Brothers Four "Try to Remember" 1965

Many buildings were built and then torn down or burned down on the Plaza block since 1881.
Each old generation for every era had mixed feelings when the buildings they were familiar with were torn down in Manning...sometimes in the name of progress, and other times simply because no one was able to save them.
Now the Manning Community faces a new generation of the Manning Plaza, or does it end up getting torn down?

A lot of visitors to my web pages will have had parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends who were residents of the Manning Plaza over the years.
Hopefully a plan will come forward to save this wonderful asset of Manning and at that time, the people whose relatives once resided in the Plaza will come forward with financial support...

The plaza also provided employment to a lot Manning citizens, and gave high school students a practical experience to help further their future job opportunities.

Footsteps on the Plaza
A memorial to The Builders of The Manning Plaza and a town

The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
That my soul cannot resist

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time,

For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.


This is the story of The Manning Plaza and of the handful of progressive-minded men whose dream was to provide the town's senior citizens with a place where they might spend their twilight years in respectable and pleasant surroundings. Having provided the youth of the community with a gymnasium and a swimming pool, these public-spirited gentlemen turned their thoughts to the growing number of its aging citizens. Their whole idea and purpose was exquisitely expressed in these words of one of them: "Each of us must leave his home, his property, the public places, the community a little cleaner, a little better, a little more pleasant than he found it."

To express such a theme in writing, it seemed, could not be achieved without a cursory look at the general problems encountered in the nation' nursing homes and a more specific study of the high ideals and tradition of the town's past. To this end, I have opted for the plan of presenting the story of The Manning Plaza against a background of flashbacks that would also bring back the glory and achievements of the town's past this with the view in mind that 1981 will find Manning celebrating its Centennial. Besides, this is the way that old people's minds work. And thus the two ends will be served and tied together: the present community and its promoters in an unbroken link with the past and its founding fabricators who envisioned the fine community that Manning has become today - a town which can proudly stand behind its record of never having turned down a bond issue that was for the good of the community and was clearly and honestly planned and presented.

Manning has had a colorful past. As far back as 1906, this statement was made of Manning: "It is seldom that the stranger has the pleasure of visiting a more interesting town than this, and when that privilege falls to his lot, there is but one sentiment to express, and that is astonishment at so many evidences of thrift, prosperity, individual enterprise, social and business advancement, and the general harmony that seems to prevail in all matters of public benefit, as well as the whole-souled cordiality of the people. It is claimed by commercial travelers and others who are in a position to know that more business is transacted in Manning than in any other town of the same size in the state of Iowa."

In fact, a citizen who presently resides in the town claims that this spirit of harmony has been developed to the point where it has stifled competitiveness that might otherwise have made Manning the leading city of the county.
Manning, Iowa, May, 1970 Melvin Scholl

What is the worst of woes that wait on age?
What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow?
To view each loved one blotted from life's page,
And be alone on earth, as I am now.

Lord Byron

Old age is a topic that is, to say the least, controversial and one that deserves and is receiving more attention each day. It is a problem that has come to the fore only in recent years. In 1900, the average life expectancy of Americans was 47.3 years; in 1960, it had jumped to 69.7 years. As of July 1968, the estimated population of the United States was 201,166,000; of these, 19,129,000 were 65 years or over - roughly, one out of every ten persons. Nearly 4,000 persons daily reach age 65 throughout the nation and facilities and service to care for them are not keeping pace with the growth. There are more people in the over 60 group today than was the entire population of this nation shortly before the Civil War. By the turn of the century we can expect to live 120 years.

Approximately one of every 24 persons in Iowa is 75 years of age or older, according to a study published recently by the State University of Iowa's Bureau of Labor and Management. As a result, Iowa's population is an older population compared proportionately with the rest of the United States. Last year was the first year Iowa did not lead the nation in the number of persons within the state 64 years old or older. Florida, according to federal estimates, now has more than Iowa.

Simon de Beauvoir, France's eminent essayist and novelist, in a pioneer study on old age, believes old age is society's "secret shame." "It is even more repugnant than death itself." She claims that "old people are not treated as human beings. It is modern Western society that truly degrades the old. Experience used to be the trump card of the bid. But today, technocratic society places little value on knowledge accumulated over the years, considering much of it out of date. The values of youth are those which are esteemed."

For those who have money and those who have lived by their brains rather than their muscles, old age is at least softened by some physical comforts. But for the laborer, old age is far more agonizing and sets in much earlier, often by the age of 50. "He is condemned, if not to misery, at least to poverty, to unsuitable lodging, to solitude." The "peace" of old age is only a myth, she finds. The old are first abandoned, then left to sink into apathy and lethargy, leaving them frustrated, angry, and terrified at the prospect of a death that cannot be serene. In the United States, the French woman believes, old people are handled as a commodity (tactfully labeled "senior citizens") to feed such booming industries as nursing homes and retirement villages.

The government, aware of the problem, turned its attention to the health care of the aged by legislating Medicare and Medicaid's and, in the process, has compounded its woes along with its benefits. There are about 25,000 nursing homes in the nation, but not all can qualify for Medicare's extended care program because of such requirements as around-the-clock licensed nursing care.

Hundreds of the nation's nursing homes have quit the Medicare program. Many others still in the program refuse to accept now Medicare patients. Government officials trace the industry's discontent to a crackdown on misuse and overuse of Medicare's benefits. Not so, say nursing home administrators. Their dissatisfaction results, they rightfully contend, from retroactive denial of benefits, staggering paperwork, and low rates.

Medicare is a program of health insurance for almost everybody, rich or poor, over 65. Medicare is strictly a federal responsibility, with hospital insurance financed by payroll contributions to Social Security, and medical insurance financed by both the individual and the federal government. Medicare does not pay or custodial nursing home care. Rather, it was designed to pay for short-term stays in nursing homes for patients recuperating after discharge from a hospital. Medicaid is the state administered, largely federal financed program of medical care for low income people of all ages. Medicaid, in general, pays the bills of elderly patients who need less intensive, but longer-term nursing home care. In a few states, Medicaid is more controversial than Medicare.

From a nationwide study of nursing homes by an Associated Press special assignment team, some remarkable and depressing findings were uncovered and in a five-part series of AP articles written by James R. Polk a storm of controversy ensued. Following are some of the situations allegedly unearthed by the study:

Despite a billion-dollar bonanza from the federal government, America's nursing homes are a stark and lonely place to die. Abuses in money and medicine, an air of death and despair shadow the aged through the dusk of their days.

Studies show some doctors rarely see their patients. Nurses administer drugs freely to restrain the elderly. Mental patients are dumped into nursing homes by the thousands. And fraud feeds on the federal dollar.

Through Medicare and Medicaid, the government suddenly has taken over financial responsibility for most of the nursing home care of the nation. Federal programs expenditures in nursing homes cost the taxpayer $1.6 billion - more than two-thirds of all the money that nursing homes took in 1968. About 90 percent of the nation's nursing homes are run for profit. Four Seasons (Nursing Centers of America), one of the biggest and best nursing home chains, went on sale in 1968 at $11 a share, quickly soared to "'80.38. However, in the sagging stock prices of May 1970, Four Seasons plummeted below $10 a share, and the Securities and Exchange Commission stopped the trading.

