THE VANISHED TOWN
By Melvin Vollmer, Dist. 127
In the year of 1830 a little town called Manville was built on the place
now called Cedar Creek.
The first person to build a home there was a very old man. All the things he owned was a horse, a dog, a wagon and a few clothes. His home was a one-room shack made of logs. In 1832 there were quite a few people gathered in the valley. The name Manville was given to the town because a man had founded it. In 1840 Mr. Mudge moved to the little town and spent his first winter building wagons for the people of Manville. The next spring Mr. Mudge moved to a better homestead.
The greatest question of the town was a mill, and that winter a mill was built. The water from the creek was used to run the mill. The farmers could grind their own wheat and corn. No more long trips were made to Lowell to get things ground.
A road ran through the town to Ottawa. Lincoln had used the little town as a resting nlace when he was on his way to Ottawa to the court house. The little town had about one hundred and fifty people in it. Most of the people were farmers from the south and north. There was only one main street in the town, and that was the road to Ottawa. A railroad was started to go through the town. The ground upon which the track was to be laid upon was built up by men. The railroad never went through because too many sidetracks had to be put in.
In the year of 1850 a band of men occupied the valley across the creek from the town. The men were what we would call horse thieves. One dark night the men drove the horses away and sold them. The thieves occupied the valley long after the town was gone.
Mr. Mudge came back to the town and bought a tract of land. He and his sons cut the stone from the creek bed for their home. Mr. Mudge's home has stood up for many a year in all kinds of weather and will stand up many more years.
The graveyard was about one-half of a mile from the town. The first person buried there was a pioneer called Coats. The graveyard was not a modern one, with a man to cut the grass and trim the trees. It was under the trees and wild flowers grew upon the graves. After the first death the people started to move away. One by one the families left. The homes and then the mill vanished. The last house was moved away in 1920. All that is left of the town is the millrace and the cellars of the homes.
There are very few people left in this world that remember the town called Manville. One of Mr. Mudge's sons owns the land on which the town stood. The graveyard is in his pastures. I live on Mr. Mudge's farm. There are two tombstones that mark the graves of the Coats', that have died long ago. Mr. Mudge is the only person around here that remembers the town. He could tell many a good story about Manville. It surprised me quite a bit to find out that a town could spring up and then fade away and leave only a few people to tell of its passing.