St. John's Cemetery Individual Record

Manuel "Manny" RunyanManuel "Manny" Runyan

Manuel "Manny" Runyan
(February 27, 1872 -- October 20, 1954)

Section: 9
Space: 4
Lot: 15
Parents: Wm Bell & Clarine Golay Runyan
Place of Birth: Geneva, Al
Occupation: Arts
Area: 1

Manuel Gonzalez Runyan, known as “Manny”, was born February 27, 1872 in Geneva, Alabama, son of Wm Bell and Clarine (Golay) Runyan.  .  He was named for his father’s best man and friend Manuel Francis Gonzalez.  They were in the War Between the States together, with Manuel Gonzalez naming his second son William Runyan Gonzalez.  As a child, Manny enjoyed drawing, taking classes at age 14 under Miss Emma Chandler.  After his local schooling, Manny’s profession was a music teacher in Pensacola schools.  While attending the World’s Fair of 1893 in Chicago, Manny toured the local art museums, deciding art was his true profession.  After schooling in New York, he returned to Pensacola, opening his first studio on Palafox Street.  Not only did he teach in his studio, he taught at different schools, and under the WPA program.  In his knickers and unique cap, Manny could be seen painting his beautiful scenes of Pensacola.  His art was in exhibits in Pensacola, New Orleans, Mobile and south Florida.  In the 1930’s, Manny, with other local artist, started the Pensacola’s “Art Cover Exchange Club”, a pen pal-type club.  They exchanged their art on postcards and envelopes all around the country.  Manny was also interested in family history, finding relatives in New Jersey, Indiana, Georgia, Ireland and Switzerland.  When T.T. Wentworth started collecting items for his museum, Manny donated some of his paintings, family items and history he had researched.  Manuel Gonzalez Runyan died October 20, 1954, buried next to his parents.