Profits are healthier than ever. But other ills fester - tough federal regulations have been slower than federal dollars in reaching nursing homes.

Cleveland's private Midtown Nursing home, 71-year-old patient Robert S. Warfield disappeared shortly after eating breakfast on February 13, 1968. It was more than 13 months before his body was found in a crawlway of the eight-story building. For six months after his disappearance the nursing home continued to' collect Medicaid payments for Warfield's care, before Cleveland welfare officials finally uncovered the payment error.

Senate investigations have lashed out at "mess visits" by some doctors and others giving unsolicited care to the captive audiences of nursing home patients. One physician in the quiet county seat of Jefferson, Texas, billed Medicare last year for 4,560 visits to 54 patients - an average of more than 80 visits to each. Hollis Park Garden in Hollis Park N.Y. billed the government for $372,000 for physical therapy last year. A senator charged that some patients were listed as undergoing therapy on the day they died.

Kickbacks and markups dot investigation files. A Los Angeles nursing home owner said, "I even had a minister come in and say he would serve as a 'spiritual consultant' under the program for $100 a month."

In some nursing homes, the scramble for the extra buck can be found almost anywhere, from the breakfast table to the bedpan. A noted neurologist in New York City recalled, "When I was an intern, it was 25 cents for a bedpan cold, 50 cents warm."

Nationwide surveys have shown average food costs per nursing home patient to be less than $1 a day. A former executive for a suburban Detroit nursing home tells how milk is diluted with water, hamburger is half bread, and the cheapest coffee is served.

In a dingy Detroit nursing home an old man with white stubble on his chin raised his grizzled face while a priest was saying Mass and blurted out a childhood prayer: "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake - Who The Hell Would Care?"

It is a living death, said a Los Angeles clergyman. They look and stare and wait - and watch each other die." A Cleveland researcher, Dr. Margaret Blenkner added, "Don't kid yourself. Just walk into a nursing home and tell me how many happy, laughing faces you see."

For many of these hidden million Americans, the mind is ebbing, or eroded - and this, not ill health, is the main reason many are in a nursing home. The grim sight of rows of patients who sit and stare at nothing is not the fault of the nursing homes. It is a fact of health, and a flaw of a nation that has no real plan for taking care of the mental nightmares that haunt the aged; more than this, it is a casualty of a technocratic and progressive society - an indictment and contradiction to a society that has, over the years, assured us that rapid economic growth is the answer to almost any problem.

A study by Dr. Alvin I. Goldfarb, former head of the American Psychiatry Association's Committee on aging, has listed 86 percent of the patients in nursing homes as suffering mental disorders that range from '' senility to insanity. Yet, several psychiatrists and psychologists agreed that such specialized care (psychiatric) is almost non-existent.

Drugs are used to keep patients subdued. The worst cases are kept in restraining straps. And state officials compound the crisis by dumping the elderly out of mental hospitals into private nursing home.

Dr. Goldfarb warned: "There is a danger that nursing homes, because they lack medical tradition and psychiatric supervision, will degenerate into snake pits."

One trouble with retiring is that at 40 or 50 a man does not want to think about age. He is established in his work, married, and has a family; if you asked him, he would say that he was "going strong." He knows that things change - that people have to plan ahead. His own life has been a series of changes; as soon as he was old enough he made plans for the future. Yet there seems to be something about the middle part of life that makes people afraid to look ahead.

Women, on the whole, meet the older years more gracefully and with less trouble than do men. This is particularly true of a happily married woman. She still can get satisfaction from homemaking skills; she is important to her family. A man, as he gets older, seems to find that his job is not enough to make him feel important. This is why men look for ways to build themselves up. If they choose things that they can do successfully after they retire, they will have personal satisfactions. Sometimes a man's hobby can be made to pay off in money.

People who are growing older cannot be lumped together and treated exactly alike. We keep saying that medicine and nursing must do more than treat a disease; they fail unless they do everything possible to make an individual a whole person. People themselves must make plans to provide for the older years, to prevent the processes of aging and to lengthen life. Age is only relative. It is measured by efficiency, happiness, and satisfactory relations with others. Some people are old at 30; others are young at 90. We are too likely to estimate age in years instead of by a person's ability to make the most of any time of life

Older people, like everyone else, hate to lose their independence, give up comforts and change to new ways. Quite naturally they still went to believe in themselves. The Chinese believe that it is unforgivable to rob a person of his self-respect; they call it "losing face."

Old age does not have to be an unhappy time; many older people find life very good. There is this about it, though: the happy old people always seem to be the ones who got into the habit of making the most of everything.

Forty-four percent of the nursing home beds in the nation are "unacceptable." In some states this figure reaches 75 to 80 percent. Among the nation's 25,000 nursing homes, the latest survey by the Public Health Service showed 9,700 nursing homes subject to any supervision by trained personnel.

Government financing of elderly housing projects is fraught with red tape, delays; and substantially increases the cost of construction as well as operation. The average time it takes from the time a group organizes for the promotion of an elderly housing project to the time that plans and loans are finally approved is approximately three years. This time does not include construction.

The immediate need in Iowa alone for fire-resistant nursing home and custodial home beds is in excess of 12,000.

There are a considerable number of private persons willing to invest in elderly housing projects under sound financial arrangement. The personal aspects of the elderly housing and care business are much more pronounced than in most other types of businesses.

Edward R. Annis, M. D., American Medical Association President, said "Not long ago in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, the AMA, said, Care for any segment of our population - the aged included calls for a cooperative attack on the problem by doctors, nurses, hospitals, social workers, insurance companies, community leaders others. It requires flexibility of technique...In the case of the aged, their health problem primarily involves acute illness and so-called de-generative diseases. In a very large percentage of cases, the main need is not for an expensive hospital stay or surgical operation, but for medical care at home or in the doctor's office. In other cases, the important requirement is nursing care in the patient's home or in the home of relatives. And in still others, custodial care in a nursing home or public facility may be the only answer. The point is that the medical needs of the aged are subject to countless variation...

"This is the point that is frequently missed by the public and by too many of us actively at work in the field of health as well. This is the crux of the matter that is generally unacknowledged, unappreciated... the hub upon which all our dealings with the aged and the aging must revolve: that their medical needs are subject to countless variations.

"So we cannot categorically say, as some people are saying, that all members of the group we call our senior citizens are disabled or ill; unemployed or economically poor, friendless, homeless, or helpless; unoccupied or unwanted. The health problems of the aged as a group are significantly and startlingly similar to those of any other age group.

"And, you know, all the surveys which have been taken and interpreted honestly have revealed a fact that might be considered 'strange' by some Washingtonians. This fact is that the general health of our aged and aging is no different from the general health of our population as a whole. It is good.

"Medicine and its allied sciences have seen to it that the life span of man has been lengthened considerably over the years, and even now it is being continually lengthened. And more than that, we have not neglected to consider there is more to life and living than length alone; we have attempted to make the process of living itself more enjoyable, more health.

Researchers today are in almost complete agreement that there are no such things as diseases among the aged, just as there are no diseases to be found in any other age group. Many of the manifestations of aging, previously believed to result specifically from the aging process, are now considered to be attributed to other causes.

