In 2004 and over the next 10 years, Ellen would either bring me or mail me old pictures to scan.
As with all pioneer Manning families there are lots of family names interconnected.
In this tribute to Mike, I'll be showing a number of his extended relatives and some people who were friends of Ellen's mother.

Ellen also provided me the military pictures and information about Mike, but I would like to get more details - hopefully he kept that information and whoever inherits his and his mother's history/pictures will let me go through it one last time.

Ellen, Michael, Julius "Jul" Christmas 1964

June 2002 - Mike's farm near Exira - Jul & Mike were working on a sliding door project

Because I believe memories should also be preserved I write the following:
"1932 - My sister, Shirley, and I spent two weeks each summer with Uncle John J. and Aunt Ann Struve on their farm (former Jack Lorenzen place at 13546 Highway 141) east of Manning.

Uncle John had a large green Buick (4 doors) and we two girls sat in the back seat. He housed his Buick in the corncrib.

As we drove east out of Manning on the dirt road (now Highway 141) that was graded higher than the surrounding flood plain there was a house that sat down in the lowland to the right (roughly the location of Puck Implement Company in 2011) where the Schoening family lived. This was east of the Elmer Fischer home and Groppe Gas Station and Emil Kuhl Cafe. The Schoening house was flooded quite often. The Schoening children attended and graduated from Manning Schools. Later when the Schoening house was torn down this area was filled in with a lot of dirt to prevent flooding of the new Puck building, and the cafe & gas station.

As we continued on east to East Street we turned south and crossed a large high span steel bridge that spanned Willow Creek. We again turned east on the present day Hausbarn road. I recall vividly how cool it was under the green canopy of trees, then over another bridge to the road that continued on east out of town until we arrived at the John Struve farm.

My grandparents had carpenters build all those white buildings. My grandmother cooked meals for all those men. There was a garden south of the house and a path beyond to the barn. Apparently Carsten Struve did not want a barn close to the house.

If it rained you stayed home. Iowa had mud roads. Chains on rear wheels of cars were commonly used on the muddy roads. They would clatter and clank with each turn of the back wheels on solid ground. They left a trail of small mud balls as you drove down the road.

All of the old timers said that when the state was building Highway 141 through the bottom and east (past present day Puck Implement and Rix Amoco in 2011) that the road would never hold up. The first flood that came through would wash it away - it never did even though there have been a lot of floods since.

I will soon be 85 years of age."
Ellen (Coleman) Hoffman October 2010