John Manny came from the east, he was born in New York. He moved in the 1850's to Janesville, WI. He later came to Rockford, IL and got married in 1853. He invented the harvester to help the farmers produce more crops with fewer employees or workers.
He started his own company and it was named J.H. Manny in 1853. he shipped the reaper by rail to its destinations. All did not go well with his company a well known Chicago industrialist named Cyrus Mc Cormick sued him. He said that Manny had stole his patent. Manny hired an attorney that later hired Abe Lincoln, who did not help the case. Lincoln came to Rockford, IL to investigate the facts. Manny had hired Staton in the beginning and he did win the case.
Manny did win the case, however he died a few years later. Mc Cormick went to the U.S. Supreme Court and lost the case again.
Mr. Abe Lincoln won the Presidency and hired Staton for secretary of war. We know that Pres. Lincoln was an attorney in the State of Illinois, and was basically self taught.
The original company that Manny started went though several hands and finally ended up with J.I. Case Company. The J.I. Case Company was a large employer for many years in the city of Rockford, IL. They moved out of Rockford into the Agriculture area in the State of Illinois.
The old J.I. Case Company is an old building that is still standing in need of repair. The City of Rockford uses the land for their equipment, trucks, etc. Case was once a large employer that left the area and no other company sought take up the role that they played in the Rockford economy.