I often write about all of the connections I have in Manning.
George Wegner, Jr., graduated with my mother in 1941...George grew up south of Aspinwall and mother grew up in Aspinwall. When George got his license, he would give mother and some other high school kids in that area a ride to the high school in Manning...mother talked fondly over the years of George, who was only 47 when he died...my uncle Melvin Kusel was one of his pallbearers - Kusel Brothers, which consisted of my dad, Amos, and his brother, Melvin, did some custom windrowing and combining over the years for the Wegner family.
My sister and brother-in-law graduated with Donna in 1965.
Mother played for Bertha (Kuhl) Wegner's funeral.
Lois Weem's mother was Mabel Crouch - one of my Grau relatives, Bernice, married Ancel Crouch, a brother to Mabel.

These and so many other thousands of little connections I have are one of the main reasons I'm on my quest to save Manning's history.

Now this may appear to some people that I'm making this about my family and me...to the contrary the predominant focus I have on my web pages and in the Manning Monitor is about Manning and a VERY small percentage is about my family and even less about me - no one else can connect the dots like I can with all of the digital information I have on such a broad spectrum of Manning history.

This is why I'm constantly begging and pleading for people to get me their old Manning/family history/pix so I can properly scan them and add it to my Manning Historical database.

For instance, this aerial photo came from my great-uncle Frank Ehrichs' collection, which consists of Iowa & Hayes Township farm photos.



George & Bertha (Kuhl) Wegner farm


George Wegner, Sr., - Lyden Studio photo from the Bill Wegner collection


George Wegner, Jr., MHS 1941 - from the Dorothy Kusel collection

From the 1981 Manning Centennial book
Earl & Mabel (Crouch) Weems

Back: Leona, Eldis, Evelyn, Lois
Front: Opal, Earl, LaRae, Mabel

Earl Stuart Weems, son of Charles and Rosa (Millett) Weems, was born April 2, 1896 near Jefferson, Iowa (Greene County). The family moved from the Jefferson area to Shelby County around 1904 and lived on various farms. In the later years, Rosa and sons, Burl, Homer, and Eldon made their home in Botna, Iowa. Earl was the oldest of six boys. His brothers were Charles "Burl," Homer, Ralph, Newton, and Murace "Eldon." Earl was a veteran of World War I and Burl, Newton, and Eldon were veterans of World War II.

Mabel Anna Crouch was born near Irwin, Iowa, on August 9, 1900, the daughter of Frank and Nettie (French) Crouch. Mabel's identical twin sister, Maudie Pearl, died from complications of pneumonia and whooping cough at the age of 2. Mabel's family also included five brothers: Ora, Harold, Ivyl, Ancel, and Virgil. The children all grew up in the Irwin area. Mabel attended country school near her home and worked as a hired girl for neighbors and friends. She also served as the pianist for her local church.

Earl and Mabel were married November 5, 1919. Their first home was southwest of Botna where they worked for Marion and Nettie Armentrout. Their first child and only son was born on this farm.

In 1921, the family moved to the Charles Wooster farm three miles south and 3/4 mile east of Botna. The Weemsí five daughters were born on this farm. They continued to live on this farm until December of 1946. Due to cancer, Earl was no longer able to farm so they purchased a home in Manning. Earl was able to do some limited work for Priebe & Sons and also worked part-time as custodian at the Firemanís Hall. Mabel cooked in restaurants, worked for Ross Granerís Produce Company, and cleaned homes.

Earl passed away in April of 1958, and Mabel continued to live in their home at 616-4th Street in Manning, until February of 1977. She then moved to the Elm Crest Apartments, where she lived until she entered the Manning Plaza in January of 1989. Mabel passed away in March of 1993 at the age of 92. At the time of her death, Mabel had been blessed by the birth of 6 children, 30 grandchildren, 54 great-grandchildren and 5 great-great-grandchildren.

Earl and Mabelís six children included: Eldis (Bud) Weems, deceased in 1999; Evelyn (Mrs. Harold Borkowski), deceased in 1982; Leona (Mrs. Lewis Hemminger), Elk Horn, Iowa; Lois (Mrs. George Wegner), Manning; Opal (Mrs. Dale Christensen), Humboldt, Iowa; LaRae (Mrs. Richard Heller), Carroll, Iowa.


1982 Aspinwall Centennial book
WEGNER CENTURY FARM
The first eight children of Hinrich and Margaretha Wegner were, from left, Maggie, Ann, Emma, Bill, George Sr., Oval, Gusta, and Frank (in foreground).

Hinrich "Henry" Wegner was born August 18, 1837, in Schwalbach Gut Panker, Germany. He came to eastern Iowa as a young man and was a cobbler. In 1869 he married Margaretha Hilbert from DeWitt, and here their first three children were born. They were Anna (Mrs. Fritz Ehlers), William (who married Emma Nagel), and Oval (Mrs. Herman Sinow).

In 1876 the family came to Westside, and February 6, 1879, they bought 80 acres of land one mile south of Aspinwall. The land was purchased from the Railroad Land Company for $6.60 per acre. In succeeding years another 400 acres adjacent to the original 80 acres were bought, with the prices ranging from $6.60, $25, $30, $75, to $150 per acre. Some of this land was later resold to the children.

The rest of the Wegner children were born in the original house; they were Emma (Mrs. William Sander), George, Augusta (Mrs. Charles Ehlers), Margaret (Mrs. Hugo Kuhl), Frank, Ella (Mrs. Emil Ehlers), Hannah, and Emil. Hannah died as a baby, Augusta and Frank moved out of state, and Margaret originally moved to a different part of Iowa but returned later and lived in Aspinwall. The other seven children all remained in this area; Emil and his wife Margret Vehrs lived in Aspinwall. Margret is the only surviving spouse of the Wegner children.

The present home was built in 1891.

In March, 1910, son George and his wife Bertha Kuhl moved on the farm, and they purchased the land in 1913 at $150 an acre. They raised three sons, Edwin, Carl, and George, Jr.
Edwin or "Brownie," married Lolida Schroeder; Carl or "Kelly," married Florence Guth; and George married Lois Weems. Carl moved to Idaho, where he was a U.S. Forester, and Edwin and George Jr. remained in this area. Carl, Florence, Edwin, and Lolida all lived in Aspinwall at one time.


George and Bertha Wegner and their sons, Edwin, Carl and George, Jr.

Lois Wegner, present owner of the farm, is shown with, from left, Donna Venteicher, Janice Johnson, George, and Kathryn Johnson.

George and Bertha retired to Manning in 1947, and George, Jr. and Lois took over the farming. Their daughters, Donna (Mrs. Jim Venteicher), Kathryn Johnson, and Janice (Mrs. Russell Johnson), are the fourth generation born and raised on the farm.
George and Lois bought the farm in 1969. George died in 1971, and Lois continues to live there. Duane Wegner, a nephew, farms the ground. The farm was recognized as a Century Farm at ceremonies at the Iowa State Fair in 1979.