|Cyrus Trees' birthplace in Manilla, Indiana. The house was built by his grandfather, Jacob Mull, who was one of the founders of Manilla. (Photo was taken from the book, In Old Kentucky, a History of My Forbears, written by William DePrez Inlow.)|
My great-great-great grandfather Cyrus Ebon Trees was born August 4, 1848 in Rush County, Indiana, the third son of James Whitlow Trees and Catherine Mull. His father was a physician for a short while, but later became a dry goods merchant. He received a common education in nearby schools and went on to attend Northwestern University in Illinois.
Cyrus Trees was married to Annie Inlow in Manilla, Indiana on May 4, 1869. They had only one child, Lavanche. But when their daughter was only six years old, Annie suddenly died of an unknown illness. Cyrus remained a widower for nearly two years, then he remarried in 1877. His second wife, Charlotte Macy, was just eleven years older than his young daughter. Cyrus and Lottie had two children, Lee and Mary Catherine.
|Shelbyville Democrat published May 21, 1881|
In addition to all of these business ventures, Cyrus Trees was actively involved in politics. One Shelbyville, Indiana newspaper described "Cy" as "a red hot Democrat." He held his beliefs firmly and was slow to change his views.
In the 1880's, Cyrus engaged in land investments in Kansas, and encouraged everyone he knew to do the same. He became the vice president and director of the Kiowa Land Investment Company. And if all this wasn't enough, Cyrus started something completely new; he organized the First Manilla Bank in 1895. Eventually, the strain of all this responsibility caused serious repercussions and robbed him of his sanity and health.
|Land investors in Haskell County, Kansas.|
Although Haskell County had enjoyed a boom in the 1880's, it suffered an even larger bust in the 90's. The county's population plummeted, and Cyrus' investments were gone. When he received the news that the whole enterprise had collapsed, Cyrus underwent a nervous breakdown. In September of 1899, Cyrus, now seriously ill, was admitted to a sanitarium in Martinsville, Indiana.
|The Indianapolis Journal published February 10, 1901|
However, not all of the debts were paid off. Dr. John D. Green, son-in-law of Cyrus, filed a complaint against Blessing, asking $8,000 for services rendered as a physician to Cyrus and his family. The doctor stated that, in 1897, his father-in-law had become so ill that he required someone to look after him constantly. Cyrus proposed that his son-in-law might abandon his practice as a general physician and devote his entire time and attention to himself and his wife and daughter, promising to pay him what his services were reasonably worth. Dr. Green agreed to the plan, but was not reimbursed. Cyrus, now a resident of the Richmond Insane Asylum, was powerless to pay him. A settlement was reached, and the doctor accepted payment of $3,500.
"Cy was one of those warm hearted, generous, whole souled persons whom it is always a pleasure to meet, of a most sociable disposition, honest and faithful to his friends. He was enterprising, shrewd, and progressive. In his death his family is called upon to mourn the loss of a kind hearted and affectionate husband and companion." (From his obituary in the Shelbyville Democrat)