REM "It's the End of the World as we know it" 1987

People trying to control you are EVERYWHERE
and it's not just in politics!!!
I have to laugh when I hear comments in the news how big tech companies are censoring certain people and specific speech.
You tend to only hear about problems when it affects the politicians, which makes me laugh even more.
Problem is these and many other privacy invasions and losses of freedoms are much more serious than just affecting politics and our government.
For over a decade I have not used Google search or any of its services.
When Facebook/Twitter and the other so-called social media sites popped up, I knew right away what was going to happen and why I have never used their services.

What happened to personal responsibility and respect for our country and privacy in every aspect?
This problem goes way beyond politics and interference by foreign is integrated into almost every company, both software and hardware.
What happened to the people who owned and worked for the companies years ago who wanted to provide something to the consumer they could use, WITHOUT any interference, tracking, or control over the user?
Today, these companies/programmers often argue why they do this is because it is easier for them to setup and update things because most people don't understand how to trouble shoot and fix problems that arise.
They also say the consumer won't take the time to learn how to work with a product or take the time to back up the data.
Basically these software programmers/owners think people are just too stupid and lazy to get it right.
Now most people will wonder exactly what I'm writing about or think I'm just talking through my hat...

Let's start with Google.
I hear lots of concerns on the news and by people how this tech company is trying to take over and control nearly everything.
Here is one way they are doing it that I have never seen explained in the news.
I'll use Google and Bing search engines for the same search word - TREE.
Then I'll click on the same link site - wikipidia...Now both search engines will take you to that specific site BUT Google is using a completely different process. You see this path line in your browser for both Google and Bing -
BUT use the right click then copy function and you'll get completely different initial path.
Google first takes you through their server so they can track what you searched and where you go.

Bing takes you directly to wikipedia without taking you through their server and tracking you.

Why would you care?
What's the harm?

You shouldn't care because of just this one example with just one company but because every company is either or will eventually take away all of your privacy and take over the complete invasion of every aspect of your life.

Next Google example.
Lots of websites use Google ads.
Again, this allows Google to track where you go and what you are buying or looking for.
Just because you jump to a different website doesn't stop Google from following you.
At this point they aren't able to determine EXACTLY who you are but the more services you use, and applications you download from them will give them more access into your computer.
What's to eventually stop them from doing what hackers and viruses do which allow them to gain access into your personal computer files?

Then there is Google mail.
People like it because it is a "FREE" service - HA!
Don't be fooled!
What irritates me the most about these so-called "free" e-mail services is they don't pay any attention to the spammers, scammers, hackers, who use this free service.
Try contacting Google mail or other free service to complain when you get spam through G-mail or other free service.
I just got another spam mail and they are using G-mail.

I pay for my mail service, so I have no patience for freeloading people who think they are using a free service - it is invading my world and privacy when you use those services.

Another service Google offers other web pages is CAPTCHA - that little box you have to fill out to prove you are a human.
It isn't obvious that some of these CAPTCHA functions on different websites are controlled through Google but they are.

I use CAPTCHA with my guestbook and message board to stop hackers and scammers from posting their crap on my web pages.

The big difference is that I set up my own CAPTCHA on my site and don't use any other service or company for this feature.

Now to show how entangled and intertwined Google, Facebook and other tech companies are lurking around trying to work in your browser and other programs on your computer - there is a little system file Windows uses to allow or block access.

It is called the HOST file.

This is the default file with very little information:
# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
# localhost
# ::1 localhost

Here are the restricted addresses I added to the HOST file.
# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
# localhost
# ::1 localhost

# block omnipage

# block doubleclick

# block facebook

# block all facebook

# block google

# block all google

When you get those annoying ads that pop up while browsing, or all of a sudden you see something you looked at to purchase on another site - it's because of just some of these sites used by the big tech companies to track you and sell you stuff, and worst of all to invade your privacy.

If you study the different sections I have above you'll see Omnipage as one of them.

Many years ago after updating my Omnipage OCR software program, it started trying to connect to the Internet which I noticed by accident one time when I didn't have my Internet hooked up.
I would get a number of pop up boxes trying to connect to sites that had nothing to do with Omnipage. So I copied those addresses and added them to the HOST file and after that Omnipage never tried to connect to the Internet.

Using this updated HOST file I now get popup boxes on some websites that will tell me I'm blocking part of their site so it won't function properly or at all.
Other sites will still work but at least I don't see those annoying ads or what I last purchased or looked at.

It isn't just big tech that uses these services, but insurance companies, banking sites, e-bay, and many others.

To log in to a couple of my insurance or banking sites, I have to reload the default HOST file, restart the computer and then I'll be able to login in and access those company sites that I do financial business with which is truly amazing and absolutely irresponsible that they allow these big tech companies to track what financial or businesses I use for personal purposes.

Basically I think their tech support departments simply have ignorant workers or somehow these companies are paid by the big tech to use these invasive services.

I have been planning to call these companies and ask them to explain to me why they use these tech companies invasive services to see what they say.

Once I log out of those sites, I reload my updated HOST file with the restrictions and then restart my computer so I don't get all of those annoying ads and invasion of privacy when I browse the Internet.

If I can set up my own web page without using the services or programs of Big Tech, then certainly the companies I do business with can also control and maintain their websites where I access my information.

I have often wondered if and for how long the Ag companies that provide GPS mapping services and technology, have been, or will eventually be secretly capturing all of your data and field activities that you think are only provided to you with the access.

I showed the old Microtrak technology feature down below and at that point, the companies and programmers hadn't yet thought of ways to steal your data and invade into your privacy...but it was just a matter of time.

What is really confusing to me are the politicians and people who object to the Big Tech invasion, yet they still use their services.
If everyone would stop using Google or Facebook or other services that censor speech and only donates to one political party, they would either have to change their ways or go out of business.

There are still some other options to these particular big tech companies so you don't have a reason not to switch.

For those of you who like the censoring or political donations because you are on the "same side," don't be fooled, it won't be long before your rights, privacy, and freedom of speech are restricted.

We need to stop the companies now that insist on this complete invasion and take over.

We use to be able to purchase a computer program on a disc and then install it and use it when, as much or long and how we wanted to use it...and could easily re-install it if you got a new computer or your hard drive would fail.

We could control the installation and didn't need a connection to that software company through the Internet to use it.

Now, for the most part, you can only download the software from the company and have to pay a yearly subscription fee...and even though you install it on your computer, at least part of the functions work off the company's server or won't function at all if you don't have an Internet connection.
WHY? because they want to know what you are using the software for, when, how much, what type of data you create, and then probably are or will eventually secretly track/store your data on their site to use for whatever they want.

Remember when Bill Clinton's administration took Microsoft to federal court in 2001 when they integrated Internet Explorer into the Windows operating system?
Even though Bill Gates was more closely aligned politically with Bill Clinton, the government was trying to stop Microsoft from monopolizing computer and Internet technology back then.

Now Big Tech is 100 times more invasive and they are openly hostile to one political party.

Power corrupts; Absolute power corrupts absolutely!!!"

When I hear people say these companies offer services for free.
NOTHING is FREE and I'm not just talking financially.

What is the price of your freedom when you lose it???

Recently a Burmeister relative contacted me and provided me with several obituaries of Burmeisters who lived in Manning during the mid-1890s.
There was a Burmester/Burmeister family that I was aware of in Manning and this family was connected to the Blocker family, but this other Burmeister family with all of the obituaries is apparently a different one - probably not related.

If you can help with Burmeister/Burmester please contact me.
There is an Addison connection to Burmeister...

In 2005, someone connected to the Blocker family sent me these 2 very low resolution scans but I can't figure out who right now.
The old Main Street picture postcard has Burmester written on part of the building. This would be the south half of the present day building where Alan Irlbeck is located - the old Merlin Struve building.

John & Alwine (Blocker) Burmester

It is hard to see on this scan but Burmester was written on the south end of the second building.

Below is from a 2005 e-mail from a Burmester relative and possibly may have sent me the above scans...

I really wouldn't know if the Burmaster and Burmester are one and the same. Quite possibly. If it were John Henry Burmester it could be the reason he left Manning in 1897.
My information about the furniture'undertaking business comes from my Uncle Lyle Luth who wrote to me in 1967: "Mother's father [John Henry Burmester born 1842, Haderslev, Schleswig, then Denmark] was a farmer but had to quit because of ill health due to sunstroke. They moved to Manning, Iowa [from Ida Grove], where he operated a furniture store and undertaking establishment, a standard combination in the west at least. If mother [Emma Burmester 1st child, born 1879 in Lost Nation, Clinton, Iowa] was in the store when someone came in to order a casket and the deceased was about mother's height she would get into the casket to determine if it was long enough, something she dreaded. Whether she was always somewhat superstitious or this started it is a question.
Her father was a violinist but I do not have any idea as to his ability or whether he played only for his own amusement. He died rather young [1902, Ute, Iowa] and whether before or after the family settled in Ute I know not. Grandmother [Alwina Blocker Burmester] operated a boarding house to support the family.
She subsequently married John Barnhoff, a widower with a family, a farmer at Westside, Iowa."

Emma Burmester married John Luth in Ute and they remained there until John Luth died. The second child of John Henry and Alwina Burmester, Anna married Dan Cronin in Ute and moved to Platte Center, Nebraska. The third child was Richard who went to Montana, married Blanche Streeter there, became a deputy sheriff and was shot to death in the line of duty. Dorothy, "Dora" Burmester, born in Manning 11 May 1847, married Ed Miller in Ute. They settled on a farm near Blackberry, Minnesota.

Sheryl Musfeldt found this brooch at Bob Tigges' house at 514 Ann while metal detecting.
Bob's house was built in 1885 and so far she found one silver dime, 4 wheat head pennies, and this brooch.
She is hoping someone will recognize the brooch and be able to make a connection to the location so its history can be properly documented.
These are the names Sheryl found who owned this property.
Elizabeth Faust (1885)
Henry D. Radeleff (1884-1885)
Chris Grube
Winter Merritt
C.W. Primmer
Frederich Frederichsen
Robert & Sarah Dappen



Now it could easily be that a child was playing with this brooch and lost it on this property and the owner didn't even live at this location...or maybe they were visiting and lost it, so there may be NO connection to this property and the brooch. But Sheryl is hoping someone might recognize it.

Ho Ho Ho, it's our first & second Snows!!!

It snowed throughout the night - very early in the morning, October 18, 2020

Fortunately, I believe most of the farmers in the area have harvested the worst of their downed corn from the August windstorm. There is still some corn to be harvested but it is still standing.
This snow will quickly melt, but the moisture will not dry out in a mess of tangled and twisted corn stalks, so hopefully everyone has their worst damaged corn drying in the bins and didn't wait for it to dry more in the fields.
October 19, 2020

Snowing all morning...probably 2 inches

Magnolia Soulangeana tree which holds its leaves into early winter.
While our drought may not be over, at least these snows are a sign that we won't have an extended drought like in the middle 1930s, the middle 1950s, and the 1975 through 1977 three-year drought. During the winters of that drought we didn't get much snow if any. During the winter of 1976 & 77, farmers could go out and disk in their fields by February and March. The main branch of the Nishnabotna, quit running for about 2 weeks during the summer of 1977, with farm wells going dry by if you live long enough you'll see all kinds of extreme weather.

I know it's been a long time since I've updated/changed my main web page...
Here is some of what I've been doing this fall that kept me from web updates.
After laying out this feature, I'll get back to scanning the Voge collection which I had hoped to get finished with before fall work began, but the harvest started sooner than I had anticipated.

For decades I have been restoring our farm fields from the ravages of tillage that goes way back to when the Prairies were first plowed.
I'll show some pictures and images that will give you an idea of the restoration process and how I use yield, aerial, and other maps to determine where to tile, where to haul soil and then as the healing process continues in the following years to hopefully see a dramatic increase in yield, soil structure and water infiltration/drainage.

North - map that shows the area in the first picture below.

Map that shows yield data, tile lines, and area soil was hauled.
The area with a lot of red dots shows very low yield. Yellow dots are better and green is the best areas of yield.

We first started GPS mapping yield with Microtrak back in 1995...long before John Deere and other farm equipment companies were thinking about the use of GPS and digital mapping.
This mapping technology has come a long way since the early days of Microtrak but even with the early and sometimes erratic data, we were able to determine areas of each field that needed attention for various aspects of yield and crop production improvements.