"Professions in the health field have accepted this concept and they have worked some awesome medical miracles. For instance, much work has been done in the medical and surgical assault on the heart diseases so prevalent among the aged, and a major breakthrough in cancer is probably just around the corner. Now with the full forces of science and medicine turning their attention to the chronic diseases, some of which were earlier mistaken for as afflicting only the elderly, the next 50 years will see a marked modification of the ages in death in those over the age of 45. The life span of man will be increased even further, and the time when a century of living becomes a reality may not be too far off.

"In the meantime, however, we cannot deny that there are some 17 million Americans who are 65 and older, and the number grows larger each day that passes. We who are in the health field, just as it is our charge, to care for the health needs of all age groups, must concern ourselves with the health care of our aged and aging. It is up to us to offer positive, professional programs - now - for the care of our elderly citizens.

"To approach a solution of the problems we need first define it in its fullest sense. We must recognize that growing old is a process, which involves both mind and body.

Human understanding, not medicine alone, is a vital requirement in our treatment of the aged. Our solution must involve the conquering of a defeatist philosophy ... the philosophy that says the race is over at the age of 65. All of us have seen men who were old at 40, and all of us have seen men who were young at 70...the sum effect was based entirely upon possession of either the improper or proper attitude.

"So we must emphasize that the responsibility of caring for the body in physical diseases and in mental attitude rests directly and primarily on the individual himself; we must convince our senior citizens to maintain their interests and motivations, that they must keep up with a fast-changing world, to mature with it; and to stay mentally alert and emotionally in tune with his environment so he will be wanted and not be an outcast. We must show them that environment can be conquered with willfulness. It is up to all of us to see that the older citizens of our nation are not segregated from other citizens - in employment, in the family, and in the community as a whole.

"Thus we have seen the health problems of the aged involve far more than doctors' or hospitals' or nursing home care. We must think not only of adding more years to the life span of man, but we also must make sure that we provide them with meaningful time. They have the right to be accorded community understanding and acceptance, the courtesy of being treated as individuals, the right to be useful and to be given the opportunity to live as self-reliant, respected members of society."

Igor Stravinsky, 88, who is perhaps the greatest musician of the century, speaks on achieving old age "How does a man grow old? I don't know, or why I am old, if I must be (I don't want to be) ... All my life I have thought of myself as 'the youngest one,' and now, suddenly, I read and hear about myself as 'the oldest one.' And then I wonder if these distant images of myself. I wonder if memory is true, and I know that it cannot be, but that one lives by memory nevertheless and riot by truth. But through the crack of light in my bedroom door, time dissolves and I again see the images of my lost world. Mama has gone to her room, my brother is asleep in the other bed, and all is still in the house..."

MANNING COULD ALWAYS boast of the longevity of its citizens and very early became interested in the health of its people. Dr. T.S. McKenna was the first practicing physician in Manning; he had the practice when the town started. The first stock of drugs consisted of a market basketful of medicines which the good doctor brought with him when he came here in the summer of 1881. Dr. McKenna died in 1908.

Dr. R.R. Williams located in this part of Carroll County even earlier - in 1878 in fact - making his offices at a farm house a few miles east of Manning. He was the earliest practitioner in these parts by five years. Had he not been stricken down with a fever in the spring of 1881 he would have been the first physician to locate in the town, although he practiced in the town when it was first started and located his offices here in the fall of 1881, as soon as he had recovered sufficiently from his illness.

Dr. Orren W. Wyatt came to Manning in 1910 and started the first hospital on a small scale in a few rooms upstairs over the Bank of Manning - the building now owned by Harold Juels. Amanda Sievers became associated with Dr. Wyatt at this time.

Dr. O.W. Wyatt long dreamed of expanding his facilities. In the summer of 1926 construction was started on the hospital building later known as the Wyatt Memorial Hospital. Location of the site was a vacant lot that a livery barn had stood.

Work on the new hospital was necessarily slow. At first, two teams - one of them a mule team - and slip scrapers operated by Sherman Farrell and Herman Sievers (brother to Amanda Sievers) were used in digging the basement. As the excavation progressed, the digging was done by hand - especially in the nurse's home where the basement was deeper to house the heating unit - and the dirt removed by means of wheelbarrows pushed up on a ramp to wagon running gears and hauled away by the teams. These running gears consisted of unfastened two-by-sixes laid in the carrying parts of the wagon, with two upright planks on either side set against the bolsters - so arranged to facilitate unloading. Ted Capdevielle, the 13-year-old stepson of Jay Duff, foreman of the cement work, assisted in this part of the labor by pulling a rope ahead of the wheelbarrow. Other: helping with the spadework included E.K. Johnson, "Dutch" Barnes, Ray Edwards, and Walt Mincey. Since these were hard times, just preceding the crash of 1929, some of the laborers were working out their doctor bills.

By fall 1927, construction was nearing completion. Work, for the most part, had progressed without a hitch. One incident, however, occurred that might have proved fatal to one of the workmen. A three-phase motor ran a worker's elevator which took wheelbarrows of cement to the second floor. The insulated wire cord strung through a window became frazzled by the opening and closing of the window; and when Fred Grau, standing on the cement floor, touched the brass pull on the sash to close the window at the end of a day's work, he was nearly electrocuted. Barnes rushed upstairs and cautiously pried the window open with a two-by-four.

The entire building, including an annex for the heating plant and living quarters for nurses, is fireproof. The building is of a Spanish, type, but is cast in synthetic stone, technically known as the monolithic style of construction. There are practically two buildings, one within the other, since there is a continuous air space between the walls affording insulation against heat, cold, and dampness, and making it soundproof as well.

Doctor Wyatt was responsible for the design of the building. George Spooner, architect, then of Council Bluffs, drew the plans and supervised the construction. Floors in the main building are of monolithic construction, covered with mastic, which makes for quietness and resiliency. Many gifts were given to the hospital; one of the most noteworthy being an electric elevator installed by Mrs. Mabel Dietz-Opperman and Mr. Albert Dietz in memory of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Dietz. Many of the patients' rooms were furnished by local people. A well-equipped operating room, X-ray, and laboratory were also provided by Doctor Wyatt.

The hospital was opened for use in November 1927. It was formally dedicated in memory of Dr. W.B. Wyatt (who had been associated with his brother O.W. Wyatt prior to his death in 1918) on National Hospital Day, May 12, 1929. At that time the building was opened to the public for inspection and about 500 visitors registered.

Mary Merrill, now Mrs. Francis Brennan had just graduated from nurse's training in Carroll, and took her first case at Wyatt Memorial in June.

Dr. Wyatt operated the hospital alone, carrying on a general practice and also surgery until he was joined by his son, Dr. Merlin Wyatt in 1930. Dr. O.W. Wyatt died on February 3, 1942. Dr. Merlin Wyatt continued with his work in the hospital until he was called into the army in September 1942. For the next three years, Amanda Sievers kept the hospital open. A sister also continued to serve in the capacity of a practical nurse.

On September 15, 1945, Drs. Carl Waterbury, H.B. Anderson, and Laurel Dietrick opened the doors to accept their first patient. Dr. Dietrick stayed seven months and re-entered general practice. Drs. Waterbury and Anderson operated the hospital on a partnership basis for three years and five months, at which time Dr. Waterbury moved to Des Moines where he established an obstetrical practice.

