Jefferson County Historical Society

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William Riley Maness, general merchant and postmaster at Frumet, was
born in Big River Township, on the old homestead farm, October 11, 1849
the son of Elijah and Mary A. (Murrell) Maness.  The father was born in
Tennessee, in 1811, and at an early age came to this county, settling
in Big River Township, among the Indians and wild animals.  At an early
day he hauled lead to St. Louis with an ox team, bringing back dry 
goods a distance of fifty miles.  He is still living, and is a resident
of Big River Township.  The mother is deceased.  William grew to manhood 
on the farm, and secured a fair education in the common schools. He then 
farmed in the summer, and taught in the winter, for eight or ten years.  
In the spring of 1880 he began merchandising at Frumet in partnership with 
A. Mandle.  The latter retired in 1885, since which time the business has 
been continued by our subject with success.