The blue lines are the tile I trenched in during the fall of 2017 and the black polygon is the area I hauled soil this fall.


Fall 2017 tiling.

1990 aerial map overlaid by the tile lines and area I hauled soil from the bottom.

Fall of 2020 soil work

I first plowed the area in the bottom, including part of the waterway.

We first purchased this soil mover in 1975 which is when I started hauling soil from the waterways that were filled in with silt and gullied alongside the edges.

Most farmers had a commercial contractor just bulldoze out the waterway and feather the soil out next to the waterway...the last place topsoil is needed.

About 15 years earlier I had hauled soil out of this waterway on the nearside of the plowed current area.
Next fall I plan on hauling more soil from this bottom and waterway on the farside.

I haul soil in stages...rather than cover that whole sidehill and take the chance we get big rains next year with bare soil - at least only this smaller area will wash, with the rest of the field above and below with no-till residue will hold and be stable.
Then next fall I'll haul more soil below this year's soil area.

First loads of soil hauled with the soil mover.

If you look closely on the left you can see the orange clay subsoil which is now the topsoil.
Decades ago it was brown and black topsoil which then washed to the bottoms because of tillage.

Looking to the bottom

View of where I hauled the soil.

159 loads with the soil mover = 398 tons of soil on the initial layer over 2017 tiled sidehill.
This layer is about 1 feet of new topsoil.
14 extra loads to shape end rows = 35 tons.
There was a deeper eroded area on the endrows so I added another layer which made it about 2 feet.
2 feet is how much topsoil has eroded off tilled sidehills like this on basically every farm in this area.

Spring of 2019 after a rain. You can still see the areas between the tile lines are not properly drying out after a rain.
It takes 3 to 5 years for the subsoil water (sidehill seeps) to find the tile lines, plus the decades of packed wet clay can take decades before a better soil structure comes back.
It also takes several years to build up the surface residue and organic matter from better crop growth.
Hauling good topsoil over these areas will dramatically speed up this process.

Spring of 2019 after a heavy rain with some rill erosion. You can see the tile lines which are a much lighter clay color.

2002 soybeans. We went through various stages and changes with no-till that we started in 1981 by simply planting corn directly into soybean stubble.
Over the years we had to make adjustments and newer style equipment was being developed for no-till over the traditional tillage methods.
By 1990 we were converted fully to no-till with both corn & soybeans.

1999 soybeans - Early on with our no-till there was still more erosion than we wanted but converting from tillage to no-till takes years and even decades in some cases for the soil structure and organic matter to improve and most importantly for the nightcrawlers and other earthworms to come back which dramatically improves water infiltration and soil stability.
In this picture you can see eroded soil was trapped by cornstalks and other surface residue in this bean field.

The far side of this picture is where I tiled a few years ago, and hauled soil that was shown above.
Picture just above was the spring of 2003 where we drilled in strips of rye the fall before to help hold the soil on the steeper sidehills...we then killed it off before planting the corn.
We also tried variations of using fall rye strips and later planting rye on the whole field of soybean stubble.
Rye cover crops created new challenges and from year to year was not consistent and some years actually hurt the corn crop yield.

1999 fall harvest on this same area of the field.

I started experimenting with fall rye long before anyone thought of using it as a cover crop...sometime back in the early 1990s, I would plant it on the steeper areas of endrows and on sidehills that I hauled soil on. Then the next spring I would kill it off with roundup with my spot sprayer before the crop was planted. Sometimes I would leave it on those steep areas of endrows that were the previous year's soybean stubble that was planted into corn and let it go fallow for that year.
We generally didn't have erosion and runoff problems with the previous year's corn stalk residue planted into soybeans, so I didn't use rye in those cases.

June 13 - fall rye killed off on a sidehill where I hauled topsoil the previous fall.
I let this rye get quite tall before I killed it off...then we drilled soybeans in it.

Example of rye left on one of the steeper endrows of soybean stubble going into corn.

April 14 - Rye on endrows that was eventually killed off and planted into corn.

April 23 - Root system of a rye plant.

Now some people will argue that spending all of these hours and dollars to repair such small areas of an overall field/farm are not financially sound, but they don't understand all of the benefits beyond yield increases.
You will get stuck less on really wet years...During most springs, when the rest of the field is ready to plant, these areas are still wet, but you still plant right through them which ruins the seedbed and soil structure for the rest of the growing season.

While the yield improvement will take many years to pay for itself, improving these areas of a field/farm will increase the value of the property when it is sold someday.

But the biggest reason for tiling and improving the soil structure in these areas is to stop most of the erosion.
The big reason why no-till slows down and prevents erosion is rain water infiltrates the much better soil structure created by the process over tillage which destroys soil structure, BUT when there is a wet sidehill and sidehill seeps even when it isn't raining, when those heavy rain events come there is no place for the rain to go but run down the surface of the sidehill...thus tiling and improving the soil surface will allow the rain water to soak in, whereas before it had to run down the slope.

If we knew about no-till and tiling the hills back when terraces were first being built, there would be a lot less terraces today.
This farm above has lots of C, D, and even one area of E slope but has NO terraces.
After decades of no-till we have less to no erosion compared to other farms with terraces and their land is tilled.

This brings me to part 2 of this feature...TERRACES on a different farm.

In the spring of 1974 we planted oats on our "Big Hill" with plans to build terraces on this field that summer...
Little did we know about a major flooding season coming.

We disked the field and sewed the oats which was starting to emerge when we got a rainfall event of epic proportions...we got 3 inches in 15 minutes along with hail on our place.
Below is the result of that event.

The waterway next to the lane was completely buried and the gravel was washed off the lane. A flood followed since the area north of us also received torrential rains.

BUT, this wasn't the end of the "Noah" event...We had a total of 5 floods in two weeks with a total of 18 inches of rain.

The field just below the lane had been disked and large strips of soil washed away down to the depth of the disked soil...and this is a relatively flat area before it reaches the creek.

One of the five floods...
We used the loader and rear mount blade to push back the mud from the lane, only to get another gully-washer. You can see some of the previous piles of mud that didn't wash away.

Note the "Save Gas" button on my Volkswagon dashboard...this was during the 1974 Arab Oil Embargo of 1973-74.

Terraces being built by Jack & Frank Boeck construction - summer of 1974.
This was back when there were four-row planters, so the terraces were designed on the topside so that they could be planted with a four-row.

The problem is that only a few years later, eight-row planters were built, so we decided to just grass out the top sides, realizing we would lose some crop production acres.

Then comes along planters that are 30 and 40 feet wide, with huge combine corn and soybean heads.

The terraces are now difficult to impossible to get around on the ends.

In our case on this hill an offset terrace had to be built, which makes it impossible to farm with the present-day huge planters, sprayers, and combines.

So I decided to shorten up one terrace so there would be 80+ feet for endrows and more room available to get around the offset terrace.

I reclaimed as much of the topsoil and sod on the topside and stored it in piles for later use to put back over the clay areas where the terrace once was.

Finished shortening the terrace.

Before I shortened this terrace, I trenched in tile in the area above it that had been in CRP for 10 years and had been an area of sidehill seeps and wet spots.

Subsoil had been previously borrowed from this sidehill back in the 1960s when the county wanted to reshape the road and fill in the valley between the 2 large hills in that road.

The topsoil was pushed back on our field and then subsoil removed and then they pushed back the topsoil.
The problem is, when you disturb soil structure like this, it really ruins it.
After that we had a lot of wet spots in that sidehill and when we put in the terraces, this only compounded the subsoil compaction and disturbance of the topsoil.

Lateral tile lines connected to the main line.

There were 2 tile inlets for these terraces. I dug down and found the tubes that went under the terraces, hooked up the tile, and then eliminated the above ground inlet.

Because of no-till, we don't get the run-off like we did when we tilled, so the inlets are no longer needed.

During the 1993 Midwest flood, these terraces were NOT topped by the 10+ inches of rain during that event we had.
The reason I know this is because the "shoreline" of residue in our terraces were NOT at the top of the terrace. ALSO, most other terraces in our area on tilled farms had major blowouts in their terraces...we had none.

About 5 years ago I had experimented with eliminating a tile inlet on another terrace but just capped the end and filled in the hole.
The next spring after snow melt and heavy rain, water was standing on the surface of the ground where the inlet once stood. So I dug down and connected tile to the pipe that goes under that terrace. I ran a tile line both ways from that tube for about 30 feet and after that, never had standing water in that low spot where the inlet once stood.

Most of the time I can just use my T device to gauge depth of the tile trench on a slope but sometimes it is very flat so I have to use a transit.

This map shows the tile lines I added to this sidehill.

This map shows the tile plus, the area reclaimed on the topsides of the terraces which can now be farmed.

For years, I've been wanting to reshape the top sides of the terraces so we could finally farm that area for the first time since 1974.
As I wrote earlier, the terraces were built for four-row equipment, but you can't farm the topsides with today's equipment.
So I went to work with the plow, disk, grader, chisel plow, and loader and leveled out the top sides so they can be farmed.

We gained about 1.75 acres by doing this.

Another thing I learned over the years tiling in the sidehills is that you need go closer with the lines, than as with tile in the good bottom ground land.

In 2013, I added 2 lines in a sidehill. Several years later, even after hauling good bottom ground soil over this area, I noticed after rain events that water was standing on top of the ground below the 2 lines I had trenched in back in 2013.

The 2 arrows point to the water standing on the top of the ground after a heavy May 5, 2019, rain.
The arrows are just about where I added another lateral tile line in the fall of 2020 which is shown below.
Now I realize that I had been using the wider spacings used in the bottoms and it wasn't going to work.

So this fall I added one more lateral and after overlaying this line on the aerial map, I can see that the wettest area is where this new line is now.

I also noticed that gray clay and orange clay was in this area where the water was standing.

It will be interesting in the next few years to see how this extra line works...

2013 lines


2020 - the light blue line is the new tile line I added and where water was standing in the picture shown above.
You can see this line is about in the middle of darkest area.
This dark area showed up in the aerial map because the soil is wet on the surface.
Like the yield map shown early on in this feature - red is worst yield, yellow better, and green the best.

You can see the chunks of orange and gray subsoil dug up in the area where the water was standing on top of the ground after a heavy rain.
These types of soil are very tight and get compacted very easy so the subsoil water doesn't move as readily to the tile.

"Don't cry over spilt milk!"
I don't want to take away from the tribute to Lois, but if you read along and then pay close attention, you'll see that I'm actually giving a lot of credit to Lois and Ronnie, for their love of community and school...just take the time to read and then you should understand what I'm referring to.

Lois Vennink - Manning FFA's very first "Sweeheart" of the newly formed "FFA Sweetheart Dance."

Lois & Ron have been very supportive of my Manning historical projects.
When I asked them about their school scrapbooks, they let me go through them and scan the material.
I've visited with them over the years about various aspects of Manning's history and one day I brought up the Manning FFA and how I was sad that the FFA scrapbooks, pictures, trophies, and other history somehow disappeared.
WELL, did I get my eyes opened!...Lois & Ron told me that they tried to save those items. When the school board and authorities decided to end Ag courses and FFA, Ron and Lois got wind that they were going to just throw away the old FFA historical items...a history that began in 1937 and my dad was one of the FFA Charter members, including many other seniors, juniors, and a few sophomores, one being a good friend of my dad, Gerhardt Voge.

From 1937 through the 1950s the Manning FFA won various categories of state championship trophies almost every year.
Each year, there was a historian who made a new scrapbook.

Then comes the era in the early 1960s when supposedly interest in Ag courses and FFA waned so it was decided to end the Ag courses and FFA.
ALSO, when the historical FFA and Ag stuff was thrown away...even over the objections of the Frahms, who offered to take those things so they could be preserved.

Not until 1973, when the new high school opened, were the Ag courses and FFA brought back.

NOW I don't bring this up to judge or criticize the people who decided to throw the FFA history, but to bring it to everyone's attention how FAST & EASY our history is lost...SADLY, this lack of concern about our historical stuff continued on through today. I could site more current examples of organizations and goverment entities throwing our history but don't want to distract from the tribute to Lois any more...

Lois (Vennink) Frahm
April 13, 1937 - September 6, 2020

Below is just a sampling of the wonderful collection I scanned from the Frahm scrapbooks.