At this time it was found necessary to incorporate the institution with the people of the community and the staff doctors. Dr. W.P. Chandler, Jr., replaced Dr. Waterbury in the obstetrical department. Ruth Peters served as Administrator of the hospital from 1949 to 1954. At that time, J.H. McGrath took over her duties. Miss Emily Schelldorf, who had come to the hospital in 1950, followed Mr. McGrath in February 1957. When she took over management of the hospital, Miss Schelldorf came with high qualifications as a former army nurse, but with no administrative experience. Under the tutelage of Henry Meyers, she learned her lessons well.

The Community Hospital Association of Manning was incorporated on October 21, 1949. This association purchased the hospital and operated it as a non-profit, charitable organization under the name of Manning General Hospital, having an authorized capital stock of $40,000, divided into 400 shares of stock, each of the value of 100 (as of October 1969, there were 125 stockholders).

Under the articles of incorporation, no dividend would ever be paid to the holders of the capital stock of this corporation, but the income, earnings, and gifts of the corporation would be expended in defraying the operational expenses, the maintenance of its properties and appliances and equipment in a good state of repair, the addition of new buildings and equipment and appliances, and for such other benevolences germane to its objects as it may from time to time establish.

Each share of the capital stock is entitled to one vote at the annual meeting of the stockholders, is transferable, and possesses such property rights and interests as set forth in the articles of incorporation and the by-laws adopted for the management and operation of the corporation. The members of the corporation consist of all persons who are owners of one or more shares on the capital stock of the corporation.

The affairs of the corporation are conducted by a board of not fewer than five and not more than nine directors, who are divided into three classes, (The number was reduced from nine to seven in October 1968). The officers are elected by the Board of Directors immediately after the annual meeting of the stockholders. Their term of office is one year and until their successors are elected and qualified, or until such time as the directors may provide. No officer or employee of the corporation receives any salary except for services actually rendered. The officers chosen at this first meeting were: R.B. Anderson, Pres.; Hubert Lamp, Vice-Pres.; Everett F. Dau, Treas.; and Orval R. Fink, Sec. The list of incorporators were R.B. Anderson, Orval R. Fink, William P. Chandler, Jr., Henry J. Hansen, Glenn E. Bigsby, Orin E. Pratt, H.H. Hansen, Ray O. Pratt, H.E. Meyers, and Everett F. Dau.

Recently, a new non-profit corporation with a self-perpetuating, non-salaried Board of Directors was organized under the name of the Manning General Hospital to take over the management, operation, control, and direction of the hospital.

The Manning General Hospital serves the community of Manning surrounding area operating under an "open-staff" policy which permits either medical doctors as well as osteopathic doctors to be admitted to hospital professional staff.

Building was begun early in April 1956 on the now Anderson Clinic, which was ready for occupation the following September. The Clinic housed the examining rooms and offices of the four doctors: R.B. Anderson, J.B. Farnham, W.P. Chandler, and J.C. Edgerton. Today, only the two-letter named doctors remain.

In the spring of 1969, after several years of study and planning, the Board of Directors of the Community Hospital Association of Manning decided that certain improvements should be made to the existing hospital building and an addition should be added. On September 25, 1969, the Board of Directors executed a contract with the A.C. Dohrmann Construction Company of Sioux City to construct the proposed addition and make improvements to the hospital. Construction of the new addition was begun in October and was scheduled for completion on or about June 1, 1970. Improvements to the older building were scheduled for completion shortly thereafter.

The many improvements resulting from the new 36-bed addition include central air-conditioning, piped oxygen to certain rooms, audio-visual communications system between the nurses' station and patient rooms, individual remote-control television and radio, provisions for each patient, all-electric beds, and enlarged and improved surgical and obstetrical facilities.

Financing of the new addition and the improvements to the existing building was handled through the First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Council Bluffs, Iowa, along with the sale of bonds to local individuals. The cost of the new addition, including real estate, and the cost of the improvements to the existing building is estimated to be $450,000.

In order to properly equip the new hospital facility, the Board decided upon a fund-raisin; campaign to be conducted by volunteers in the Manning community; $55,50O was set as the goal.

THE NEED FOR a nursing home in Manning had been felt by many of the town's civic-minded citizens long before anyone dared hope that such a dream would come true.

Various organizations and individuals had been working on the establishment of a nursing home since the early 1960s, including the Community Hospital Association.

In his profession as a mortician, William F. Ohde, had seen firsthand conditions in many nursing homes and in private homes where relatives, with poor facilities, were trying to care for their own elderly and these conditions at times were deplorable.

Leo Bruck - owner Manning Creamery

Leo Bruck saw a nursing home as a perfect complement to the hospital plant.

Robert Campbell cited the three things most needed for a successful nursing home: a good administrator, a good board of directors, and a good cook. It proved fortunate for the budding enterprise that all three of these essentials were eventually provided.

A good idea, like birth, is born in pain; and before plans for a nursing home in Manning could gestate, a series of labor pains were experienced. Committees were formed from time to time to investigate the idea, but the first members of these groups brought too many farfetched ideas to the table that would cost far more money than could be raised.

There was disagreement over where to build the proposed nursing home. One faction wanted it on Main Street at its present location; the other insisted the home had to be away from the business district, that it would lower the value of the commercial quarter.

During the sometimes bitter controversy over a nursing home site, Henry E. and Hazel Meyers visited their long-time friend and former associate, Mrs. Catherine Eden (beloved past Manning post-mistress for a number of years), in the Friendship Home at Audubon (first nursing home in this area granted a federal loan). Catherine Eden voiced her feeling in words that echoed the sentiments of the Meyers and of all the residents who would ever live at The Plaza: "It is so lonely down here away from my friends and home town. Do not build your nursing home out on a hill somewhere, but rather on Main Street as you suggested, close to all the activity of the town's present and past..."

The final choice of a site has proved a wise one, attested to by this fact: Where other nursing homes have had to advertise for residents.

The Manning Plaza has been filled to capacity almost from its beginning, and always with a long waiting list. In fact, the hospital nursing home complex is big business on Main Street.

Even when it seemed the venture was on course with the Griffith Company of Fort Dodge at the helm, the parties concerned could not get together on the original design, $6,250 was forfeited, and the plan scrapped.

More than ever convinced that their idea was a sound one, the Community Hospital Association started from scratch with a fresh approach to the problem. Much credit is given to Leo Bruck's perseverance at this critical juncture. "Often, when the site was nothing more than a weed patch and the dream seemed so unattainable," Orval Fink recalled, "Leo's faith in the project was unshakable."

What Leo Bruck contributed most at this time was his business acumen and judicious manipulation of assets. As chairman of the board of directors of the Community Hospital Association, Leo realized that their financially sound hospital plant was their ace in the hole; and that by putting it up as collateral, the initial amount of money needed to get the plan off the drawing board could be handled.

Erwin Hansen 1967
The snack bar in the basement of the Rexall Drug Store

Robert Cambell 1966 in the Rexall Drug Store

Robert Campbell - Navy WWI

Accordingly, in late spring 1965, the board appointed a three-man Resources Committee, consisting of Orval Fink, Erwin Hansen (who were not members of the board), and Robert Campbell - who was - to further investigate the possibility of building such a home. This committee studied the construction, financing, and problems of operations of nursing homes in this part of the state. They called upon lending institutions active in the financing of nursing homes. They called on builders, architects, and persons actively involved in the construction of nursing homes.

