Hyrum and Bessie Manwaring
Hyrum Manwaring was born in Granger, Utah. Because he was forced to work away from home at 10, his schooling was neglected. When he was 13 his family moved to a more productive farm in Mapleton, Utah. At 17 he met Bessie Bird, also of Mapleton and she encouraged him to get an education. He worked hard to gain that education despite severe financial hardships. He served a mission to Australia from 1899 to 1902.
After his mission, he married Bessie in the Salt Lake Temple in 1903. He graduated from Brigham Young Academy in Provo, Utah, completing his high school work when he was 29. He went on to teach younger students at Brigham Young Academy while studying college level classes. Following his graduation in 1909, he was principal of the Uintah Stake Academy in Vernal, Utah for two years. He returned to Provo to study and received his B.A. degree in 1911. He taught English while he did graduate work there.
In 1914, he came to Ricks Academy as the head of the English Department. He was also in charge of student body programs and dances for many years. When Ricks became a junior college in 1923, he was made Dean of the College Department and served as the Head of the Department of Psychology and Education.
He completed his master's degree at Brigham Young University in Provo and returned to teach at Ricks. His doctorate was earned a few years later from the University of California.
Hyrum Manwaring was the President of Ricks College from 1930 to 1944. He fought to keep the school open and operated by the Church rather than by the state. He continued to teach school for nine years after his release as president and then part-time until his death in 1956, just a few months after the death of his beloved wife, Bessie. He taught for over 50 years in Church schools.
Bessie Bird Manwaring
Bessie Bird Manwaring was born in Springville, Utah. Her family moved to nearby Mapleton, where she met Hyrum Manwaring. She was preparing to go to the Brigham Young Academy in Provo for high school and encouraged Hyrum to get an education. She had a tremendous influence on him. Despite severe financial hardship, Hyrum was able to attend Brigham Young Academy also.
After high school Bessie clerked in a store in Springville, Utah while she waited for Hyrum to serve his mission in Australia. In 1903, Hyrum married Bessie in the Salt Lake Temple. Their first few years of married life were difficult as Hyrum struggled to complete his education.
In 1914 they moved their family with three small children (Hyrum, Lucile, and Eugene) to Rexburg. Hyrum taught at Ricks Academy and was head of the English Department. He was also in charge of the student body programs and dances. Their fourth child, Gladys, was born in Rexburg.
In 1922, the Manwaring family left Rexburg and moved first Provo, Utah and then to California where Hyrum received his doctorate degree at the University of California. The family was in Washington DC when they returned to Rexburg as Hyrum was appointed president of Ricks. During the time Bessie and Hyrum were at Ricks they had many fine experiences. They attended many church conferences and educational conventions together.
Bessie and Hyrum enjoyed nature and cultivated a beautiful flower garden. Bessie especially loved tulips and gladiolas. In 1953 they celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Bessie died suddenly in 1956. Hyrum died just a few months later. They are buried in Idaho Falls.
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