Nishnabotna No. 2 Country School

"Honor Lies in Honest Toil"

Nishnabotna No. 2 Country School

Fall 1942

Back: ??
Middle: Wilber ?, Mildred Vennink, Lois Vennink (Kindergarten)
Front: Wayne Vennink, Dale Huebner, Wayne Steinkuehler, Allen Vennink


Back: Wilbur ?, Mildred Vennink
Middle: Wayne Steinkuehler, Allen Vennink, Wayne Vennink
Front: Dale Huebner, AnnaBelle Vennink, Lois Vennink

Mildred ?, Lois Vennink

Manilla town school

Back: Lanny Rutherford, Dale Nielsen, Mark Ramsey, Richard Agan, Lee Poleski, Robert Opperman, Rollin Huffaker, Robert Hollander, Dick Johnson
Middle: Hans Waterbury, Charles Finnegan, Howard Vrana, Pete Soe, Harold Vrana, Roth Farley, Robert Bandow, Paul Gengler
Front: Miss Virginia (Brown) Dethlefs, Jerrie Terwillerger, Lois Vennink, Marilyn Berndt, Betty Ladehoff, Belva Sleister, Aloha Waterbury, Alice Hahn, Margaret Olberding, Rae Jean Steffen

Back: Robert Farley, Robert Bandow, Marilyn Berndt, Betty Ladehoff, Richard Israel, Pete Soe
Middle: Lee Polaski, Alan Lorenzen, Dale Nielsen, Rollin Huffaker, Mark Ramsey, Dick Cee, Aloha Waterbury, Belva Sleister, girl ?, Lois Vennink, girl ?, Teacher Edith Cadwell
Front: Robert Opperman, Rae Jean Steffen, Jerri Terwilleger, Richard Agan, Margaret Olberding, Alice Hahn, Robert Hollander, Lanny Rutherford, boy ?

Iowa No. 7

LaVonne Genzen - sister to Virgil and aunt of Larry Genzen

1949 attendance

1950 Mary Ann Rothfolk - teacher


Admission into high school

Iowa No. 7 Country School

Lois Vennink - Manning High School MHS 1955

Carol Rowedder, Lois Vennink, Janice Ahrendsen, Lou Polking

Aunt Jemima Pancake Day Plans Completed
Plans for Aunt Jemima pancake day in Manning next Wednesday were completed Monday night when the trade relations committee set up a schedule of events for the day.
Pancakes will be served free in the Loucks building next to The Monitor from 10 a. m. to 4 p. m. The chamber is furnishing coffee and Manning Creamery the butter.
To lend atmosphere to the day, chamber members and merchants will "black face" for the occasion. Those not complying with the trend will be fined in "kangaroo court" unless they procure a "poor white 'trash" permit.
Assistance in having the proper make-up applied may be had by reporting at the Loucks' building early that morning. Minstrel shows featuring home talent and music departments of high school, will be presented at Firemen's hall. First show will be at 6:45 for children of school age and the second for adults at 8 p.m. A free-will offering will be taken to help defray expenses.
Music for the minstrel shows will be provided by a jazz band, which will also appear at different times during the day on Main Street.
Dwane Mickelson and Kay McNamara, music instructors, are assisting the committee in getting the shows lined up.
A large minstrel chorus is practicing with instrumental and vocal performers and the customary end men are polishing their lines to ready for the occasion.
Through The Monitor pages today will be found several Aunt Jemima day specials.

Comet Dance royalty March 4, 1955
Ron Frahm, Lynn Clark, Phillip Zerwas, Burton Sander (King), Lois Vennink, (Queen), Sandra Anderson, Louise Polking, Janis Groteluschen

1954-55 Homecoming

Back: Lois Vennink, Bonnie Brus, Carol Rowedder, Shirley Ruhde, Jeanette Justice, Bonnie Lohrmann
Front: Nick Dappen, Noreen Eich

I think this might be Louise Polking

Christmas party: Lois Vennink, Carol Rowedder, Louise Polking

Pep Band

Ronnie Frahm

Christmas special to the Spotlite

Lois & Ron - Junior/Senior Banquet 1954

Band & Vocal Concert

The Mumps!

Ann (Littell) Grau, Jane Opperman

In Lois' scrapbook she wrote: "My misery began March 29, the night after Jane, Ann, and I went skiing.
Jane & Ann stayed overnight."
Apparently Lois gave Ann the mumps but Jane survived.
"I went back to school April 9."
"Named my horn Lumpy after my sore jaws from practicing my solo - sure wished I hadn't. Went to contest April 10."
"Acquired new nickname FATHEAD"

Lois Vennink Christmas party circa 1954 down by Botna.
Notation on back of the picture "we broke one chair."
Standing: Jeanette Justice, Bonnie (Brus) Lorenzen
Kneeling: Jane Opperman, Lois Vennink, Carol Rowedder, Louise Polking

Jane Opperman's New Year's Eve party

Back: Jeanette Justice, Louise Polking, Karen Carstens, Deanna Donaghu
Front: Lois Vennink, Carol Rowedder, Bonnie Brus, Ann Littell

Junior Class play "Meet Corliss Archer" 1954

Back: Jane Opperman, Mary Stangl, Bonnie Brus, Carol Rowedder, Lois Vennink, Jeanette Justice, Louise Polking
Front: Bill Stein, Lynn Clark, Dale Vollstedt

1953 Prom waitresses

Jeanette Justice, Bonnie Brus, LaVonne "Bonnie" Lohmeier, Lois Vennink

Freshman Algebra class 1952-52

Back: Sally Juels, Mary Stangl, Bonnie Brus, Jeanette Justice
Second: Lois Vennink, Betty Foley, Ann Littell, Carol Rowedder, Verna Singsank, Margaret Schroeder, Sondra Spicer
Front: Louise Polking, Marlene Otto, Shirley Ruhde, Beverly Nielsen, Janis Groteluschen, Judith Vollmer, Susan Brandt

Ronnie Frahm

1953 Jr. Sr. Prom Sophomores waiters and waitresses

Back: Lois Vennink, Jeanette Justice, Bonnie Lohmeier, Judy Vollmer, Bonnie Brus
Front: Lynn Clark, Phillip Zerwas, Donald Froyd, Ronald Frahm, Eustace "Junior" Lake

Lois' Pep Squad letter

Lois' ticket

Lois & AnnaBelle Vennink - Spencer Fair

FFA officers

Back: Larry Witt, Vice-president; Ronny Frahm, President; Norman Vandehaar, instructor; Darryl Jahn, Secretary
Front: Larry Thomssen, Historian; Robert Hagedorn, Sentinel; Roger Barten, Reporter; Dale Vollstedt, Treasurer

Lois Vennink MHS 1955

Lois Vennink & Louise Polking

1955 MHS graduates: Sandra Anderson, Bonnie Brus, Larry Christensen, Lynn Clark, Kenneth Dammann, Merlin Drees, Eunice Eich, Phillip Enenbach, George Eschenbacher, Dennis Fischer, Betty Foley, Ronald Frahm, Russell Frank, Donald Froyd, Joycelyn Genzen, Thomas Grau, Janis Groteluschen (valedictorian), Peggy Grundmeier, Robert Hagedorn, Shirley Hansen, Marion Hargens, Janice Hodne, Ronald Irlbeck, Sally Juels, Jeanette Justice, James Kasperbauer, Shannon Koon, Eustace Lake, Allan Lamaack, LaVonne Lohmeier, Alan Lorenzen, Edwin McConnell, Mary Alice Mohr, Lauron Musfeldt, Beverly Nielsen (salutatorian), Jane Opperman, Marlene Otto, Kathleen Ploog, Louise Polking, Delores Puck, James Ramsey, Daryle Rowedder, Carol Rowedder, Shirley Ruhde, Burton Sander, Margaret Schroeder, Verna Singsank, Mary Stangl, William Stein, Larry Thomssen, Lois Vennink, Clifford Vinke, Judith Vollmer, Dale Vollstedt, Phillip Zerwas

1955 former students: Clark Addison, Lois Armentrout, Jerold Barten, Susan Brandt, Sally Christensen, Delores Davis, Carol Fuller, Letty Fuss, LuEtta Gehlsen, Margaret Gensler, Duane Hansen, Patty Hansen, LaRue Hodne, Mary Kennedy, Marsha Kuhl, Jackie Lee, Clifford Letty, Ann Littell, Janet Martens, Ronald Masters, Kathryn Nollen, David Olbertz, Mary Ann Peters, Norman Pieper, Mark Ramsey, Gene Rostermundt, Gregory Schurer, Sondra Spicer, Janice Stein, Patricia Volquartsen, James Williams

Town school information

Alan Lorenzen          Allan Lamaack

Betty Foley          Beverly Nielsen

Burton Sander          Carol Rowedder

Clifford Vinke          Daryle Rowedder

Delores Puck          Dennis Fischer

Donald Froyd          Edwin Dick McConnell

Eunice Eich          Eustace Roger Lake, Jr.

George Eschenbacher          James Kasperbauer

James Ramsey          Jane Opperman

Janice Hodne          Janice Groteluschen

Jeanette Justice          Joycelyn Genzen

Judith Vollmer          Larry Christensen

Lauren Musfeldt          Lavonne Lohmeier

Louise Polking          Lynn Clark

Marlene Otto          Mary Mohr

Mary Stangl          Merlin Drees

Peggy Grundmeier          Phillip Enenbach

Phillip Zerwas          Ronald Frahm

Ronald Irlbeck          Sally Juels

Sandra Anderson          Shannon Koon

Shirley Hansen          Shirley Ruhde

Thomas Grau          Verna Singsank

Lois Frahm, age 83, of Manning, passed away on Sunday, February 6, 2020, at Manning Regional Healthcare Center in Manning.
Funeral service is at 10:30 AM on Thursday, September 10, 2020, at the First Presbyterian Church in Manning.
Interment will follow in Manning Cemetery.
Visitation is after 5 PM on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, at Ohde Funeral Home in Manning where an Eastern Star service will be held at 7 PM.
Ohde Funeral Home of Manning is in charge of arrangements.

Leonard Sailer
October 20, 1938 - September 5, 2020

Back: Kevin, Kurt, Leonard, Mary
Front: Kris, Kim, Karla

Leonard Sailer, age 81, of Manning, passed away on Saturday, September 5, 2020, at his home near Manning.
Ohde Funeral Home in charge of services in Manning.
Private family funeral services will be held this week under the care of Ohde Funeral Home in Manning.

From the 2006 Manning Quasquicentennial history book:
Leonard and Mary Ann (Grote) Sailer were united in marriage on February 13, 1960 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, Mt. Carmel, Iowa. Leonard is the son of Frank and Anna (Wanninger) Sailer and was born October 20, 1938, on the family farm near Carroll, Iowa. He was raised on the farm south of Carroll until his family moved to the Schleswig area in the late 1950s. His siblings include brothers, Paul of Bagley, Richard of Schleswig, Clarence (deceased), and sisters, Loretta Bernholtz of Carroll, and Lillian Stork of Anita, Iowa. Mary Ann is daughter of Herman and Colette Grote. She grew up near Mt. Carmel on the family farm. She has eight brothers, Paul of Carroll, Ralph (deceased), Norbert of Glidden, Iowa, Leonard of Minooka, Illinois, Jack of Carroll, Ted of Gibson City, Illinois, Bill of Withee, Wisconsin, and James of Phoenix, Arizona. Her four sisters include Lorraine Vonnahme of Carroll, Jeannie Rosener of Newcastle Nebraska, Alice Hamilton of Jefferson, and Judy Olberding of Latimer, Iowa.

Early in their marriage, the couple resided in Carroll, Iowa. Leonard was employed by the Witt Flooring Company out of Davenport, Iowa, where he was a terrazzo mechanic and installed marble flooring. In 1971, the couple moved their family to Manning after purchasing the Ed and Gertrude Stuhr farm northeast of Manning. They raised livestock and crop farmed while their family grew. In 1985, Mary became a cosmetologist and has a beauty shop in her home. The Sailers are members of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Manning, where Mary has been active in many church organizations. They enjoy gardening and Mary enjoys baking. She has won many blue ribbons at the Iowa State Fair with her exhibits.