William F. Ohde - 1954 MFD

Hubert Lamp 1972

Henry & Hazel Meyers 1979

Orval Fink

1957 Mueller bowling team

Back: Ben D. Joens, Lyle Joens (son of Bill), Bill Petersen, Leo Wuebker
Front: Paul Volquartsen, George Erps

After receiving the committee's report, the board adopted it, and further resolved to build a nursing home. A special five-man Steering Committee was then appointed to be in charge of presenting the plan to the public and to direct the local financing. The members of the committee were William F. Ohde, Chairman; Hubert Lamp; H.E. Meyers; Ben D. Joens; and Orval Fink.

Plans were first formally announced the week of August 12, 1965, for the construction of such a home by Leo Bruck. Original plans called for a 46-bed unit (estimated cost, $316,000) to be located at the corner of Fourth and Main Streets, a block off Highway 141, where a number of buildings had been removed.

Plans called for actual construction to start October 1, 1965, with March 1, 1966, as the date of completion. This meant that the home could be in operation before May 1, 1966. The home was designed and constructed so that it would meet all requirements of the Iowa State Department of Health and the Iowa State Fire Marshall. The design and specifications were prepared by qualified people; the construction itself by a qualified contractor under proper inspection. Only approved materials were used.

A.C. Dohrmann Company of Sioux City was the general contractor; Arthur Shuster, Inc., of St. Paul, the furnishers; and Jack Boeck, Manilla, earth moving and excavation work in preliminary stages. Wayne A. Farley, Sioux City, was the consulting engineer; Bill McConnell, superintendent.

The design of the building is of colonial style, with early American furnishings. A north and south wing extend from a central atrium, with grassy courts between.

It had been found that the best method of financing a non-profit home was through the solicitation of donations from the public and a real estate mortgage loan from a recognized: mortgage lending agency. This loan, having been arranged for with the First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Council Bluffs, a goal of $75,000 was required to be raised through public donations to complete the financing.

As we have said, a more favorable mortgage had been possible because the community Hospital Association had agreed to allow its debt-free hospital to be used as further collateral.

The proposed nursing home was organized as a non-profit institution owned and operated for the community of Manning by a board of directors composed of local citizens. A review of Iowa Health Department rules governing the operations of hospitals as compared with nursing, convalescent, and retirement homes clearly showed that the successful operation of any home of this type indicates that management policies should not be determined by a board operating a hospital and for that reason it was proposed to establish a separate board for the operation of the nursing home.

The policies of a home are governed very much by the State Health Department, such as:
1. A person would be admitted as a private citizen and allowed privileges as much as possible as those they would have in their own home. It will not be a hospital and therefore renting a room or bed is much like renting an apartment or home;
2. That each person shall be allowed free choice of a physician;
3. That a person shall be allowed individual freedom to attend the church of his choice.
A pastor shall be permitted to visit at all reasonable hours, and privacy for consultation, communion, or for interviews with other professional people shall be provided.

The Community Hospital Association became interested in the project because it believed that as a public institution owned by the public it had an obligation to make its resources, experience, and talent available to this effort by the public in providing retirement, convalescent, and nursing home facilities so that persons requiring these have the opportunity of remaining at home among their friends and relatives, amid familiar surroundings, where they will be happiest.

It was also felt that the choice of the location would provide further convenience for the residents by being close in and not requiring parents to depend on someone else for transportation; likewise, it is convenient for visitors.

It is worthy of mention that a town that cares and provides for its elderly is rich in tradition, and misses no opportunity to display it proudly.

Shortly after plans for the home were made public, the drive for raising the needed funds got under way. Three persons gave $5,000 each; they were Erwin H. Hansen, Leo J. Bruck, and Peter F. Hansen. Several donated $1,000 or more. Even the school children came through with $30.50.

Jane (Pratt) Callen, Orin Pratt, Mary Pratt

Monitor, October 14, 1965 - The fund-raising project for the new Community Nursing Home is progressing quite well, according to board members, and plans are going ahead for a fall construction date...If any person wishes to contribute, he may do so by contacting any of the following solicitors: William F. Ohde, Ben D. Joens, Robert Campbell, Leo Bruck, Orin E. Pratt, Erwin H. Hansen, Orval Fink, Henry Peters, Henry E. Meyers, and Hubert Lamp.

In the first aborted attempt at building a nursing home, the buildings starting north from the hospital emergency driveway - site of the Last Chance Saloon in the days when the Milwaukee depot stood in the City Park that had once housed the fire station, city hall, and library; bars. Thomsen's Millinery; the Uthoff Hotel and later Ral-Mars; Pete Murray's Barber Shop, then vet office, then restaurant (two buildings owned by Clyde C. Kenyon) - all these buildings had already disappeared.

Now it remained only to tear down the brick building that served as Kuhl's Tavern and the double brick Gambles Store that had been the C.H. Reinholdt Hardware & Implement store. Some of the town's nostalgia and certainly one of its noted landmarks was lost when this duplex building was demolished by the wrecking, crew. It had had a proud and glorious past...

By December 2, 1965 Mr. Bruck reported that the construction of the new nursing home was progressing on schedule, which would insure completion for an early spring opening. Wayne Parley issued his first progress report four days later, with this comment: "Job is well organized and appears to be proceeding according to the plans and specifications."

Twelve men were actually working on the job. Plumbers were installing rough plumbing in west end, south wing; sub-contractor was cutting sewer trench; concrete finishers were completing central section, basement floor,) and south wing; carpenters and laborers were placing form work for door over central section in the vicinity of the dining room; masons were laying up chimney, and bricklayers had placed bricks up above the level of first-floor slab on center wing and north wing.

The scene bore evidence of the work at hand. Piles of materials, neatly stacked about, were ready to be incorporated in the project: concrete joists; structural steel; brick; concrete block; and certain items of plumbing such as pipe, storage tanks, etc. Later, as they would be needed, other materials were added to the stockpile: ceramic tile, floor and ceiling tile, electrical fittings, insulation, steel joists, conduit, steel deck, and mesh.

Concrete floors in process were being adequately protected against freezing by the use of unit heaters and plastic covering. Straw was available and was being used to protect any such places where the floor was not yet poured.

Walt Martens, who worked on the cement crew throughout the construction, stated that, as a further precaution, a portion of anti-freeze was added to the mud. He maintains that it is important that cement does not freeze before it sets.

Water proofing appeared to be properly applied at required areas.

Mr. Parley's second report was made on December 30. He reported ten men on the job, with cement finishers winding up their work on steps to the basement; carpenters erecting weatherproof shield for bricklayers to complete outside walls on both wings; laborers placing bricks and blocks for use on the outside walls, north wing; plumbing sub-contractor installing initial runs of pipe from boiler room to heating zones; electrical sub-contractor installing conduits and switches in exterior masonry wall: and door opening alarms; and with rough grading done. Masons were at work on west wing exterior wall, with work done up scaffold high. Millwork (windows) were installed in south wall, west wing, and east alley wall. Alley pavement was replaced over gas lines. Unit heaters were properly placed.

