley a hero?

Hugh had been employed with the Chicago Board of Education as a Stationary Engineer since 1903. In 1912 he transferred to the Moos School at 1711 N. California Ave., where on the 7th of March, 1923 a horrific accident occured...
Hugh Manley, for 22 years a member of Local No. 143 of Chicago, Ill., and for 15 consecutive years elected without opposition to it's Board of Trustees, passed to his eternal rest October 26, 1925. The old adage that ''For every man God has his plan'' was surely a truism in the life and death of this departed brother.

Brother Manley entered the service of the Chicago Board of Education as an engineer custodian in 1903. Being successful in the promotional examinations he rapidly passed to the top group or division in the service. He entered into the active work of the Local No. 143 soon after joining it's ranks. Though a man who seldom took the floor in debate, his wisdom was attested by his long service as a trustee and member of the Executive Board.

His death is attributable to an accident that occured in the Moos School on March 7, 1923, where he was engineer custodian until his death.

Never has a more heroic deed been performed than that of Mr. Hugh Manley. On that eventful morning Hugh Manley allowed the water in his two boilers to rise to a high level as he wished to ''blow them down''. He opened the blow-off cock in the rear of the boiler and stepped to the front to watch the water as it came down.

When the water had reached the level he desired he turned to go back to the rear of the boiler and was met by a geyser of boiling hot water coming from the blow off basin which had become clogged. Knowing he had no time to spare, as the two 100-horse-power boilers were carrying 80 lbs of steam and the roaring fires in the furnaces beneath them generating more steam every minute, also realizing the danger of an explosion, with the lives of twelve hundred children and teachers in his trust, he arose to the occasion and waded through this seething cauldron, closed the valve and collapsed on the floor. He was pulled out of the water, rushed to a hospital and after several weeks of terrible suffering was able to cripple about. From that time until his death he was never well. He spent several months in hospitals and was practically always under a doctor's care.

His brave act was recognized by the Chicago Board of Education with resolutions and compensation for his time, a tribute much appreciated by Hugh Manley. His funeral was attended by the sorrowing officers and members of Local No. 143 and Board officials. Mr. Manley's supreme sacrifice brings to mind the old saying that, "Greater love hath no one than to lay down his life for his fellow man".
Chicago Public Library; Municipal Reference Collection

On July 25, 1923 (p.8) the Chicago Daily Tribune reported that the Chicago Board of Education had presented Hugh with a reward for heroism in the amount of $250.00

Hugh died on the 26th of October, 1925 from injuries suffered in this accident and is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Chicago with his first wife Ettie and their infant son Edward. At the time of his death he was living at 3121 Washington Blvd, Chicago, IL.

To honor his memory the Chicago Board of Education named and dedicated a school in his honor which is still in operation today. The school opened in 1927 and on Apr 26, 1929 a Memorial Service was held in Hugh's honor by the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 143. The full program of the Memorial Service is here.

Hugh Manley Career Academy High School
2935 West Polk Street
Chicago, IL 60612

Children of Hugh Manley and Henrietta Potter:
Edward A. (1879-1880)
Margaret F. (1881-1882)
John J. (1883-1967)

Parents of Hugh Manley:
Edward Manley (1819-1903)
Margaret Dixon (1821-1881)

Parents of Henrietta Potter:
Martin Potter
Eliza McCarthy

© 2009 Kindred Footprints

1 comment:

  1. I attended Hugh Manley for 4years fromm 1998-2002 where i graduated with a general education diploma but the major I studied while there was Construction Technology under the leadership of Mr. Michael Dimitroff. I was at the doctor one day when my gynecologist asked me what school did I attend and I responded: HUGH MANLEY. He then asked me: WELL, WHO WAS HUGH MANLEY? I must admit I was stumped. SO he gave me an assignment for my next appointment to seek out and find details of the life of Hugh Manley. When I came back to the doctor, I had a full report. My doctor was soooo proud of me, he put the report in my medical file.....AND IT'S STILL THERE TODAY...