The Sailers have six children, who are all graduates of the Manning Community School. Kimberly married Scott Barnard of Davenport, Iowa in 1982. Kim is employed at the Carroll Health Center in Carroll, while she is pursuing her nursing degree. Scott is the Production Supervisor at AGP in Manning. They live on an acreage northeast of Manning and have four children, Tyler, Noah, Haylee and Hannah. Tyler graduated from MHS in 2001, Noah in 2004, Haylee is a junior and Hannah is a freshman at Manning Community School. Kristine married Dave Weitl of Templeton in 1984. They have two children, Zachary and Samantha. The Weitls live in Pine, Colorado, where Dave works for Hercules Industries and Kris is a nurse for Headstart of Colorado. Karla married Mike Hamann of Denver, Colorado in 1989. They live in Calhoun, Georgia, where Mike is a millwright in northeast Georgia. They have four children, Charlie, Melanie, Sydney and Ryann. Kreg (deceased in 2001) married Jill Anderson of Atlantic, Iowa in 2000. Kurt lives in Grimes, Iowa, and works for Carpenter Erosion Control of Des Moines, Iowa. Kevin lives in Templeton and is employed at Tall Corn Ethanol in Coon Rapids, Iowa.

In July of each year, the family gets together for "Sailerfest", a celebration held at the family farm. The event includes a golf tournament in remembrance of Kreg, followed by food, fireworks, and fun.

Kimberly Sailer MHS 1979

Kristine Sailer MHS 1980

Kreg Sailer MHS 1983

Kurt Sailer MHS 1985

Karla Sailer MHS 1982

Back: Edith Myer, Barb Zubrod, Lisa Hughes, Sonia Johnson
Middle: Suzanne Bandow, Julie Hagedorn, Anissa Hass, Gina Jahn
Front: Beth Opperman, Julie Collison, Karla Sailer, Roxie Halbur

Kris Sailer, Dawn Hargens, Lisa Nelson, Renee Siepker, Chris Ramsey

8th grade football team

Back: Lynn Nulle, Chuck Ramsey, Tim Rowedder, Tim Larsen, Scott Mohr (manager)
Third: Jay Vollstedt, Robert Schmidt, Brian Kelderman, Troy Hagedorn, Bill Langel, Dan Vollstedt, Tony Sevey, Philip Heinicke
Second: Ron Beaver, Chad Reynolds, Dean Genzen, Kreg Sailer, Jim Hinners, Greg Hacker, David Miller
Front: Matt Milkert, John Bunz, Tim Hansen, Dan Rosonke, Joe Karsten

Sixth: Ed Meeves, Ken Rohe, Tom Loking, Tyler Larson, Rick Willenborg, and Dave Weller
Fifth: Brian Joens, David Hass, Jay Karsten, Dennis Menke, Dale Wegner, Keith Rohe, Ken Willenborg, Kurt Sailer, Mike Gruhn
Fourth: Ken Klocke, Terry Rosonke, Craig Langel, Kent Vollstedt, Jon Frahm, Chris Muhlbauer, Cory Struve, Robbie Rauch, Keith Muhlbauer
Third: Carolyn Bruhn, Beth Opperman, Rod Frank, Paul Opperman, Jim Meier, Brian Halbur, Nick Langel, Steve Meeves, Jeff Meier, Keith Klocke
Second: Lesia Andresen, Barb Genzen, Lisa Gruhn, Paula Halbur, Julie Lamp, Dan Kerkhoff, Nate Hodne, Steve Meier, Robert Schmidt, Bill Langel
Front: Officers Dan Rosonke, Dan Singsank, Kyle Jensen, Sweetheart Joan Nissen, Lynn Nulle, Tim Hansen

Kevin Sailer - inspecting the fire damage in the MJM paintshop.

Kreg Sailer MHS 1983

Kreg Sailer

Kurt Sailer (right) after-prom party

Extended Sailer family

Roy Schilling & Ralph Sailer in Aspinwall

Martin Sailer, Cecelia Riesselman, Frank Handlos 1974

Martin Sailer, Joe Riesselman, Sr., Frank Handlos
Martin and Frank are sons-in-laws of Joe

Joel Sailer 1961 - son of Martin

"Way too many people talk loud, and are not saying anything"
Tyrus (George Murdoch).

The tiniest clues can open up a whole new avenue of history about Manning.
Jim Stoffers sent me some more information on the Free family and also ran across a Monitor newspaper clipping of a 1905 Manning baseball team with Harry & Ledger Free as members.
Jim knows I have a huge digital database of Manning pictures and wondered if I might have a scan of an original photo.
After searching for key words like 1905 and baseball I found a scan of that picture.
I had a few other scans but they were from copies or poor quality print.
I checked to see where I got the good scan and it came from a person in Utah in 2011. They had no idea why their dad had this picture so they sent it to me to scan.
THEN I read the e-mail from that person and their address is Provo, Utah.
BINGO, I didn't think anything of the name of the town in Ledger's obituary (shown down below), which is Provo, Utah, but now with this picture that came from Provo, there must be a lot more to this story.
The person from Utah does not know much about their dad who died very young.

I'm wondering if their dad is connected somehow to the Free family.
I sent a message using their 2011 e-mail address and it has not yet bounced back, so I'm hoping it is still active and they'll respond.

Here is the picture from Utah.

Back: Otto Kempf, Peter Martens (assistant manager), Ed Farrell (umpire), Walter Grantz, Henry Hoffmann
Middle: ? Scully, Harry Free, Ledger Free (captain), William Ohde (manager), Herman Vogt
Front: Grover Brunnier, Frank Bucheit, Tom Navin (mascot), Clyde Rowland, Harry Reinholdt

Here is the clipping that Jim mentioned, but there is one person not identified.

This next clipping is from a March 17, 1906, Monitor.

The last name of the unidentified player is Scully.

Ed Farrell was a Spanish American war Veteran.
Walter Grantz served during WWI, along with Ledger Free.

Clyde Roland is spelled Rowland in the second clipping just above...I'm going with Rowland since his last name is listed in that 1906 article and since Henry Hoffmann provided the names from memory during the 1956 Diamond Jubilee special edition to the Monitor.

So as you can see, it was good that I took the time to scan so many different clippings and gathered as many pictures as I did and now I hope I'll be able to help the person in Utah about their dad's ancestry and hopefully confirm some more "little clues" on Manning's amazing history.

Here is Jim Stoffers' update information he sent me:
As it turns out, Ledger Daniel Free Sr. and Russell Martin Free are brothers. 1900 Federal Census lists the four children of Horace Martin Free and Sarah Free as Harry, Ledger, Nina and Russell. Both Russell and Ledger left New York for Europe on August 15, 1918 - but on different ships! (Ledger Free enlisted on September 4, 1917 and was discharged June 15, 1919).
Russell Free was born on September 25, 1891, and died on October 1, 1935, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. (Russell's tombstone lists 1936 as year of death, but I believe that year is incorrect.) The 1930 Federal Census lists Russell as single and a patient at a Colorado V.A. hospital. His Wyoming death record says he died of "hypostatic pneumonia." I have been unable to find an obit for Russell Free, but because of his V.A. hospitalization and the fact that hypostatic pneumonia is caused by being bedridden long term, you have to wonder if Russell suffered long term damage from WWI gas attacks. Pure conjecture on my part, but I think it's worth wondering about.
The 1910 Federal Census again lists the entire Free family living in Manning and Ledger Free's occupation is listed as "ballplayer." He must have been quite the young athlete. Anyway, the Manning Monitor (August 16, 1956) published an old photo provided by Henry Hoffmann of Manning's 1905 baseball team. Ledger and Harry Free are i.d.'d as members on the team photo. I'm hoping you've got that 1905 photo!

This is why it is so imperative that people with Manning connected stuff/history - NOT throw it away, BUT get it to me so I can scour through it and scan the "little clues" that so many people have and don't even realize it.

So please STOP throwing old pictures and information that you know DOES have OR even MIGHT have a Manning connection.
I'll probably be able to determine those connections and then want to digitize and add it to my Manning Historical database...

Another obituary for a WWI Veteran
Thanks to James Stoffers who found an obituary for Manning's WWI Veteran, Ledger Free, Sr.
There was also a small snapshot of Ledger in the obituary. While it is not the same as a scan from an original picture, you can still see his facial features clearly.
If a family member doesn't come forward with actual photos, I'll at least have this news article image to use in the Manning Veterans' book.
I see, according to the obituary, that Russell Free, another Manning WWI Veteran is not a brother, so he must be a cousin of Ledger.

All I had for Ledger and Russell are just their rank, company, and division numbers.
While the obituary of Ledger only mentions that he served in WWI, it provides some family information, when he was born/died and where.

Hopefully a relative/descendant will reach out to me and can provide me with pictures and more detailed information, but at least I have some more basic details now, thanks to Jim.

Ledger Daniel Free
Sergeant, 338th Machine Gun Battalion, Company D, 88th Division

Ledger D. Free Sr.

Ledger Daniel Free Sr., 74, 209 North 400 West, died Thursday, 4 a.m. in a Provo, Utah, hospital, of complications following an automobile accident March 30, 1962.

Born September 7, 1887, in Manning, Iowa, to Horace Martin and Sarah Eller (Woodard) Free.

Married Carabelle Williams, April 1921, in Casper, Wyoming. Active in minor league Baseball 12 years; broad jumping World War I vet.

Owned and operated Senate Cafe in Casper, Wyoming. Lived in Rawlins, Wyoming. Returned to Manning, Iowa, in 1926. Moved to Provo in 1936 where he worked for Utah Poultry, Utah Concrete Pipe Co. as supervisor. Retired when 70.

Member, Ute Last Squad, Dean Mendenhall Provo Post 13, both American Legion. Survivors: widow; sons, Ledger D., Jr., San Carlos, California; Dr. Edward A., Oakland, California; Robert C., Rapid City, South Dakota; eight grandchildren; sister, Mrs. James (Nina) Wilson, Lorimor, Iowa.

Funeral Saturday, 11 a.m., Berg Drawing Room Chapel, where friends call Friday 6-8 p.m., Saturday prior to services.

Burial, Provo City Cemetery.

Thanks to Jim Stoffers and the Wyoming State Archivist for providing me with this information about Russell Free, brother of Ledger.

Note that Russell was a victim of Mustard Gas during WWI

Look at the various maladies he suffered as a result of the Mustard Gas.

Funeral Sunday For R.M. Free, Manning Veteran
Legion Post Plans Military Services At The Graveside

Funeral services for Russell Martin Free, 44, who passed away in the United States Veterans Hospital at Cheyenne, Wyoming, Tuesday, October 1, 1935, will be held in the Ohde Funeral Chapel in Manning, Sunday at 2 o'clock with Rev. Douglas Steffanson of the Methodist Church in charge.

Military honors will be accorded Mr. Free with Emil Ewoldt Post directing. The following "Buddies" will act as pall bearers: Ernest Dee Sutherland, Emil Kuhl, August Ross, Henry Meyers, Herman Wooster, Arnold Foster, and Harry Hoffmann.

The post firing squad of eight members, three color bearers and bugler will assist in the services. Burial will be in the Manning Cemetery.

Born In Manning
Mr. Free was born in Manning September 25, 1891, the youngest son of Horace Martin and Sarah Free. He was educated in the Manning Schools and grew to manhood in this community. During the boom days of 1914, Russell went to Casper, Wyoming. He lived there until he enlisted for service in the World War in 1917 and returned there in 1919 after being discharged from the Army.

He saw a year's service in France with the 351st Infantry. He was stationed in the Alsace-Lorraine Sector at the same time as his brother, Ledger, served in the Machine Gun Division.

Unusual Story
The story is told that when Ledger met several new men in a new camp, one of them said: "We have fellow from Iowa in the hospital here whose name is Free. Relative of yours?" "No," Ledger replied, "I'm the only one in the service." "Well, let's go over and see this fellow, anyway."

So they went and found that Russell had been wounded. Then it was that Ledger first learned that his brother had enlisted. For many years Russell had been afflicted with asthma. He was gassed in action, a fact, he never told his family.

He was unmarried. An infant brother, Norman, and his mother preceded him in death. His mother passed away March 31, 1935.

He is survived by his father, two brothers, Harry of Dodge City, Kansas; Ledger of Manning; and a sister, Nina (Mrs. James Wilson) of Lorimor, Iowa.

September 2, 1945 - 75th anniversary of the Japanese surrender.

In 2016, I had the amazing experience to sit down with Iowa's last living Pearl Harbor survivor, Clarence Pfundheller of Audubon. While he didn't have a direct connection to Manning, he knew quite a few people from the area and was good friends with Bud & Thelma Mohr and Bud & Elsie McMahon...the reason being both Buds were in the Goochs Best feed business and Clarence was a salesman for Goochs, so they met up quite often.