A meeting was held in the offices of the Lewis-Reinhold Company on February 26, 1966 for the purpose of organizing a corporation under the Iowa Non-Profit Corporation Act. Mr. Orval Fink was unanimously chosen chairman of the meeting and Claus H. Bunz, secretary. A general discussion was held relating to the organization of a corporation whereby such a corporation would provide retirement living and nursing and convalescent care to various persons who may require such services. The chairman reported that the Community Hospital Association was engaged in the construction of such a facility, and that they desired that a separate and independent corporation of the nature described be organized for this purpose. The chairman then appointed Leo Bruck to serve as a liaison official between the CHA and the new corporation. He finally instructed the secretary to proceed at once to do all things necessary to set up the corporation and to have it declared an exempt organization under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.

At a meeting held on March 3, the facility was first referred to as "The Manning Plaza," after a contest failed to provide a suitable name. A suggestion was made that as many nurse's aides as possible that might be employed in the new home be encouraged to enroll in the training program sponsored by the Iowa State Department of Health. It was reported that the furnishings for the Plaza had been purchased by the building committee, and there was discussion on the landscaping and sodding of the grounds, following the departure of the building crews.

Lyle & Dorothy (Sutherland) Arp 1954

Claus Bunz 1967

Willis Puck 1930

The Manning Plaza was incorporated on March 9, 1966 with these person, constituting the first board of directors: Leo J. Bruck; Lyle O. Arp, treasurer; Willis Puck, vice-president; Orval R. Fink, president; and Claus Bunz, secretary (initial registered agent).

At the time of Farley's final report on April 8, there were no work crews present on the job, except for plumbers and clean-up men. Work in progress included electricians finishing wiring and setting of fixtures in nursing rooms; carpenters finishing millwork in nursing wings (cabinet work, setting doors, applying door hardware); painter applying first coat to all walls and millwork inside and out; carpenters building nursing station in central section; plumber setting fittings in central section; carpenters working on cabinet work in kitchen; and ceiling crew placing ceiling tile in north wing and placing suspension system.

Yet, with the rush for completion, announcement was made of the hiring of Mrs. Leo (Helena) J. Bruhn as the new Administrator for the Plaza, to be effective on May 9, Mrs. Bruhn, 60, of Schuyler, Nebraska, had had experience in administration; had taught school; and is a certified Braillist, having worked for the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Mr. Bruhn, a skilled carpenter who had completed a training course in Maintenance of senior citizen's homes, was employed in that capacity.

Pictured in the Monitor on April 28 was Jaycee President Gerald Beck handing a check for $500 to Orval Fink for use in the construction of fountains in front of the new structure. Also pictured were Jaycee officers Roger Vollstedt, Keith Kelderman, Phil Enenbach, and Ralph Musfeldt.

By the first of May 1966, the bulk of construction at the Plaza had ended. Only the finishing touches outside - a new sidewalk, painting, and cleanup - and items inside - carpet placement and final electrical work in front room - remained to be done.

Open house of The Manning Plaza was held May 20, 21, and 22, during which time an estimated 2,200 people were conducted on guided tours of the home's facilities. Two days later, on May 24, the first resident, Mary Mundt, entered the home. The initial working staff numbered eight persons, with a gross payroll for the month of June, exclusive of Social Security taxes, in the amount of $2,357.66.

Mary (Anthony) Mundt

Following is a list of the first residents of The Manning Plaza

May 24, 1966 ... Mary Mundt, Manning
May 27, 1966 ... Carl H. Kuhl, Manning
May 31, 1966 ... Ida Armstrong, Manilla
June 1, 1966 ... Bertha Hansen, Manning
June 1, 1966 ... Matilda Kunsch, Manning
June 1, 1966 ... Charles A. Saunders, Manilla
June 1, 1966 ... Caroline Kuhl, Manning
June 4, 1966 ... William Bastendorf, Templeton
June 6, 1966 ... William Wiese, Westside
June 6, 1966 ... Mary (Liz) Kisgen, Templeton
June 8, 1966 ... Tresa Fox, Templeton
June 10, 1966 ... Anna Hinz , Manning
June 16, 1966 ... Mc Comb, Battle Creek
June 29, 1966 ... John Steinhauer, Manning
June 30, 1966 ... Alma Wiese, Vail
July 1, 1966 ... Dora Swaney, Grand Junction

On June 6, the board requested Mr. Billy Hansen, owner of the Business and Farm Bookkeeping Service in Manning with the assistance of Mr. Duane Wheeler, certified public accountant from Denison, to set up and install a cash receipt and disbursements, double entry Bookkeeping system together with appropriate ledgers and account books, The First National Bank of Manning was designated as the duly authorized depository for the funds of the Plaza.

By the end of the year 1966, The Manning Plaza reached a total bed count of 33 residents, and closed the last month of the year - for the first t time since it opened - operating in the black.

By February 1967, the number of residents had reached 40; and the President announced he would take the necessary steps to see that the Nursing Home license issued by the Iowa State Department of Health be increased from a 36-bed- capacity License to a 50-bed capacity license.

Meantime, the Administrator reported she had received word that USDA commodities would be forthcoming.

In March, the Administrator's recommendation that the Plaza take membership in the District, Iowa, and American Nursing Home Associations was -unanimously-accepted by the board. The President reported that he had received bills from Arthur Shuster, Inc., totaling $44,227.34, for furniture and other items. Time was when furniture was a minor item in budgeting...

The responsibilities of the Administrator are manifold and sometimes deal with small but novel situations; as when, early in May, Mrs. Bruhn reported the frustrating case of the missing bed sheets; in fact, three dozen were missing and could not be accounted for. Later, in July, they wore found. They had simply been mislaid in unmarked boxes. In May, too, The Manning Plaza was approved for the nursing of veterans, making it the only nursing home in Carroll County to be so designated.

National Nursing Home week 1967 got its kickoff on Mother's Day, May 14; most fittingly, since two out of three patients in nursing homes are women. The Manning Plaza took part in the nationwide program to assure that every nursing home patient received a visitor and a gift on Mother's Day.

Mr. E.R. Vest, President of the Iowa Nursing Home Association, elaborated on the theme for Nursing Home Week - 'Nursing Homes: A Fullers Life' in these words: "Today's modern nursing home provides more than just medical, nursing, and personal care. It provides for the rehabilitation; recreational, spiritual, and diversional needs of the patient. But our efforts alone to provide for a fuller life for those crippled with age and beset by disease are not enough. It is for this reason that we are calling for community cooperation to provide a renewed and more secure link between our patients and the community of which so many of them have been a part so long."

These hauntingly bittersweet lines from Conrad come unbidden now: "...faces, lined, wrinkled;...faces marked by toil, by deception, by success, by love; ...weary eyes looking still, looking always, looking anxiously for something out of life, that while it is expected is already gone - has passed unseen, in a sigh, in a flash - together with the youth with the strength, with the romance of illusions."

In September, the board agreed to the request of the Manning General Hospital to use the incinerator located in the Plaza. Later, the board authorized the Administrator to purchase additional smoking urns; and to obtain and install a suitable clothes-hanging device in the Plaza basement for the employees.

The construction of the Plaza itself is as nearly fireproof as it is possible to build. However, additional safeguards have been provided throughout the building. These include the conventional fire extinguishers placed in vital and strategic areas. Doors between all sections have been wired to close automatically in case of a fire, and these have an asbestos core. A fire alarm control panel has been installed near the nurse ins station in the central part of the plant.

