State Historic Site

Trail End

Over a Century of History

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Trail End

Manville & Diana Kendrick with bridal party, Washington DC, 1929 (Harmon Collection, TESHS)

​​Manville Kendrick


MANVILLE KENDRICK (no middle name) was born on July 20, 1900, in a third floor room of the Sheridan Inn. The son that John Kendrick had awaited for so long was named for Hiram S. Manville, a cofounder of the original OW outfit and one of John Kendrick's early mentors.


Though raised in the isolation of the OW Ranch, Manville Kendrick was a thoroughly modern young man who appreciated all the finer things in life, particularly music and the theater. After attending Phillips Exeter Academy, Manville graduated from Harvard College, traveled the world with his family, and ran the Kendrick Cattle Company for fifty years after his father's death. ​Manville lived at Trail End longer than any of the other Kendricks, moving in with his new bride in 1929, raising his two sons there, and not leaving until 1960.



COMING OF AGE


Manville's early years were spent on the family ranch. After moving to Sheridan in 1909, his life of isolation ended and he had the opportunity to experience "city" life. He went to public school, rode streetcars and attended concerts, plays and dances. When his father was elected to the governor's office in 1914, Manville went to school briefly in Cheyenne. In the fall of 1915 he was sent, against his wishes, to Phillips-Exeter Academy, a prep school in New Hampshire. This was followed by four years at Harvard. 

Despite his fairly simple upbringing on the OW, Manville developed expensive tastes during his time at school. Along with his wealthy classmates, he followed the latest trends and fads: raccoon coats, tuxedos, Egyptian cigarettes and fast cars. All of this was costly, and Manville's constant need for spending money was not lost on his father. In a 1919 letter, the Senator teased his son:

I had a birthday a few days ago and received as a present the enclosed one dollar bill from your grandfather. I have since felt a great deal of anxiety as to what was best to do with this money, and have written your grandfather to that effect. I explained to him that I felt the urgent need of keeping the money in the family and so far as I knew you were the only member of the family who never expended any of your own funds and so on this account I thought I would send it to you.

In the summer of 1922, shortly after his graduation from Harvard, Manville went to work at the family ranches, assisting his uncle Clarence Wulfjen, who had been ranch manager for many years. Making the transition from Harvard to hayfield was not always easy, but he was a quick learner, rarely having to be told something twice. By the end of 1930, Manville had learned enough to earn the following praise from his father:

Whether you realize it or not I at least realize that you are becoming more and more an essential factor in the management and handling of the business. Already I feel that when either you or your uncle are there our interests are protected in so far as it is possible to protect them and when you are both on the ground I am content, even in a crisis, to be eliminated from the landscape even as a counselor.  

By this time, Manville was married and on his way toward having a family. In the mid-1920s, in between roundups, shipping and haying, Manville Kendrick had several opportunities to visit his parents in Washington. There he met a young debutante named Clara Diana Cumming, daughter of U. S. Surgeon General Hugh Smith Cumming and his wife Lucy Booth Cumming.


MARRIAGE     

Growing up, Diana Cumming lived the gypsy life of a government employee's child. Before settling in Washington, D.C. in the mid-1910s, the family lived in Georgia, California and Japan. A popular student at Western High School in Washington, D.C., she excelled in riding and shooting and was the only female to compete on the school's rifle team. After graduation, she attended the Cathedral Girls School where she served as president of her class.

Prior to Manville, Diana had been squired about almost exclusively by cadets from West Point, Annapolis and the Virginia Military Academy. Therefore, her engagement to the young rancher came as somewhat of a surprise. But Diana had known Manville Kendrick for several years. In fact, her first cousin, Samuel Calvin Knox Cumming, had married Manville's first cousin, Eula Severn Williams, in 1923.    

In 1929, Manville and Diana were married in the Bethlehem Chapel of Washington's National Cathedral. Following a honeymoon cruise from Baltimore to San Francisco via the Panama Canal, they moved to Sheridan.

​Although they lived there for nearly thirty-two years, the young Kendrick couple never wanted to make Trail End their permanent home. Diana in particular wished to have a home of her own, away from the frequently conflicting demands of her husband and his mother. Although Senator Kendrick professed to offer not a "single objection to the plan" of moving out (saying it was all Eula's doing), he nonetheless went out of his way to make living at Trail End an attractive proposition. This was especially true in 1932, following the birth of his first grandchild: "Even if you moved into your own home [Diana] probably would not feel anything like as safe to leave the baby and go with you as she would if he were looked after by a nurse and the nurse were looked after by his grandmother." Even though they purchased land in Big Horn and had detailed house plans drawn up, Manville and Diana eventually abandoned such dreams and moved into Trail End permanently, making an apartment out of the former guest wing.

Unlike his father, Manville seemed to have no political aspirations of his own. Nevertheless, he was often touted as one of “Wyoming's future leaders.” When the Senator died in 1933, it was noted that Manville would most likely "carry on in the footsteps of his father as one of the northwest's most successful stockmen." It took four years, but after his Uncle Clarence retired in 1937, Manville did indeed take over the reins of the empire, holding them as president of the Kendrick Cattle Company until the ranches were sold in the late 1980s. Manville Kendrick died in September of 1992 at the age of ninety-two. He is buried – with his parents, wife and son – beneath the Blue Spruce trees in the family plot at Sheridan's Municipal Cemetery.


(Kendrick, Hoff & AHC collections, TESHS)