I spent several days interviewing Clarence and then on the last day I was going to give him the final version to go over one more time, I found out that he was killed in a car accident.

I only knew Clarence for a week but he was the type of person you meet the first time and it's like you knew them your whole life.

I'll start with his story and then show some pictures from the September 2, 1945, world-changing event.

Clarence Pfundheller part 1

Clarence Pfundheller part 2

Clarence Pfundheller part 3

Clarence Pfundheller part 4

One thing I want for the Manning Veterans' book is to have more than just the name, rank, and serial number, and even more than the military story but some background on the person, their family history, growing up, and if they have other close relatives who served so it will be a family Veteran book...I want to make the Manning book a very unique book about the military history of the community and tell who these people were.
Clarence's story is a good example of what I'm looking for the over 1000 Manning connected Veterans.
Now I won't be able to use every picture and all of the non-military history and in some cases not all of the military information but with a two-volume book in the works I should be able to use quite a bit of the information for those who have a lot of pictures and information, and there will be many who I only have a picture or maybe just a name...but I'll make sure everyone who submits information will be in the book.

Now the pictures I'm showing below are nothing unique, because you can find all of them on the Internet.

BUT, they are special because they were collected by our Manning Veterans, most who were not actually there but some were either on a nearby ship during the surrender or on the Island of IE Shima, where earlier in mid-August the Japanese envoy landed.

Albert Claussen who is still living and a cousin of the late Ila (Claussen) Rix, was on IE Shima and saw these preliminary events. He purchased these souvenir pictures.

Japanese plane lands on IE Shima August 19, 1945

Planes overhead - photo by Al

First-hand account by Al Claussen:
Al got to see a lot of this event since their camp and the airfield were near each other. Planes would fly right over the camp.
When they brought these Japanese officials in there on 2 planes, they hooked on a cleat-track (type of dozer) to one of the Japanese "Betty Bombers" that was made into a transport. It was wet and he pulled around a revetment (protective wall) and missed it and got stuck.
Al noted the long swords some of the Japanese had on and that the US envoy didn't want anything to do with them or shake hands. The Japanese were then put on a US C-54 transport.

One of the Japanese planes landing on IE Shima August 19, 1945

Note the long Japanese swords that Al mentioned seeing.

Scanned from news magazine articles

Japanese military and civilian envoys board a C-54 transport plane at IE Shima, Ryukyu Islands, August 19, 1945. They were flown to Manila to receive instructions concerning surrender and occupation arrangements.

Two more Manning boys were overseas during this time frame and also purchased surrender pictures.
One was Joseph Stein...he was stationed in Guam & Saipan at the time.
Duane Wegner, was stationed at Okinawa and purchased several souvenir pictures of the event.

September 2, 1945 on the USS Missouri
Photos from Duane's collection.

I'm not sure if this was prior to the official surrender or a previous envoy before the surrender.

One person who was on his ship near the USS Missouri was Eugene Case. We interviewed Gene to get his military story but for some reason he never brought it up about being nearby during the September 2, 1945, event.
One day he brought it up to me while I was visiting him in the Plaza.
He mentioned it a couple more times, but I don't remember the specifics he told me.
Then like what happens so much for me, Gene passed away before I could find time to record his story about the surrender.

The rest of the surrender pictures came from the Joe Stein collection...

Every now and then I pose these questions about WWII:
What if the Japanese won?
What if the Germans won?
What would the world look like today?
What if the United States of America never got involved?
Remember the 16 million Americans who fought during WWII, 400,000 who died...72,000 unaccounted for yet today.
Remember that millions of those Americans who served during WWII were descendants of the South from the Civil War era.
If the Axis powers (Germany, Italy, Japan) were victorious, would the United States of America still exist?
Would we now be speaking German or Japanese?
How many other countries around the world would now be under the Axis rule?

If we were now under Japanese Imperialism or Nazi control, I highly doubt the current protestors would be able to complain and riot like they do right now...they would be shot or disappear during the night, including their family members.

So thank God the United States got involved during WWII to destroy Imperialism, Nazism, and beat back the Communism/socialism that followed.
Thank God we were a "UNITED" States of America and that no matter whether they were descendants of the South or of the North, our BRAVE military personnel preserved the FREEDOMS around the world.

Another situation to think about.
Gene, Duane, Al, Clarence, and probably Joe (as the Army barber), were either training or would have started training for the Invasion of Japan, but for the dropping of both atomic bombs on Japan.

Before anyone with their high and mighty moral values today, judge or criticize those 2 bombs, remember that had the Invasion of Japan, occurred, most, probably all of these 5 guys would have probably been killed...which means they would not have come back to this area to marry and raise children.

My mother still has 2 living cousins who were training for the Invasion of Japan when the Japanese surrendered. While listening to their stories and conversations one time, I noticed they both commented how their children once were questioning the 2 atomic bombs...both dads then made a statement to their kids "you might NOT be here today if those bombs weren't dropped."
They were surprised at the comment until their dads told them that they were training for the Invasion of Japan and probably would have never returned home, alive.
The kids never mentioned the 2 bombs again.

One thing that I admired about mom's 2 cousins is they both said they weren't for the 2 bombs because it saved their lives, but for the millions of Allies and even Japanese citizens who would have been killed if the Invasion would have occurred.

So before you judge people of the past - educate yourself with that history and PUT yourself in their shoes - you might find that you have a completely different and less judgmental view!

When you are brought up in a God-fearing community with a hard work ethic and volunteerism, with parents & grandparents & even great-grandparents, and in a school that teaches respect for citizens and love of country, below is just one example of what those traits can inspire in our youth when they become young adults!

Artwork By Scott Eickman Of Manning
Manning Monitor article September 10, 2020

Scott Eickman of Manning had to go through his photos to figure out when he started this project and surprisingly it was back in 2014. Obviously he hasn't been working on it every single day but it's been an hour here, a half a day there, with a couple months break in between, he told the Monitor. "The plan initially was to have a sculpture of an eagle on a log holding a fish but at some point I decided to switch and pay more of a tribute."

Everything except the pole, mounting plates, and the flag is from miscellaneous parts from the farm and dumpster diving. He thanks Irlbeck Welding for making the flag along with getting the parts and advice that he needed. The feathers on the backside of the eagle are from farm disc blades and cultivator sweeps as well as augers from a combine. The bottom of the Eagle was roller chain from combines and other miscellaneous chain. The beak is a sickle guard. Eyes are nuts and washers. Internally the frame of the eagle was made from hog paneling. The support arms are made of disc and auger tubing. The hands are chunks of steel rods.

"I've always been fond of the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima, considering my Marine Corps background. This was supposed to depict that along with the eagle, a symbol of our nation and freedom, helping lift the flag. I continue to use the phrase, "'For the blood of the fallen, I will carry on."' Meaning for all of our Brothers' and Sisters' sacrifices I will continue the push to a better world not forgetting them but honoring them continually.

Scott is in the process of making another sculpture. That one is a going to be a full size soldier in combat. "At least that's my current idea," Scott stated. "I can't confirm a deadline for that finish date but maybe I'll be more motivated now that this one is in the public."

The city is going to borrow the sculpture from Scott and place it down in Trestle Park. They would like to keep it there permanently to add to their collection and are asking for donations to make that happen. If you're interested in helping out, please contact Dawn at city hall for more information. Scott is very grateful for all of the kind words everyone has expressed to him regarding the sculpture.

The wing feathers were made out of old auger flighting.

The underside was made out of roller chain.
The beak out of a guard from a sickle mower.

Hands of humankind holding the perch to display greatness and strength.

Looking east along 141

Now who is the young man that worked countless hours to build this wonderful patriotic sculpture?
He is very active in the community and has volunteered in many projects over the of which was the Mud Runs of 2014 and 2015.
Below are several videos from the 2014 Mud Run that Scott and several other Manning volunteers organized for the community.

Scott Eickman is the young man we are talking about.
Of course when there are community events, invariably you'll see Gene Steffes helping out.

I'm posting these Mud Run videos to show how one person's idea and a small group of volunteers can provide enjoyment and even exercise for people of the community.
A community that works and plays together - stays together!!!

Scott Eickman - 2014 Mud Run
Scott was in charge of the event both years.

Mud Run begins

First obstacle

Nishnabotna Creek (or "Crick" as we say it locally)

Nishnabotna Creek (or "Crick" as we say it locally)

Climb the wall
Now realize that Scott Eickman and others built all of these obstacles
and then had to take them down after the event.

War simulation

War simulation

Mud trenches
Manning Fire Department volunteers supplied the water.

Justin & Angel Mundt

Natural disaster course
Bill Opperman - volunteer observer

Nikki (Foutch) Sorensen & Karen (Tank) Reinke

Last obstacle

FUN!!! Time

Who are the Eickmans?

Scott Eickman & Kris Bunker at the Manning vs Dunkerton basketball tourny in Des Moines 2004


Back: Chris Willenborg, Scott Eickman, Chris Bunker, Duncan Hilsabeck, Derrick Janssen, Dustin Petersen
Front: Ben Lorenzen, Nate Brandt, Elliott Barsby, Brian Fogleman, Farfum Ladroma

"Oklahoma" 2004

Back: Erin Dammann, Jarod Trecker, Robyn Hacker, Andy Stessman, Holly Feser, Scott Eickman, Ciara Ladroma, Dereck Hilsabeck, Farfum Ladroma, Kelsey Feser
Third: Matt Luensmann, Chris Willenborg, Ben Danner, Ben Lorenzen, Danielle Hargens
Second: Brooke Kienast, Melissa Weets, Anna Muhlbauer, Samantha Schultz, Lindsey Croghan, Anna Erickson, Jessica Kienast
Front: Brittany Hacker, Davianne Rotert, Amber Vonnahme, Amy Brandt, Teresa Wurr, Darla Stockdale

From the 2006 Manning Quasquicentennial history book:

Maurice and Dorothy Eickman

Back: Lynn, Lori, Glen, Maurice, Dorothy
Front: Mary, Betty, Linda, Janice.
Maurice and Dorothy Eickman were united in marriage on January 26, 1949 at St. Francis Church in Maple River following Maurice's service in the Army in 1946 and 1947.
Maurice, is the son of Frank and Anna Eickman who spent their retirement years in Manning. Dorothy is the daughter of Henry and Ann Schwabe, of Maple River. The couple farmed five years at Carroll and then moved to their present home south of Templeton. They have seven children: Linda, Betty, Glen, Lynn, Mary, Janice and Lori (all graduates of Manning High School).
Linda, class of 1968, lives in Santa Rosa, California, and is married to Daryl Davis. They have one daughter, Jenny. Betty, class of 1970, lives on a farm by Elk Horn, Iowa, and is married to Gary Martens. They have two children, Makenzie and Brent. Glen, class of 1972, lives on a farm east of Manning and is married to Donna Seidl. They have four children, Jessie (deceased), Tony, Sarah, and Scott. Lynn, class of 1976, lives in Littleton, Colorado, and is married to Mary Stork. Mary, class of 1977, lives on a farm near Bayard, Nebraska, and is married to David Kreman. They have three children, Adam, Eric, and Wendi. Janice, class of 1982, lives in Flower Mound, Texas, and is married to Curtis Gion. They have three children, Andrew, Samuel, and Anna. Lori, class of 1987, lives in Denison, Iowa and is married to Barry Reid. They have one child, Jesse.
Maurice and Dorothy Eickman also have one great-grandchild, Joe Eickman, son of Tony and Erin Eickman.

