Manville, to the west of Lusk, was a shipping point for cattle and was named by Addison A. Spaugh (1857-1943) after Hiram S. Manville, a co-owner with James S. Peck of the
Converse Cattle Company (the "OW"). The Converse Cattle Company, in turn, was named after
A. R. Converse, a Cheyenne banker. The early history of Manville is to a great extent the
history of A. A. Spaugh.
City Garage, Manville, undated.
To the left of the Garage is the Economy Store. The Economy Store was started in 1914 by Hans Gautschi.
Gautschi arrived in Lusk in 1905 to work as an engineer for copper mines at Rawhide Buttes and Muskrat Canyon. The last
effort at copper mining was in 1912 and 1913 when the Michigan Mine in Muskrat Canyon south of Lusk was opened. It soon played out.
Spaugh first came to Wyoming up the Texas Trail in 1874 delivering cattle to the Red Cloud Agency. In
1874 he was employed on the old JHD ranch on Horse Creek. In 1879, he was emplyed on the OW, west of
Hat Creek. He ultimately became its foreman. Manville was the site of
Spaugh's homestead. In 1898, Spaugh acquired the "77" and the Horseshoe ranches together with 2,500 head of
cattle from Thomas B. Hord and Amsy Hord. Within four years Spough's operation had increased to 20,000 head of cattle and had fenced some
1,500,000 acres of public lands. The fencing of federal open range had been illegal since Feb 25, 1895. Nevertheless,
the law was generally ignored, sometimes with the conivance of officials in the western states.
In Texas, as an example, the Texas legislature made the fencing of public lands a misdemeanor, but the cutting of the
illegal fence was a felony punishable by one to five years in the State Penetentiary.
Manville, approx. 1912.
The Manville Supply Co. was owned by Spaugh and Harry Barton Card (1861-1947). The two also published Keeline Couier and
the Jireh Record. As noted on subsequent pages Keeline and Jireh further, to the west, are now ghost towns.
The illegal fencing of open range did not go unnoticed. In 1898, the State Engineer, Elwood Mead, published in his report to
the Governor, p. 128, a letter he had received denouncing Spaugh as a autocrat:
"We have in this locality, as a precedent, the Spaugh and Hord tract of State land, at present
all controlled by Mr. A. A. Spaugh; lying in one solid body of many thousand acres with
many small springs and streams, with beautiful places for homes and small stockmen, all of
whom have been "frozen out and cleaned up," as Mr. Spaugh expresses it; extending north and
south a distance of fifteen or twenty miles and more than one-half that distance north and
south, without a road or cross-road cutting through it. Notices are posted warning stockmen and
settlers from camping or driving through the premises. Mr. Spaugh and others owning or
controlling such tracts can drive or feed their stock where they please over the puiblic
range, lock their gates, and declare themselves autocrats. In the place of one man living on
this tract of land, running foreign stock to suit his own convenience, we might have twenty
good families with homes and small bunches of stock, good citizens and tax-payers.
F. W. Kettler's Garage, Manville, 2005. Photo by
Frederick William Karl Kettler (1888-1959) was originally from William Penn, Texas. Across the
street from the garage stands the old Bank of Manville, deserted and forelorn, some windows boarded up,
others broken out with curtains blowing in
In 1901, Spaugh was indicted for enclosing 225,000 acres of publicly owned open range near Manville. He was convicted by A federal
trial jury. Although, the law required the fencing to be removed in five days, the federal judge gave Spaugh thirty days to remove the fencing on the basis that if he
did so, he would go light on the sentencing. The fencing was removed and Spaugh was fined $50.00 and sentenced to
one day in jail.
Notwithstanding his day in jail, Spaugh continued to expand his operations. In 1902, he bought out the Blain Brothers
sheep operation and eventually expended it to running some thirty thousand head of sheep.
Laying out baseball field, Manville, 1912.
From 1914 to 1920, an oil boom hit the Manville area. Spaugh, along with W. P. Spaugh and Thomas Blair of Colorado, organized the
Sunset Oil Co. w. P. Spaugh was mayor of Manville. The company held some 10,000 acres of oil leases in the Lance Creek area and in the "Big Muddy." By 1922, the company had
drilled three wells.
Fourth of July Parade, Manville, 1919.
Manville and Spaugh were on a roll. Following the census of 1910, the town had been incorporated as a municipality.
In 1910, the town had a population of 133.
Addison Augustus Spaugh
President, Citizens National Bank,
By 1918 the town had a waterworks, hotel, telephone exchange and a grain elevator. In 1918, the town council
authorized the construction of concrete sidewalks and crosswalks. H. B. Card, president of the bank, purchased a new
Paige automobile. Marshal McClure began enforcing speed limits against "speed fiends" with his
stop watch. F. W. Powers, the owner of the Farmers Hotel, opened a new meatmarket.
Spaugh in 1916 and 1917 liquidated his cattle and sheep interests and began an
expansion of bank and other holdings. Spaugh reinvested the earnings from the sale of the cattle and sheep interests and organized the Bank of Keeline, the Bank of Glenrock, the First State Bank of Cheyenne, the Bankers and
Stockmen's Trust Company in Cheyenne.
and the Commercial Bank & Trust Co. in Douglas. Additionally, he became the president of the
Citizens National Bank in Cheyenne. About 1918, the Bank of Manville moved into its new bank building across the stree from Kettler's Garage.
Two oil companies maintained offices in the Bank Building. The town had multiple fraternal lodges.
In May, 1920, Roosevelt Lodge Free & Accepted Mason was instituted. That fall, the Eastern Star was instituted by the
Deputy Grand Patron who flew to Manville from Cheyenne in one hour, thirty-three minutes. His areoplane
landed on the baseball field. A Woodsmen's Lodge and a Royal Neighbors Lodge were organized. The Royal
Neighbors was a fraternal order for women which provided insurance.
Movies were shown in the
Dotha Theatre. The theatre also hosted boxing matches. IN 1920, Ernie "Kid" Ross from Lusk bested
Omaha's "Kid" Wade in a ten-round match at the Dortha. Dances and other activities were held in Spaugh Hall. By 1920, the town reached a population of
584. In 1924, Spaugh proposed instituting motor bus service from Manville to Cheyenne. His application was denied
on the basis that motor busses for a community such as Manville was regarded as "experimental."
On July 9, 1924, the First National Bank of Cheyenne failed.
One by one other banks in Wyoming fell like a row of dominoes. The Bank of Keeline closed.
By 1926, the crown jewel of Spaugh's banking empire,
The Citizens National Bank of Cheyenne located in what is now the Boyd Building, was in recievership.
Manville approx. 1916.
The boom ended. In the period from 1920 to 1930 more than half
of the banks in the state had closed. In 1929, Spaugh filed for bankruptcy. By 1930, the
town's population had plummeted to 201. The Economy Store closed and Hans Gautschi moved back to Lusk where
he operated a Standard Station. In 1934, the Masonic Lodge went dark and merged with Lusk's Harmony Lodge. By 1970, the
population of Manville had fallen to 101.
The Bank of Manville, 2005. Photo by Geoff Dobson.
The Bank, founded in 1907, was originally controlled by Harry B. Card (1888-1947) as president and
Spaugh as vice-president. Card was a wool grower, and vice-president
and director Manville Supply Co. Card came west from Ohio and worked as a cowboy on a number of
ranches in the Lost Springs area. He proved up his homestead in 1893 and gradually extended his holdings.
Next Page: Lost Springs.