A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but since his early childhood a resident of Rhode Island, Mr. McManus has been successfully engaged in the practice of law in Providence and West Warwick since the completion of his education and his admission to the Rhode Island bar. During this entire period he has been prominently active in public affairs and politics and at different times has held important public offices, which he has invariably filled with ability and conscientiousness. A veteran of the World War, a member of several fraternal and legal organizations, and an active participant in civic work, as well as a regular church attendant, Mr. McManus represents the highest type of useful and public-spirited citizen.
James O. McManus was born in Philadelphia, a son of the late James and Mary (Hallinan) McManus. Both his parents were natives of Ireland. His father was a successful merchant until his death. Mr. McManus received his early education in the public schools of Coventry, Kent County, and then attended the Warwick High School, after which he became a student at the Bryant & Stratton’s Business College, Providence. From there he went to Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia, attending its law school, from which he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1920. Admitted to the Rhode Island bar, in 1921, he has been engaged in the practice of his profession ever since then in Providence and West Warwick. In August, 1929, he became a member of the law firm of Grimes & McManus, with which he has continued since then with offices in Suite 805, Hospital Trust Building, Providence. Mr. McManus is highly regarded in his profession and enjoys a large and important practice.
In politics he is a supporter of the Republican party, and for many years he has taken a very active and effective part in public life. He has served for five years as town solicitor for Coventry, for four years as that town’s probate judge, and for four years as its coroner. In 1929 he served as recording clerk of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, and in 1930 he became reading clerk of this body. He is a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association, the Kent County Bar Association, and the Pawtuxet Valley Board of Trade, as well as of the Rhode Island Republican Club, and David Papineaes Post, American Legion. Fraternally, he is affiliated with Washington Lodge, No. 15, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and with J. P. Gibson Council, Knights of Columbus. During the World War he served in the United States Navy with the rank of chief yeoman. His religious affiliation is with St. James’ Roman Catholic Church. He is fond of outdoor life, especially of fishing.
Mr. McManus married, in 1928, Jeanette C. Burns, a native of West Warwick.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.