Glen and Donna Eickman
Back: John, Donna, Scott, Tony
Front: Sarah, Glen, Joe, Erin.
Glen and Donna Eickman were married on June 11, 1977, at Holy Spirit Church in Carroll, Iowa. Glen Floyd, is the son of Maurice and Dorothy (Schwabe) Eickman, and Donna Rae, is the daughter of Henry and Bernilda (Brincks) Seidl. Glen grew up on a farm south of Templeton with his brother and sisters: Linda (Davis), Betty (Martens), Lynn, Mary (Kreman), Jan (Gion), and Lori (Reid). Ancestral names are Parrott, Bellinghausen, Waltersheid, Krebbs, and Schumacher. Donna grew up in Carroll, Iowa, with her brothers and sisters: Vern, Mary Lou (Nichols), Bob, and Betty (Onken). Ancestral names are Wiskus, Mussner, Saalman, Wurzer, Dubbert, and Von Bonn. Glen and Donna are the parents of two daughters and two sons: Jessica, Anthony, Sarah, and Scott.
Jessica Sue was born April 11, 1979. She died July 2, 1997, in a one-car accident. Anthony "Tony" Joseph, married Erin (Harrell) October 1, 2005. They have one child, Joseph Anthony. Tony is in the family farming business and lives south of Templeton on his great-grandfather's (Frank Eickman) farm. Sarah Jane, is engaged to John Lorenzen. They will be getting married August 26, 2006. Scott Jeffrey, graduated from Manning High School in 2005. He wishes to be an actor when and if he ever grows up.
All children have participated in many extracurricular activities, some being musicals, plays, volleyball, FFA, and yearbook. Glen has served as a board director at the Arcadia Coop for five years. Besides farming, Glen and Donna work full-time in various swine enterprises.

Speech Contest spring 1996
Received an I - went on to state contest
Back: Gwen Vahl, Josh Moore, Jake Keegan, Sean Clark, Ryan Pfannkuch
Middle: Natasha Vonnahme, KaDee Schiltz, Lyndi Behrens, Gary Dales, Heather Heckman, Jessica Eickman
Front: Heather Grigsby

Glen Eickman MHS 1972

Just below are my views, my views only, and no one else's in this feature...
Now let's look at JUST TWO examples of what a young person does when they are brought up wrong, taught wrong, and raised in a community where some people only think of themselves and how everyone owes them.
This is WAY beyond politics anymore.
Watch this short video that I looped once and the 2nd part of the video.
Watch the tall white boy run over and give the double finger to a little old lady. He yells something but we can't hear what he said.

Then watch a black boy push a 92 year old lady (with walker) to the ground.

Forget politics, who you vote for, what party you belong to, what color you are...THINK if this was YOUR grandmother that some punk lowlife verbally threatened and could even be charged with assault with his threatening hand gestures...and the other fellow who should be charged with battery because he made physical contact.

Where is the Soul of America?
Where are these 2 young men's parents, grandparents, pastors, their community???
If this were my son or grandson, I would demand he go on national news to apologize for his evil behavior.
If he would not, then he would be completely banned from his family and taken out of any will or financial support...and if he were living at home, he would be thrown out.

There is absolutely NO justification for such activities, especially toward little old defenseless ladies!

These guys think they are BRAVE by intimidating an elderly lady, but if they were challenged by an individual with no one else around but the two of them, their tails would go between their legs and they would whimper away.

If you haven't watched the 1987 Commencement video under the Allen Dammann tribute down below - PLEASE make sure to watch it....
The commencement speaker was Bernie Saggau, and he gave an amazing address to the students.
If there ever was a timely message for people to hear today, it is the one Bernie gave 33 years ago!

Merlin Hass - Marine Corps
Merlin Hass lived in Manning and was married in 1956 to Verna Singsank. He is the son of Julius and Lena (Clausen) Hass, and grandson of Claus and Anna (Meeves) Hass and Henry and Dorathea (Rasmussen) Clausen.

Merlin joined the Marines in 1951 at the age of nineteen before attending boot camp in San Diego, California. After completing security training he was assigned to Marine Security Detachment on the battleship USS - Iowa. His first deployment, departing California, was to Pearl Harbor.

Following Hawaii, his military tours took him to Korea for one year and into Japan. Merlin, at this time, met up with Willis "Whitey" Lohmeier, also from Manning, Iowa.

Merlin returned to Pearl Harbor and briefly in California before tours to the Panama Canal, Rio De Janeiro, and Haiti. He then headed to the eastern US coast, Virginia, before being re-assigned to the US Naval Retraining Command in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. As a sergeant Merlin was put in charge of the Prison Control Center housing 3200 US prisoners.

On May 20, 1954, Sergeant Merlin Hass was honorably discharged from the USMC. Merlin joined the civilian work force and later retired in 1996. As of 2017, Merlin was residing in Manning with his wife Verna. They have three children, Jon, Joanie (Al) Lueders, and David; with seven grandkids (two married with one great-grandson).

Willis "Whitey" Lohmeier & Merlin Hass - at Pearl Harbor

Merlin Hass
Merlin Arnold Hass, age 89, of Manning, passed away on Monday, August 24, 2020, at Accura Healthcare of Manning
Mass of the Christian Burial Sacred Heart Catholic Church - Manning Wednesday, August 26, 2020 11:00 AM
Visitation will be held at the church for one hour prior to the Mass.

Mass of the Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Manning with Fr. Randy Schon as Celebrant. Music for the service will be by Ann Muhlbauer. Casket bearers will be Merlin's grandchildren: Adam Hass, Eric Hass, Alex Hass, Christie Lueders, Danny Lueders, Ricky Lueders, Kody Lueders. Honorary casket bearers will be his great-grandchildren: Raelle and Delaney Hass, Leena, Cayden, Parker, Drew, and Tate Lueders. Burial will be in the Sacred Heart Cemetery near Manning with military honors by the Manning VFW and the US Marine Corps.

Visitation will be held at the church for one hour prior to the Mass. Those in attendance at the Mass are required to wear face covering and are asked to abide by Covid-19 social distancing guidelines.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Home and online condolences may be left for the family at

Merlin, son of Julius and Lena (Clausen) Hass, was born August 9, 1931, near Aspinwall in Crawford County, Iowa. He was baptized in June of 1933 and confirmed in February of 1949. Merlin grew up near Aspinwall and attended a country school in Iowa Township through the eighth grade. He then attended Manning High School through the tenth grade, having to quit due to the death of his father. He then farmed with his mother.

From May of 1951 through May of 1954, Merlin served with the U.S. Marine Corps. He was sent to Korea and attained the rank of Sergeant. Upon his honorable discharge, Merlin returned to Iowa.

On June 25, 1956, Merlin was united in marriage with Verna Singsank at Sacred Heart Church in Manning. The couple made their home in Manning with three children born to this union. Merlin worked for the Green Bay Lumberyard, Manning Creamery, Well's Blue Bunny and then at Rasmussen Lumber for eleven years until his retirement in 1990.

Merlin was a member of Sacred Heart Church, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. Throughout the years, he enjoyed woodworking and spending time with his family and grandchildren.

Merlin is survived by his three children: son Jon (Sharon) Hass of Hampton, Iowa; daughter Joanie (Al) Lueders of Westside, Iowa; and son David (Kim) Hass of Westside, Iowa; eight grandchildren: Adam Hass, Eric (Jess) Hass, Alex (Courtney) Hass, Christie (Jay) Lueders, Danny (Paige) Lueders, Ricky (Marjie) Lueders, Kody (Eryn) Lueders, and Zach Simons. Great-grandkids: Raelle and Delaney Hass; Leena, Cayden, Parker, Drew, and Tate Lueders. One Brother, Lester, Harlan, Iowa. Sister-In-Laws: Jean Singsank, Manning, Iowa, Connie Singsank, Manning, Iowa, Laurel (Earl) Vogl, Carroll, Iowa A, Cleo (Gary) Hansen, Overland Park, Kansas. Nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

He is preceded in death by his wife Verna in June 2013. His parents, three brothers: Hank (Zita) Hass, Melvin (Vernetta) Hass, and Marvin (Florence) Hass; two sisters LaVerne (Earl) Schmidt, and Helen (Ray) Schuldt; two brothers-in-laws: Earl Singsank, and Glen Singsank; and three sisters-in-laws: Viola Hass, Margaret (Russ) Popp, and Della (Don) Berg.

Jon Hass MHS 1975

Joan Hass MHS 1978

David Hass MHS 1986

Back: Martin Bogatzke, David Hass
Front: Rodney Frank, Barb Crandall

50th wedding anniversary

Back: Alan Leuders, Adam Hass, Alex Hass, Jon Hass, Ricky Leuders, Kody Leuders
Middle: Joanie (Hass) Leuders, Donny Leuders, Christie Leuders, David Hass, Eric Hass
Front: Verna (Singsank) Hass, Merlin Hass

1981 Manning Centennial history book

Merlin's parents were Julius and Gondalena (Clausen) Hass. He was the youngest of seven children. There were two brothers, Henry of Denison and Lester of Manilla, two sisters, Helen Schuldt, and Laverne Schmidt of Denison, and two deceased brothers, Marvin and Melvin of Manning.
Verna's parents were John and Johanna (Muhlbauer) Singsank. There were seven children, Earl and Glenn of Manning, Margaret Popp of Ute, Ardella Berg of Westside, Laurel Vogl of Carroll, and Cleo Hansen of Manilla.
Merlin and Verna were married June 25, 1956, by Father Thomas Malloy. They were the first couple married in the Sacred Heart Church at its present location in Manning.
They have lived all their married life in Manning, first in an apartment above Ben Joens Real Estate building (which is now a parking lot), then at their present location in the home they purchased from John Schrum. They have three children, Jon of Carroll, Joan and David of Manning.
Merlin worked for Brandt Construction before entering the Marine Corps. He later worked at the Green Bay Lumber Co., and the Manning Creamery Co., until it was sold to Well's Dairy Co. seven years ago. He is now employed at Well's Dairy, Denison. Verna worked at Priebe and Sons and for Gib T. Phillips, State Farm Insurance.

Julius & Lena Hass farm
1981 Manning Centennial history book

Julius Valentine Hass was born December 31, 1888, in Denison Township, Crawford County, to Claus Henry Hass and Anna Marie Meeves. Julius had one brother William (deceased), whose widow resides at Elm Crest Apartments, and two sisters, Ella (Mrs. George Beck) and Catharine (Mrs. Carl Otto), are both deceased.
Julius married Gondalena Henrietta Clausen November 19, 1913, at the home of her parents. Lena, as she was better known, was born June 7, 1894, in Otter Creek Township, Crawford County, to Henry Claus Clausen and Dorathea Rasmussen. Lena had two brothers, John and Lorenz, both deceased. John's widow, Mrs. Frank Littleton (Lizzie) resides in Denison.
The first year of their marriage, Julius and Lena resided on the Ohde farm near Manning. They moved to Aspinwall, where Mr. Hass did carpenter work for three years. They bought a farm northwest of Aspinwall in 1918, where they resided until the time of his death in 1943. Julius and his sons were Spotted Poland China breeders for many years.
Lena Hass had a farm sale in 1951. She moved to her home at 119 Main St., Manning, where she passed away August 19, 1973.
Lena sold her farm to Alphonse Irlbeck in 1954, and Mrs. Margaret Irlbeck still resides on the farm.
Seven children were born to Julius and Lena: Henry of Denison, Marvin (deceased in 1954), Helen (Mrs. Raymond Schuldt) of Denison, Melvin (deceased in 1974), Laverne (Mrs. Earl Schmidt of Denison), Lester of Manilla, and Merlin of Manning.
Mr. and Mrs. Hass were affiliated with the Lutheran Church in Manning. Both had received their educations in the rural schools.
Mr. and Mrs. Merlin Hass and their children, Jon, Joan and David, Mr. and Mrs. Keith Hass and family (a grandson), and Mrs. Melvin Hass (Vernetta) reside in Manning.

May 1968 Hass family

Back: Sandra, Virgil, Bruce
Melvin, Vernetta

Verna Singsank MHS 1955

Laurel Singsank MHS 1957

Cleo Singsank MHS 1960

Glen Singsank MHS 1953

Ellen Coleman & Earl Singsank Washington No. 5 country school

What do you do on a hot Sunday afternoon?
I can drive around Manning nearly every day and find someone volunteering.
Now most of these volunteers don't want their pictures taken...they are humble and just want to go about their community efforts quietly and they don't think what they do is all that special or unique.
BUT I think we need to show more of the volunteers and what they do.

Without all of the volunteers in Manning, we wouldn't have the exceptional quality of life that we see every day in our little town.
Most of these volunteers also donate financial support to various aspects and projects in the community.
Lots of times you'll see "anonymous" donor listed with various projects...this is because they are modest and just want to support the community quietly.
Even though I'm running around at some point nearly every day in Manning, I'm only able to catch just a very small percentage of the volunteerism that goes on, and much of it is behind the scenes where I don't see it or am able to capture it.

The best way to THANK the volunteers it to be a volunteer much more can get done and in a timely basis when there are extra volunteers around to help with things.
This past Sunday, August 23, I was in Manning taking pictures of another project Gene Steffes is working on, when I noticed someone watering the young trees planted at the Trestle I went over to investigate.

