San Diego County










            Mrs. Mary E. Mannix, widow of John B. Mannix, prominent attorney of San Diego, and a well-known Catholic writer, was born in New York City on the 17th of May, 1846, the eldest daughter of Michael and Margaret (Mansfield) Walsh, natives of Ireland.

            She received her education at the Convent of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (Belgium) in Cincinnati, Ohio, where her parents established their home when she was a child.  Her literary talent manifested itself early in life and she began writing at the age of fifteen.

            From her pen have come poetry and fiction, children’s books, biographies, reviews, essays and translations, from the French, German and Spanish.

            Her first published verses appeared in The Catholic Telegraph of Cincinnati and The Catholic World of New York in 1865.  The following year she published a popular minstrel song entitled “Goldilocks.”  She wrote the words and music of “You call me Sweet and Tender Names,” the theme song forming the basis for the plot of “Caprice,” a play written for and acted by the late Mrs. Minnie Maddern Fiske.

            She has contributed to the following publications:  Boston Pilot, New York Freemans Journal, Lippincott’s Magazine, Ave Maria, Young Catholic Messenger, Extension, Parish Visitor, Catholic World, Benzigers, Rosary, Grail, America and numerous newspapers.

            On the 15th of May, 1873, she became the wife of John B. Mannix, who passed away in 1913 and whose career is reviewed on another page of this work.  The marriage was blessed with seven children:  John B.; Margaret M., wife of W. J. Gough of Sacramento, California; Mary, now Sister Mary Dolorosa, Dean of Mount St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles; Alice M., wife of Edward T. Lannon, attorney of San Diego, whose biography appears elsewhere in this publication; Helen M., wife of H. D. Trounce, of San Diego; Elizabeth M., and Ruth D., both of San Diego.  All of the daughters were educated at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace in San Diego.

            Mrs. Mannix is a communicant of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church of San Diego; a member of the National Council of Catholic Women, the Fine Arts Society and Amphion Club of San Diego; an honorary member of the Original Newman Club of Los Angeles.

            Mrs. Mannix is one of the most venerated Catholic women in southern California, interested in public affairs and a real democrat of broad and liberal views.  At the advanced age of eighty-seven years she retains her brilliance of intellect, and is loved by all who know her.

            Among her best known books may be mentioned:  “Life of Sister Superior Louise of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, of Cincinnati, Ohio;” “Child’s Life of Joan of Arc;” “Lives of the Saints for Boys and Girls;” “A Life’s Labyrinth;” “Chronicles of the Little Sister of the Poor;” “Tales Tim Told Us;’ “Fortunes of a Little Emigrant;” “Pilgrim from Ireland;” “(Translation) Haldemen Children;” “In Search of Adventure;” “Pancho and Panchito;” “As true As Gold’” “Children of Cupa;” “Cupa Revisited;” “Old Camping Ground;” Peril of Dionisio;” etc. etc.




Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: California of the South Vol. III, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 223-224, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles,  Indianapolis.  1933.

© 2012  V. Gerald Iaquinta.