The town of Manlius embraces that portion of T. 33, R.5, lying north of the Illinois river. It formerly embraced the south half of T.34r,R.5, which now constitutes a part of the town of Miller. It has considerable bottom land along the Illinois, much of it valuable, considerable bluff and broken land, and about one-third of the town is covered with bluff timber. Probably half the town is prairie of excellent quality. The Illinois & Michigan Canal and C., R. I. , P. R. R. pass through the bottom between the bluff and the river, bringing a choice of transportation facilities to the doors of all its people. The town of Marseilles is about equally divided between the towns of Rutland and Manlius, and is destined to be an important place. The Grand Rapids of the Illinois furnish a water power equal to any demand that will be made upon it, and the earliest as well as all subsequent settlers have marked it as destined for a brilliant future.
In some respects it has been unfortunate, thus far, suffering severely from fire in several instances; but it has surmounted these and is now doing a successful manufacturing business, aggregating nearly, half a million of dollars annually, which is nearly all labor. This is but a trifle of what the future will develop here. How soon it will realize that prosperity which its resources indicate, will depend upon national and local conditions which time alone will develop.
[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY, Page 310-311 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]