Sheryl Dammann watering the trees during our summer drought.
Rick Dammann with his recently purchased tanker truck that he purchased from the Templeton Fire Department.

Rick wanted a vehicle with a mount on front for a blade to move snow in the winter. He also uses the tanker for various things and something he initially had not anticipated...he uses the tanker to hose down and cool the hogs on a hot day after they load them into his semi-trailer.

Rick told me they have to refill this 200 gallon tanker 5 times to water all of the trees in Trestle Park.

So the next time you see Rick or Sheryl - tell them thanks for helping take care of the trees.

Recently I received word from several of his classmates that Allen Dammann had passed away at his home in Portland, Maine, but I wanted to wait until I heard official news and to make sure that all family members were notified first.
Then on Friday, I was contacted by Al's sister, Jess, and she confirmed the shocking & sad news about the passing of Allen.

Allen was a VERY creative & ingenious person and while in school at Manning, he worked with me (along with 150 other kids and adults) on local cable TV Channel 2 programming.
Some of Allen's ideas at the time were not fully understood or appreciated, but we were way ahead of the curve with video skits which were long before the Internet and Youtube.

They were corny but now are precious when you can see and hear people who have passed away.

I don't happen to have one of Al's skits digitized right now but below I have links to several of those skits we did during the 1980s when Allen was involved...I also cued up several video tapes that have Allen in them and did a quick transfer to digital, one of which is the 1987 commencement exercises.
Remember this was long before the digital age. I had to edit with video tape and VCRs - no computer technology yet.
Around the mid-1980s, I found out I could have my 2 video cameras genlocked so I sent them to a place in Florida where they were synchronized which gave me fading and jumping capabilities from one camera to the other.
For instance, we had one camera on the floor level and one up in the bleachers at basketball games, PLUS we had live play by play commentary by people as young as 10 year old Patrick "Spanky" Vollstedt.

Honoring Allen Dammann

Allen Dammann MHS 1987
Allen Dammann passed away on August 13, 2020, at the age of 51 in Portland, Maine.
Allen attended schools at Manning, Iowa, and graduated with the class of 1987. He was senior class president and very active in the school and community.
After graduation from the University of Iowa, Allen joined the Peace Corps. He was an English teacher in Taiwan from 1992-1994. From there he went to Lithuania where he taught English from 1995-1997. In 1998, he was a writer for the Casco Bay Weekly in Portland, Maine, and also worked in New York City. NYC was his favorite place to live.
He was also a Post-Katrina C.O.R.E. Volunteer in September 2005.

Allen, son of Richard and Elaine (Irlbeck) Dammann, grew up in Manning with three sisters and two brothers, Toni, Jessica, Micheal, Joseph, and Cindi.
A brother-in-law, Youi Sayavong, preceded Allen in death.
Allen's oldest sister, Toni (Dammann) Sayavong, has three children Annah (Vollstedt) Hale, Hanley Sayavong, and Eliot Sayavong. Annah married Jacob Hale and they have one daughter, Florence.
Jessica (Dammann) Hansen has two children: Lucas, and Marcus, who are both serving in the military. Tracy Hansen is their father. Lucas has one son, Luca. Marcus and his wife, Janelle, have three children: Coltin, Eliza, and Jonah.
Micheal Dammann has one son, Austin. Austin has two children, Austin, Jr., and Reese.
Joseph Dammann and his wife Laura have one son, Emmett. Joseph is retired from the Iowa National Guard.
Cindi has two children: Ramsey and Finley, along with her husband, Mike Spiker, and his three children to complete the family of seven. Cindi is currently serving in the military.
Allen also had a special pet cat named "Troubles" who apparently picked up Allen's traits…probably because he spoiled his cat so much.
Allen was cremated in Maine and his ashes will be scattered in New York City at a future date due to the Covid-19 pandemic, when family members are able to gather safely for a private family service.

1987 MHS graduates: Jodi Lynn Ahrendsen, Robin Carl Borkowski, Deanna Lea Clarke, James Patrick Croghan, Paul David Croghan, Allen L. Dammann, Neela Ann Dunshee, Lori Ann Eickman, Vincent Gerard Enenbach, Keith Robert Escher, Gale D. Fischer, Judith Ann Genzen, Tonya Sue Hagedorn, Lissa Susan Haubrich, Lisa Mae Herbers (salutatorian), Daniel R. Hicks, Aneal Kevin Joseph, Eric John Kelderman, Daniel William Kemper, David John Mohr, Sheila Lynn Morris, Vicki Sue Ramsey, Kari Beth Ringgenberg, Traci Elin Rix, Tiffany Jane Robinson, Daniel Albert Schlichte, Debra Ann Schulte, Ari Seki, Tracy Sue Singsank, Paula Jean Spies, Jeffry Joe Sporrer, Crystal Dawn Stammer (valedictorian), Lori Ann Stoberl, Russell J. Sturm, Joni Lynn Waterbury, Heath Aric Weiss, Theresa E. Willenborg, Tina Marie Wiskus

1987 former students: Robbi Behen, Ellen Blohm, Brenda Clipperton, Terry Craig, Gaylene Dammann, Leon Fischer, David Frahm, RaeJean Hickey, Elizabeth Maxwell, Neil Merely, Roberta Moore, Vincent Mullen, Brett Nissen, Mathew Popp, Steven Rauch, Ann Schwarte, Jeremy Siegle, Jennifer Sporrer, Shanda Stecklein, Samuel Vaughn, Thomas Vaughn, William Vaughn, Jeffrey Vondrak, Bill Wilson, Megan Wright

1987 Senior Video
As I recall, Kari Ringgenberg asked me to make a video of the class of 1987 and dub the song "St. Elmo's Fire love theme" as background music and then show it at graduation.
At the time I had the first front-projection 60" big screen TV that I had been using to show videos of events I filmed in and around Manning. I got this TV before local cable TV was installed where I could then show my programming on the local station.

So Dave Schroeder helped me haul my big screen into the school and up the steps to the balcony where we could show the video.
This was the first of its kind graduation video that I know of.
I purchased my first VCR in 1978 and my first video camera in 1979 - the first one sold in Western Iowa, according to Don Zubrod of Don's TV in Manning.


1987 commencement ceremony.
I hope you pay special attention to the guest speaker and his message.
How important it is for people today to hear!!!
1987 Commencement

Program and credits for commencement

Small Town - shown during the 1987 Channel 2 Telethon

7 Dwarfs

Three Stooges
Written and produced by Bruce Beasley

Splish Splash

They're Playing Basketball
Produced by Scott Mills & Nate Boersma - and the "gals."
Camera controls by Chuck Hughes.

Little Arrows

More snippets and highlights of the 1986-87 school year
The track section isn't very good, but the rest is pretty decent...
Make sure to watch Paula Spies play the character of Helen Keller!

1981 Centennial style show - Dick & Elaine Dammann family

1981 Manning Centennial history book
Richard and Elaine (Irlbeck) Dammann are both native Manning citizens. Both were raised and educated in or around Manning; they now reside at 120 East Street in Manning with their four children, Toni Jean, Jessica Sue, Micheal John, and Allen Lester.
Richard "Dick," the son of Lester and Ruby (Cavanaugh) Dammann, was a 1957 graduate of Manning High School and Elaine, the daughter of Anselm and Wilhelmina (Steffes) Irlbeck, was a 1960 graduate of Manning High School.
After Dick spent four years in the U.S. Air Force, he returned to Manning. He is now the owner of Manning Auto Supply at 305 Main Street in Manning. Elaine attended the American Institute of Business in Des Moines after graduation from high school, and is presently employed at the Manning Trust & Savings Bank in Manning.

Back: Allen Dammann, Kurt Lerssen, Nate Boersma, Kevin Weiskircher
Front: Jeremy Kuhn?, Mike Hull, Sean Forman

View of the Lester & Ruby Dammann farm - part of ManCryCo
Note the underpass still there.
The Hiawatha passenger train is on the old Milwaukee tracks.
One of several passenger trains that traveled through Manning, up to 100 MPH

Allen, like most anyone in who grew up in Manning has a deep-rooted connection to the community.
Many times most people don't even realize all of the family connections they have.

Over the next few days I'll keep adding more pictures and information.
It seems there aren't enough hours in the day anymore to keep ahead of all of the projects that come before me, but I'll do my best...

1981 Manning Centennial book

1203 Third Street home
Claus and Margaret Dammann were born, raised and married and started their family in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. In 1885, they and their two sons, Henry and John, migrated to the United States and settled in Minnesota. There, their family grew by three more - Annie, George, and Bill. In 1891, they moved to a farm two miles south and a mile west of Manning where Claus made his living as a farmer. Another son, Herman, a daughter, Emma and another son, Harry completed the family of Claus and Margaret.

Henry (known best as Hank), the eldest son, was married in 1900 to Emma Kortum. They first made their home and living on a farm just east of Templeton and then later moved to the Douglas Rogers farm 1 mile north and 1/2 mile east of Manning. Eventually, they, too (as Hank's parents) lived and farmed at the farm south and west of Manning. It was at this farm that the Dammanns had a small dairy herd. Like all farmers of that day, they separated their milk maybe a little differently. They used a small pony to "power" their separator.

Emma and Hank were parents of five children: Vena, Rosie, Hazel, Goldie and Lester.

After some time Hank quit farming and moved to the town of Manning. Here he owned a livery barn. The first barn was located on Main Street in the area now occupied by the Manning Plaza; later he and his brother, John, moved their livery barn to what is now Manning Motor Company. Another brother, Herman, worked with them. They maintained a few horses which could be rented for those needing a mode of travel or for funerals and weddings. Another service was to stable horses of travelers and, particularly, for the many who came to dance at the Manning dance hall located near the barn.

Following many years in the livery barn business, Hank became town constable for Manning. It was his job to serve any legal papers, evict non-paying renters, and, in general, keep the peace.

The only son of Hank and Emma, Lester, married Ruby Cavanaugh of Audubon and they, too, soon settled in the Manning area. The depression hit and Lester considered himself one of the lucky ones - he was working. He was a common laborer at the ManCryCo Farms, a dairy operation near Manning. They purchased a small acreage in the nearby village of Aspinwall and Lester continued to work at the farms. In 1946, Lester became herdsman of the ManCryCo herd. It was then that they moved from Aspinwall to the farm on the northwest edge of Manning's city limits. In 1963, Lester and Ruby purchased the dairy farm and herd from owner, Leo Bruck, and continued to build the well-known herd.

One of the largest dairy dispersals ever held in Iowa was held at the farm in September of 1974 when the dairy herd was sold.

Lester and Ruby continue to live at the farm and still have a crop, pig, and stock cow operation - and sometimes a small milking herd.

They are parents of six children: LeRoy, who farms west of Manning; Richard, owner-operator of Manning Auto Supply; Sandra (Mrs. Keith Hass), secretary and agent at Manning Insurance Agency; Geraldine (Mrs. Kenneth Spies), bookkeeper at Manning Heating & Sheet Metal, all of Manning. Youngest daughter, Nancy (Mrs. DeWayne McCord) of Carroll, clerks at a department store there. Another son, Kenneth, was tragically killed in a car-pedestrian accident in Cedar Falls, in 1973. At the time of his death, Kenneth was serving as state president of the Iowa Chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation of America.

The newest generation of the Dammann family consists of a total of 14 grandchildren - 12 of whom attend school at the Manning Community School.

For some families I have all kinds of pictures and others I will not have pictures of every family member, but I still show what I have to give the viewer an idea who is part of the immediate and extended family...