Even the human element has not been neglected. William F. Ohde, the fire chief, conducts fire talks regularly at the Plaza. Actual fire drills, including evacuation of the bedridden, was considered at one time; then dismissed after consideration of the traumatic effects on the persons involved.

In October, a resolution was passed calling for the monthly purchase from the First National Bank of one $600 Time Certificate of Deposit bearing 4 percent interest; that such purchases should continue until further action of the board; and that these monies should constitute a fund known as the "Debt Retirement and Emergency Fund." One month later, the amount was raised to $1,000. In April 1969, the board decided there was a sufficient sum of money in the fund to make full payment of the 418,000 liability shown on the balance sheet of the Manning Plaza as being owed to Robert Campbell and the Community Hospital Association. This debt was discharged in August. At this time, a new fund known as "The Manning Expansion Fund" supplanted the Debt Retirement Fund.

At the same time that the Debt Retirement Fund was established, a "Memorial Fund" was inaugurated into which fund all gifts and contributions of money to the Plaza were placed; and these monies were to be put in a separate checking account in the First National Bank.

In November, a resolution was passed declaring it to be the policy of the Plaza to accept any and all gratuitous, unqualified tenders and offers of stock to the Community Hospital Association.

During the fall of 1967, the services of La Bell Engineering of Sioux City were enlisted to prepare plans and specifications for the air-conditioning of the Plaza.

And before the year closed, the bed count at the Plaza had reached the 50 mark for the first time.

The year 1968 was marked by steady growth and solidification for The Manning Plaza.

Toward the end of spring (June 15), Miss Harriot Stirn became a resident at the Plaza; coming here from Chicago, where her father, Oscar W. Stirn, owns a plastics factory. Hariot's stepmother is the former Alva Hockett, who is a granddaughter of W.B. Hockett.

In September, there was a reshuffling of officers of the Plaza: Willis Puck moved up to the presidency; Leo Bruck assumed the duties of vice president Lyle Arp and Claus Bunz retained their positions as treasurer and secretary respectively.

In October, the Plaza was filled to capacity; with two registered nurses and three licensed practical nurses on the staff.

The Plaza was audited by the Wage & Hour & Public Contracts Division of the Department of Labor concerning the Federal Wage & Hour Law (Fair Labor Standards Act). The minimum wage was set at $1.45 an hour.

The Manning Wa-Tan-Ye Club initiated the sponsoring of birthday parties monthly for the residents of the Plaza. Mrs. George Peters was in charge of the first such party, held on July 25, 1966, which honored Tress Fox of Templeton.

A picture story appeared in the January 16, 1969 issue of the Monitor with this caption: Twin Sisters Celebrate 85th Birthday. The story continued: Twin sisters, Dora Swaney and Bertha (Bert) Hansen, enjoyed their 85th birthday Friday at the Plaza. The twins were the daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Julius Brunnier, and were born January 10, 1884, at Manning. They became residents of the Plaza on July 1, 1966. Mrs. Swaney previously lived at Grand Junction and Mrs. Hansen was from Harlan. Their sister, Matilda (Toots) Kunsch, is also a resident of the Plaza and is pictured above with the twins. Mrs. Kunsch was born November 2, 1882, and came to live at the Plaza on June 1, 1966. Another sister of the ladies is Mrs. William (Frances) Ohde, Sr. of Manning.

During 1969, the Manning Plaza witnessed further expansion. Board Member Orval Fink, who also served as Chairman of the Low-Rent Housing Agency of Manning, announced that he had received word from Congressman William Scherle that Manning's application for a program reservation for a Low-Rent Housing Project had been approved by the Federal Department of Housing & Urban Development, and that Manning had been awarded 30 unit of low-rent housing.

It was suggested that some of the older rooms in the old hospital building be used by some of the Plaza's ambulatory residents when such rooms would be vacated after the new hospital addition was completed. As many as ten people could be accommodated in this setup. This facility would be rented from the Community Hospital Association and operated defacto by The Manning Plaza.

A telephone intercom system was installed by the United Telephone Company of Iowa from whom the Plaza would rent the facility on a monthly basis.

The usual changes and improvements took place: the matter of equipping two rooms with half doors, the installation of an extra hand railing in the infirmary wing and an exhaust fan in the kitchen, and the purchase of a full-length mirror in the nurse's lounge. Certain exterior and interior portions of the Plaza were painted during the summer by Aikman Painting Company of Gray. The settling of the center portion of the front porch came under advisement.

The front porch has become for most residents the center of attraction the Mecca of their entertainment world; their view of the town from the Plaza - their escape into the past. It has, like time, been transmuted into a giant carrousel; and the school band, playing at the end of the street, a calliope of sound. The columns of the portico become vertiginous poles going up and down with prancing ponies; and the merry-go-round goes round and round, as the midway just beyond dances and whirls in a kaleidoscope of changing sounds and scenes, compressed and fretted in time...

Announcement of a forthcoming bequest to the Plaza of $9,218.23 by the late Rose Ellen Gavin was made in December 1969, and it was decided by the board that this bequest be placed in the Memorial Fund and only the interest be used in conducting the operations of the Plaza.

Christmas at the Plaza was a happy and joyful season thanks to the many thoughtful organizations and individuals. Viewing the Plaza from the street, the fountains turned into Christmas trees and the two gaily wrapped pillars bore the traditional "Merry Christmas" greeting. Inside, the beautifully decorated living room exuded warmth and cheer with its glowing Christmas tree, gorgeous wreath, and the attractive stockings on each resident's door; - all of these things put everyone in a festive mood. The clever centerpieces on each dining table brought joy to the meals; and poinsettias brightened almost every room with their holiday colors.

For those who were fortunate enough to have friends or relatives-and were able to leave, the day meant a trip home. But for all, the Christmas season - if only for the one time of the year - brightened the weary, disillusioned faces of the old folks ; and they became as children again, remembering all those things the years had given and taken away ... and all.

Few persons would reconcile The Manning Plaza with the original idea. It has been changed in principle, in theory, and in design. The fact still remains, however, it is a reality - a reality reached by men diligently following an idea through to the end; a reality aided by many and available for all to take advantage of and to appreciate. Many, many persons must share in the credit for The Manning Plaza, but few will receive the full amount of encomium due them for their unselfish, unflagging effort in piecing together and formulating the ideas, and finally seeing these same ideas through the final construction phase.

If we were to recognize all the persons directly or indirectly responsible for this project from beginning to end, the list would be long and impressive. The personal sacrifice of many of these people as individuals and groups should be apparent to all. They gave time and personal finances to direct the idea into a workable plan and a permanent structure. And how can due credit by measured: by the amount of money freely given or in time and labor expended? Or, how can one put a price tag - or a medal - on either? These are not easily assessable. There are some things more important than money in building dreams, but dreams cannot become realities without money.

Dedicated men, fired by a cause, offer what they have best to offer, be it money, mind, or muscle (it takes all three; and some gave lavishly of each) - and the job gets done. And that, in the final analysis, is what counts most.

It is to the everlasting esteem of a few, however, that The Manning Plaza stands today as a testament to their endeavors - and as a symbol of Manning's progressiveness. We cannot overlook these; their pictures will be found in these pages: small recompense for their unstinting service to the community.

