William Henry Manwaring was born April 25, 1881 in Springville, Utah. His father was George Manwaring who wrote so many of our hymns. His mother was Electa Melvina Stevenson. William and his six brothers and sisters had a hard childhood. The oldest brother, George, said that from the time he was eight years old, he boarded out with different people. His sister, May, also said she lived with relatives so probably William had the same kind of life. His mother divorced his father and later married a man named Johnson. By him she had a son Charles. The children didn't like the new husband and when they came home after the wedding ceremony, he found that the children had put all his belongings outdoors. The poor man didn't get much of a welcome.
William Henry and Hon were a loving couple and would walk in the garden with their arms around each other. He never left or entered the house without kissing her. They had a happy life together in spite of poverty and hardship. He worked at many different jobs as he hated a steady job and always wanted to work for himself. He loved books and all his life his greatest ambition was to own and run a bookstore. He had two of them. The money didn't come in very fast and he had to fall back on his old trade, paperhanging and painting to get enough to live on. All the children were proud of the bookstore, especially Stanley who helped a lot by staying in the store while his father was out papering or working at something to earn some money. We believe he was the first to start a loaning library. He had many original and ambitious ideas but not much chance to carry them out. He wouldn't stay long with a steady job but worked long and hard.
He was generous, kind, strictly honest, and straightforward. He would do anything for people. He died at Thanksgiving time of pneumonia. He had gone on a business trip to California and got very sick and felt that he had to get home as soon as possible. He must have been delirious most of the time on the train for he said he couldn't remember how he got home. He said he wouldn't mind dying at all except for leaving his family. He lived forty years and they were full of hard work and discouragement, but he wouldn't recognize discouragement. He was always cheerful, hopeful, helpful and kind. He died November 29, 1921. He was about six feet tall with steely blue eyes and light brown hair. He had a strong firm look about him.