Toni Dammann - MHS 1981

Jessica Dammann - a 1982 MHS graduate

7th grade fall of 1978

Mike Dammann MHS 1984

Back: Kevin Kahl, Dani Ramsey, Jay Curlie, Marty Popp
Middle: Jim Wanninger, Mike Dammann, Nate Hodne, Jeff Waterbury, Brian Reid, Bruce Grau
Front: Darwin Rohe, Keith Muhlbauer, Kevin Boersma, Jim Weiskircher, Dan Kerkhoff, Tom Long

Joe Dammann MHS 1999
1999 Prom court

Back: Tim Hugeback, Joe Dammann, Matt Siepker, Steven Snyder, Aaron Stangl, Paul Odendahl
Front: Megan Hinners, Kelly Dentlinger, Julie Riggert, Pam Holloway, Tonya Wurr, Jennifer Stribe

Cindi Dammann MHS 2002


Joe Dammann



Richard Dammann Air Force

Richard Dammann MHS 1957

LeRoy Dammann MHS 1952

Kenneth "Red" Dammann MHS 1955

Sandra Dammann MHS 1959

Geraldine Dammann MHS 1962

Trumpet Trio: Bruce Fischer, Harlan Moore, Geri Dammann

Keith Hass & Sandra Dammann 1959 Comet Dance

LeRoy Dammann US Army

Richard Dammann 3rd grade Aspinwall Independent School

LeRoy Dammann 7th grade Aspinwall Independent School

Kenneth Dammann 4th grade Aspinwall Independent School

Sandra Dammann Primary grade Aspinwall Independent School

Paula Spies & Anissa Hass - cousins

LeAnn Dammann, Anissa Hass, Leslee Dammann
LeAnn & Leslee - LeRoy and Freda Dammann's daughters
Anissa - Keith and Sandra (Dammann) Hass' daughter

To see Elaine (Irlbeck) family connections click here...

Manning never seems to sleep!
I can't keep up with everything...

Danny Pratt on drums

The Flying Buffaloes
July 3, 2020 - live at the Manning Soccer Field

More pix coming

Definitely different from our traditional graduations of the past!
I'll be working on the pictures and audio over the next several days for a specific graduation web page but for now here is the class of 2020 and you can listen to the complete audio of the event.

IKM-Manning Commencement
June 28, 2020


More coming later...

June 2020 project update

Manning Hillside Splash

Click for a printable flier

In January of 2018, I created this historical perspective linked below about recreation in Manning and also information and graphics for the current proposed project for the Rec Center.
It shows how projects don't get done overnight and also how very important volunteers and donations are to every project.

Update on the Hillside Splash project
On May 15, 2018, the city council approved $400,000 in matching funds for the proposed Hillside Splash project. JEO Consulting has been working on design ideas and a proposal to complete this project in 3 phases.
Phase 1 will begin in 2019-20 with construction beginning in 2020-21, or as soon as funds are raised.
A zero-depth pool with some play features are planned in phase 1, with the slide aspects in phase 2, and a spray pad for phase 3.

Click on the link below to see some very interesting history on how Manning achieves so many amazing things and is now working on another unique project.

Manning Hillside Splash 2019 update

Oh the Fun of playing in the Sun (1968)

1909 cartoon about 2 boys nabbing their friends' clothes while "skinny dippin.'"

Click to find out about the project

I'm working on a list of names of Manning citizens (now deceased) whose vision made it possible for Manning to have a Recreational facility.
They made it possible for the continued expansion into an outdoor pool addition in 2020 - sadly they'll never got to see this new addition, but we will forever be grateful for their efforts that began over 40 years ago.

List of citizens no longer with us who made the Rec Center possible.
Jean & Gene Wiese - Gene secured the $50,000 LR Nelson grant, MCF member - use of their soil mover - Jean was a Rec Board member
William F. Ohde - Manning Community Foundation member - countless hours with various aspects of construction.
Willis Puck - countless hours with various aspects of renovation - drove the Puck skid loader.
Curt Struve - various aspects - co-rec center board member.
Barry Kusel - various construction aspects - rec center board member.

I'll add more names as I think about this topic and do some research in my database.

For Rent
Looking for a shop to do farm or vehicle repairs and more?

Call or e-mail (by appointment only)

Quonset (40x80) fully insulated with both waste oil and supplemental natural gas heaters...all new wiring and lighting installed in 2012.
All concrete floors, with movable over-head hoist, including various shop equipment like chop saw, grinder, drill press, press, and more...
All new covering on outside - top and ends in 2019.
Fully graveled & maintained lane and yard. We have a rear mount tractor snow blower (loader) we use to keep lane/yard free of snow in winter.
Owners live on premises - with security lights.

2012 complete rennovation

waste oil burner, hoist, press

2019 complete new covering.

Call 712-653-3259 or e-mail -
Also, some possible space to store equipment for the renter.

This would be a shared situation...we still want to use the shop for occasional repairs we will have year-round and also store the loader/tractor/snowblower in the winter.

Please visit the Manning Exchange for local news, articles, and information...a work in progress.

Many upcoming events.

Korean War Veterans continues

There are lots of Manning Veterans of the Korean era with no pictures or information.
Will you be in the Manning Veterans' book???
Unless more post-WWII Veterans come forward there will be a lot of 1946 to present day Manning connected Veterans missing from the book.

For those of you who are occasional visitors to the Manning Exchange - please make sure to click on the "archived articles" section where previous featured stories are kept.

Click to visit the Manning Exchange

1 example from the Logeland Studio wedding packets.

There are still quite a few Logeland Studio wedding packets available.

Click to read about this important project.

It will help to financially support the Manning Veterans' history book project.

What makes up a community?
Just ONE person
who is a son or daughter
who is a brother or sister
who has a school chum
who is related to someone in that town
whose friend has a friend in that town
whose friend is related to someone else in town
who may have moved away but still thinks of the place they grew up as home

We would like to hear from you, the "1983 Leaders of Tomorrow" who have relatives and chums in your hometown of Manning, Iowa.

In their own words
Attention "1983 Leaders of Tomorrow"

Who is the sister of the meteorologist linked below?
Click to see the answer in her own words

Who grew up on a farm south of Manning, has chased tornados, and is now a meteorologist for the National Weather Service?
Click to see the answer in his own words

I have been receiving questions from various "1983 kids" about what type of information we would like them to write about.
Please read through the meteorologist's story to get ideas for you own personal write-up.
Then send me an e-mail so we can work out your story.

Note: Your story does not have to be as thorough as found at the link above but at least send us a couple paragraphs to bring us up to date from 1983. Here is the DIRECT link to the 1983 web page.

Parents of the "1983" kids - please encourage your children to send in their updated information and any pix they may want to include.
Sometimes a little nudge by mom or dad will get the ball rolling!
Each 1983 "Leader of Tomorrow" has interesting family history.

Here are the names of the "1983 kids" who we are looking for an update from...
Aaron & Courtney Potthoff, Adam Croghan, Andrew & Amanda & Brandon Puck, Alex & Abbey Ranniger, Allison & Megan Keese, Angela & Heather & Michele Hass, Angie & Alan Irlbeck, Bradley Christensen, Bryan & Nathan Rohe, Chelsea Souter, Christin Ann Fara, Christopher Wegner, Cole & Ty Henderson, Dale & Vanessa & Derek Hargens, Daniel Wayne Tibben, Daniel & Janelle Stribe, Dawn & Derrick Rohe, Dawn & Michelle Willenborg, Elizabeth & Jamy Zinke, Ericka & Andrea Ehlers, Gary & Beth & Tim Ferneding, Heather & Jessica & Jimmy Switzer, Jackelyn McKeighan, Jamie Jo Irlbeck, Jeffrey & Joey & Jeremy Irlbeck, Jeffry & Kelli & Jason Lorenzen, Jeremia Rex Macumber, Jennifer & Jason & Renee Knueven, Jennifer & Jeremy Misselhorn, Jeremy Puck, Jessica Rasmussen, Jill Kienast, Joe Stein, Joseph & Mackenzie Hinners, Kasie & Andrea & Amy Lorenzen, Kenzie Kae Kerkhoff, Lauren & Shad Bauer, Marte Wanninger, Matthew & Mandi Weitl, Melissa & Angie Pfannkuch, Michael & Amy & Jeremy Kasperbauer, Michael & Michaela Hargens, Melissa & Michaela Vinke, Michael & Matthew Siepker, Michaela & Crystal Ehlers, Natasha Vonnahme, Ryan & Rachel Pfannkuch, Sabrina Lee, Sarah Kaszinski, Sheri & Trena Bell, Tara Zeman, Stephen & Ryan & Darren Andersen, Tonya Jo Wurr, Tiffany & Michelle Jahn, Tim & Matt Hugeback, Brian & Katie & Steph Beck, Troy & Robin Wanninger

If you send me some information about yourself, I may also be able to find some pictures of your parents, grandparents, family members that I have in my database (as shown above).
We can use them in your story along with your "1983" picture.

We'd like to hear from you !!!

What ever became of the
1983 "Leaders of Tomorrow"

Have some of your "Dreams" come true?

"Let it be known that he who wears the military order of the purple heart has given of his blood in the defense of his homeland and shall forever be revered by his fellow countrymen."
George Washington, August 7, 1782

Just as a reminder: the Manning History book committee continues to work on a Manning area Veterans' history book project.
For those of you who are Veterans or have/had Veterans in your family - will you come forward?
The history book committee will do their best to get as many pictures and information about the 1000+ Manning Veterans but we can't do it all by ourselves.

How many small communities do you know have published 5 history books? The first one was the History of Manning 1898, then the 1981 Manning Centennial book, next the 2006 Manning Quasqui book, and most recently the 2009 Manning School history book. Probably the last book to be published will be the upcoming Manning Veterans' book - unless someone comes forward in the next generation to take over these projects after I'm gone. Will you help with the Veterans' history book project? If you are a Manning connected Veteran or are presently serving and do not submit your military connected pictures and infomation you probably won't be in this once-in-a-life-time Manning Veterans' history book. With a limited number of volunteers we can only do so much on our own but will try to get pictures of as many Veterans as we can. There are over 1000 Manning Veterans so we have a long ways to go before the book can be published.

Manning Veterans are slowly coming forward and below is another example. We hope to eventually get more pictures and information for Mike to put in the book but for now this is what I have to show to you.

Amos Rutz WWII

One thing that many Veterans and people who are submitting information have not fully understood is that this next Manning history book is specifically a Veterans' only book. It won't be like the Centennial or Quasqui history books were, where there is a Veterans' section along with other community aspects. We are aiming for a 2-volume book (around 1090 total pages) which will really be unique!!!
This book will be ALL Veterans' information (and the post auxiliaries) - hence it won't be a "Name, Rank, and Serial Number" only history but we want a complete history for each Veteran.
For instance - below is Louis Boell's picture and the information that was published in the Veteran section of the 1982 Aspinwall Centennial history book. It has the basic information but we are looking for more and I spoke to Louie by phone and he sent more pictures and information - also for his brothers.

To see what Louis submitted click on the link underneath "Are you a Manning Veteran" shown below.

Note: we also want some family background such as parents and grandparents. All too often you will only see just the Veteran's name with their basic military information but without the family connections it will be difficult for future historians and genealogists to know for sure who this person belongs to.

Are you a Manning connected Veteran?
I would like to hear from you!!!
We are starting a Manning Veteran history book project and if you don't come forward you may not be included in the book. NOT because we want to intentionally leave you out but because you didn't come forward.
Same goes for those of you who have Veterans in your family who have passed away. If you don't come forward and help by submitting Veteran connected pictures and information your Veteran may not be included in this once in a life-time Manning Veterans' history book.

Please e-mail me about your Veteran questions

The United States flag
is proudly displayed here and NO other flag is as IMPORTANT!

1 Manning citizen served in the War of 1812
60+ served in the Civil War
1 served in the Indian War
5 served in the Spanish American War
350+ served during WWI
600+ served during WWII
87+ served in the Korean war era
65+ (more names need to be found) served in the Vietnam era
55+ (many more names need to be found) served from 1975 to present

28 paid the ultimate price with their lives defending the U.S. Flag

Are you a Manning Veteran?
Are you currently serving and have a Manning connection?

We are starting the Manning Veterans' history book project
Don't wait until you see "Deadline" or it WILL be too late!!!

Click to read promos for the Veteran book

There are a lot of WWI and some WWII Veterans pictures with no IDs.

Before you spend time scanning pictures
please look at these instructions
I appreciate your efforts scanning pictures for me but if you only make low resolution scans you are really wasting your time. High resolution scans are the best and only way to really preserve those old pictures.

Click to see the tutorial

If you simply don't want those old family pictures you inherited please don't throw them - send them my way.
A lot of times I can recognize a face or location in those old pix.

One thing to keep in mind while you are looking for pictures - if they are glued in old scrap books please do NOT try to pull them out or cut them out. I can scan the whole page of the scrapbook and crop out the pictures you want to use in the book. If you attempt to forcibly remove the pictures you will probably damage them and when I scan them that damage will probably show up. This means I'll either have to use my graphics program to touch up the damage which can take a lot of time, or if they are badly damaged I just may not even take the time to scan them.

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