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John Anderson Mann, circa 1902

John Anderson Mann
09-NOV-1880 – 02-JUL-1903
2nd Child, 2nd Son

Family Highlights Minimize
  • Married: never
  • Children: none
  • Occupation: Railroad Flagman
Brief Bio of John Anderson Mann Minimize

John Anderson "Johnny" Mann was the 2nd child born to Lindsay & Rebecca Mann.  He was born in southeastern Chatham County, NC in Cape Fear Township and near the village of Corinth.  He was named after his grandfathers: John Mann and Anderson Holt. When he was very young Johnny lived with his paternal grandparents, John & Candace Upchurch Mann, as well as his parents and brother Lemuel.  Once he was old enough, Johnny began helping his father on the family farm and did so at least through 1900, working approximately nine months of each year on the farm.  Two to three months in each of those years were spent in school including the year 1900, when at age 19 he attended school for 2 months. In late 1896 or early 1897 he moved with his family to the Cokesbury section of Harnett County, NC. In 1902 Johnny went to work as a Flagman for the Seaboard Railroad Company in Wake County. In the Spring of 1903 he became very ill and was out of work for several weeks.  According to what I learned in the early 1980s from his sister Beulah Mann McLean, Johnny returned to work before he had regained all his strength and against the wishes of some of his family.  Within a few days of returning, he was accidentally killed near Raleigh one early July night around 2:15 a.m. when he evidently fell asleep by the tracks waiting for a tardy northbound passenger train.  A friendly and very likeable young man according to his sisters Beulah and Mary Joyce, his death was particularly upsetting to his father, sister Berta, brother Raymond, and closest childhood playmate and brother, Lemuel.  At the time of his death, Beulah said Johnny was engaged to be married, but Beulah also said neither she, nor anyone else living, could remember his fiancé's name.

No known photographs exist of Johnny and other than bearing a close resemblance to his younger brother Clarence according to Beulah, Buck and Mary Joyce, the only clue regarding his appearance is the sketch you see at the top of this page.  When this was drawn and by whom is unknown.  Johnny is buried in Cokesbury Methodist Church Cemetery in Harnett County, NC.  He was originally buried near Merry Oaks in Chatham County at Christian Chapel Christian Church Cemetery along with his mother Rebecca and sister Florence.  All three were reinterred in Cokesbury about 1926.

Clayton P. Mann






Death as the Engine Crashed Over Him.

Flagman John Mann Killed Yesterday Morning by the Seaboard Air Line Vestibule.

     Asleep on the track yesterday morning John Mann roused for a moment and then awoke in another world.
     The vestibule Seaboard Air Line early yesterday morning struck and killed him while he was asleep on the track just below the block house, at Boylan's bridge, on the outskirts of Raleigh.
     John Mann, a young white man, aged twenty-two years, was the flagman on the Seaboard freight No. 22, in charge of Conductor Lee.  This train was waiting for No. 34, the vestibule northbound, due in Raleigh at 1:35 a.m., but which was late forty minutes.
     Mann was sent back to flag the vestibule and put out his signals.  It is surmised that he sat down on the track while awaiting the train and fell asleep.  When he awoke the fast train was nearly on him, and he made an effort to get his lantern, stop the train to avoid a wreck and get out of the way, but too late as the train struck him, hurled him from the track, killing him instantly.
     Engineer Wright was at the throttle of the engine pulling the fast train.  He says he did not see the warning lantern until close on it, and this was probably so, because it was on the opposite side of Mann whose body might have obstructed the view.  The engineer says that just before Mann was struck he saw the flash of a lantern, but it was too late to stop.
     Mann was struck in the side, and it is said that his head was fractured and an arm broken, besides injuries to his side and internal injuries.  The train was stopped and the body taken up and carried to Johnston Street Station, being later turned over to Mr. John W. Brown for preparation for burial.
     Mann had been sick for about two months and had only lately returned to the road, having been in its employ for about a year.  His people reside at Merry Oaks and yesterday afternoon his remains were sent to his father, Mr. Lindsay Mann.  The funeral will take place this morning.

Reprinted from the July 3, 1903 Raleigh News and Observer


1900 Census · Harnett County, NC · Buckhorn Township