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William Mann was born in Hancock, Washington county, Maryland, April 1, 1839. He is the son of Jonathan E. and Mary A. Mann, who came to Missouri in 1841 and settled at Gallatin, where the subject of this sketch was reared. His educational advantages were limited, only having the opportunity of attending school two or three months each year from the time he was eight until fifteen years of age. His mother died when he was nine, and his father just before he became of age. His father being a merchant, young Mann started for himself in the same calling, he and his brother, Elwood E., and Jonathan Brosins, forming the firm of Brosins, Mann & Co., in 1860, soon after his father’s death. They engaged in business until the disturbed condition of the county, caused by the war, compelled them to discontinue, which they did in 1863.
Our subject then went to Nebraska City and engaged in the stove and tinware business, which he carried on until 1867, when, peace being restored, he sold out and returned to Gallatin, and in 1868 again engaged in the mercantile business, associating with him Thomas J. Crain as Mann & Crain. They dissolved in 1870, and in 1871 he became connected in the mercantile business with another brother, J. A. Mann, under the firm name of Mann & Brother. His brother retiring from the firm in 1873, John D. Coulson became his successor, changing the firm to Mann & Coulson, and under this name they continued until 1877, when Mr. Coulson retired; Mr. Mann remained only a year longer, when he sold out to W. A. Wynn, and invested in the livery business.
Mr. Mann and Miss Mildred M. Blue, of Gallatin, were married February 11, 1863, and she died on July 11th of the same year. – He married Miss Victoria Blue, of Nebraska City, October 20, 1865. They have three children, Icilius, Oscar and Walter. Mr. and Mrs. Mann are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, of Gallatin.