This city, after blazing the pioneer's trail, passed through successive and successful stages of interesting and intensive development, as we have seen, until it has become a real factor in making this community known far outside of its own environs.

Naturally, as with any extensive undertaking, there are a few pitfalls disappointments, and heartbreaks; and even a certain amount of uncooperativeness and outward hostility. But these are soon forgotten by all concerned. To all those directly responsible for the Plaza's success, this book expresses the heartfelt thanks of the entire community. Your faith in your idea was unshakable and certainly a personal tribute to you.

The dream is not yet quite realized ... but when it will finally and surely become an actuality, the completed complex, exquisitely planned and executed, will be a perpetual tribute to its builders. In one simple and coordinated unit, an elderly person can, if he or she chooses, live out his twilight years in close proximity to the activities and associations of his early and maturing years; first, in the low-rent housing facility for as long as he is able to care for himself; then, retire to the Plaza; while, ever handy in case of emergency, will be the hospital.

And the remarkable thing to remember is that all of this money was raised without the rid of a professional fund-raiser, and every cent collected has gone into the dream-reality...The Manning Plaza.

Following is the list of cash donors in the initial fund-raising drive for The Manning Plaza (August 1965 - December 1966), given in alphabetical order according to the size of the donations.
Leo J. Bruck
Erwin H. Hansen
Peter F. Hansen
Diamond Jubilee Committee
First National Bank - Ernest D. Sutherland
Marie Boysen
Augusta Bunz
Robert Campbell
Orval R. Fink
John R. Hansen
Manning Trust & Savings Bank
Hans Musfeldt
William F. Ohde
Ohde Funeral Homes
L.H. Polking
Raymond O. Pratt
Albert Puck
Willis Puck
Arthur Rix
Ronald D. Schelldorf
Anna Struve
Lyle O. Arp
Claus H. Bunz
Floyd Campbell
Ray Dammann
Rose Ellen Gavin
Leona & Arthur Gruhn
A.H. Hinz
Henry Hoelscher
Hoffmann Bros. Lumber Co.
Manning JayCees
Hubert Lamp
A.W. Martens
Emil Opperman
O.E. Pratt
Labert Stahl, Jr.
L.E. Stamp
Herbert Stribe
Struve Motor Co.
Manning Telephone Co.
H.J. Vogt
Felicia Campbell
Odessa Campbell
Manning Chamber of Commerce
W.P. Chandler Sr.
Clara J. Claussen
Richard H. Crandall
Emil Dammann
Rosa Dammann
Robert Dappen
Kenneth Dethlefs
Ed Dobler
Thomas Doyel
Walker D. Felker
John Frahm
Carl Frank
Ed Friedrichsen
Fred W. Grau
Herman Grau
Captolia Greteman
Grimm & Vinke
Herb Groteluschen
Harry K. Gruhn
Bonita Hagedorn
Albert Handlos. Jr.
Lyle G. Hansen
Rosalia Heithoff
Harry Hinz
Harry Hoffmann
Alex Holdsworth
Ed Holdsworth
Ben D. Joens
William Joens
Clifford Manning Johnson
Edwin Johnson Johnson's Dept. Store
Lester Jones
Harold Juels - Harold's Jewelry
Roland King
W.J. Kruse
Mrs. H.E. Kuhl
Carl H. Kuhl
Mary M. Kuker
Herman Lage
Herman Lamp
Henry E. Meyers
Bess Mosher
Manning Motor Co.
Harry & Herman Ploen
August Ploog
Esther Popp
Louis Popp
Warren C. Puck
Ramsey's Transfer
Emma Ranniger
Rasmussen Lumber
Manning Ready Mix
Harry H. Rix
Karl B. Rohr
Virgil Rowedder
Saunders' Steak House
Emily Schelldorf
Harry Schroeder
John Schrum
Herman Sonksen
Glen Struve
Christine Tesch
Frank Vetter
Martha Vetter - Corner Cafe
Paul Vetter
V.F.W. Post
William Vollstedt
Lester D. Wiese
Ray Witt
George Wittrock
Wilma Wolfe
Donald Zubrod
American Legion Auxiliary
Jay Bingham
Clarence Bowers
Carl P. Brus
Cleo Chamberlain
Lester Clark
De Both Florist
Joanne Drees
Ed's Vickers Service
Leeman C. Ehlers
Ehrichs Motor - Wilmer
Kenneth Frahm
Howard French
Friendly Hour Club
Ralph Grundmeier
G & R Hatchery - Glen Kusel & Ross Graner
Albert Halbur
Ed Langel
Albert Musfeldt
Merlin Musfeldt
Minnie Musfeldt
W.H. Noack (Noelck?)
John Oeser
William R. Opperman
Ray Peters
Fred Renze
Earl E. Roberts
Ella Rowedder
Herman Ruhde
Lewis Schroeder
William C. Schrum
Milo Stammer
Ed Steen
Merle Stoelk
Roy A. Struve
Robert Tank
Valentine Bakery
Ray Vollstedt
Lolida Wegner
Julius Ahrendsen
Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Ahrendsen & Daughter
W.W. Aitken
Elmer Alwill
American Legion Auxiliary (Carroll)
Albert Andresen
Lester Andresen
Lewis Anthony
Darrell Bales
Alan Brady
Marie Brady
Ray Brockman
LeRoy J. Brus
Calvary Baptist
Thomas W. Campbell
Catholic Daughters of the Americas
Pauline Cramer
Jerome Croghan
Lester Doyel
Grant Eckholdt
Kenneth Ehlers
Ray Ehlers
John Ehrichs
Frank Eickman
Maurice Eickman
Lydia Erb
Rodney J. Evens
Arthur B. Fielweber
Charles Fielweber
Mrs. William H. Fink
Clara Freese
Harvey Freese
Friendly Neighbor Club
Larry Genzen
Virgil Genzen
George Graves
Pauline Graves
Melvin Grimm
Henry Haberl
Willis Hill
Herbert Hinze
Orville Hinze
Homemakers Club
Wayne Jahn
Manning Jaycettes
John Jensen
Susan Kay Jensen
William J. F. Jensen
Lyle J. Joens
George Justice
Minnie Kaspersen
J.W. Keat
Leland Kienast
William Klinker
Henry Kruse
Marvin Kuhl
Melvin Kusel
Walter Lage
Ben Lechtenberg
Alan Lorenzen
Herman Mohns
Manning Methodist Bible Readers
Manning Oil Co.
Pres. Mariners
Amanda Martens
Eugene McCollum
Milford McConnell
Robert Melick
Methodist W.S.C.S.
Miller Implement Co.
Ray & Dorothy Mohr
Wade Mohr
David Moody
Joe Muhlbauer
John Musfeldt, Jr.
Ralph C. Musfeldt
Melvin Nissen
Donald Nobiling
Fred Nulle
George Peters
Ronald Peters
Gerald Schulte
Alfred Spies
Labert Stahl, Sr.
Reuben Stoberl
Dean Stribe
Lowell Stribe
Albert Sturm
David K. Summerville
Mrs. W.E. Summerville
Raymond Thielen
J.B. Trecker
Louis Vennink
Dale Vollstedt
Robert Wegner
Glenn Wassom
Wa-Tan-Ye Club
George Wentzel
Frank Wegner
Louie Wiese
Women's Relief Corps
Louis Zubrod