Dr. George Felix “Doc” Manning

By Tom Todd

Doc ManningGeorge Felix “Doc” Manning, the son of Payton T. and Virginia Manning, was born October 27, 1837, in Mobile, Alabama. He graduated from the medical department of the University of Alabama. He then went to Paris, France, for further medical studies. At the outset of the Civil War he returned and, with his three brothers, joined the Confederate Army as an artillery lieutenant under General Joe Wheeler. He and his three brothers vowed they would not shave until the south was victorious. They kept their vow and died with their beards.

After the war the brothers joined other Confederates in exile in Mexico. Later they returned to Alabama, and Doc, with his brothers James and Frank, eventually settled near Belton, Texas, where he married Sarah Ellen Alexander. He started a medical practice in Giddings, Texas. Doc was a scrappy little fellow and became involved in a knife fight with a fellow doctor; both were severally injured but survived. By 1880, Doc and his brothers had settled in El Paso, Texas, where the brothers entered into the saloon and related businesses.

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A feud developed between the brothers and El Paso City Marshal Dallas Stoudemire who suspected the family of instigating several assassination plots against him. Stoudemire was appointed a deputy US Marshal and on September 18, 1882, Doc and Stoudemire became involved in a gunfight in one of the local saloons. Doc shot Stoudemire in the left arm and in turn, got shot in his gun arm. Doc engaged the marshal in a wrestling match in an attempt to save his own life. Doc’s brother James entered the saloon and seeing that Stoudemire still had his gun, shot him behind the left ear. Both Mannings were acquitted of murder. Doc then moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, and became a respected physician despite the fact that his right arm was virtually useless as a result of the gunfight.

He died in Flagstaff on March 9, 1825 from influenza. His wife survived him until January 27, 1942. They are buried next to each other in a family plot in the Citizens Cemetery in Flagstaff. Several family members are buried here, including George Felix Manning, Jr.