Nebraska Authors

David Vernon Manrose

AKA: Often as David V. Manrose, or David Manrose

Born 1877-01-01 Decatur, IA (USA)

Died 1957-12-31

He had an interesting and somewhat improvisational career. He began his career painting cattle portraits for proud farmers and stock breeders. In about 1897 he joined the Campbell Brother's Circus, a large, nationally known circus which had winter quarters in Fairbury, Nebraska. There, for a decade, he painted circus posters, circus wagons and also worked as a clown. He left the circus in 1907 and settled in Lincoln, Nebraska. He painted backgrounds for Vaudeville, and many theatrical backdrops in Lincoln and around the region. He painted murals for public buildings and churches.

Among his best known murals was a panoramic view of the United States stretching around the walls of an auto dealership at 14th and Q Streets in Lincoln. In the 1930s Manrose, working for the Works Progress Administration, painted portraits of Lincoln's public libraries. In 1981 this artwork was restored by local artist Lynn Boyer and hung in the libraries and library offices. The largest of these, a 2-by-3 1/2-foot portrait of the main city library built in 1902 and demolished in 1961 shows the library as it was known to Lincoln residents like Loren Eiseley and Mari Sandoz. It still hangs near the library offices. In the 1950s, just before he died in 1957, Manrose painted backgrounds for display windows at Ben Simon's and Hovland-Swanson's department stores in Lincoln.

Manrose is listed in Susan V. Craig, Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945). 2009.

Nebraska Author Gertrude Campbell Wehling contributed to a history of the Campbell Circus: see Ed Bardy, Tales from a tent : story of the Campbell Bros. Circus : the canvas that covered the plains. 1981. In HR


Places Lived

Fairbury, NE
Lincoln, NE (1907-57)

Author Of

  • Visual Work


Paintings; Murals; Theatrical Curtains and Scenery; Circus Posters and Circus Wagons




Daughter - Viola Rumpeltes (in Lincoln in 1981)

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David Vernon Manrose

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)