Men At Work "The Land Down Under" 1981


The pictures below on this right side frame are what I originally showed on my main web page to get help, spark interest, and hopefully get Asmus relatives to come forward and help with IDs - so far no help from Asmus connected individuals but hopefully that will change.
I've been in contact with Jon and he said he will be able to help with some of the IDs and will send them as he goes through the links.
Fortunately, my mother knew the Asmus/Brady families quite well and has already identified them for me. I remember them but didn't grow up with them, so I only remember them when they were at an older age which makes it harder to make definite identifications - although I can see the family resemblances to know if they are an Asmus or Brady.


Several of the individuals feature here are also Veterans.
I have no military information for Paul Vollmer and only a few military pictures from various sources.
I did not know that James Smith was a Veteran until working on the Smith picture and then reading his mother's obituary that stated he was at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona at the time of her death.
Of course Buddy Asmus was a Veteran and I'm looking for military information for him.
The Brady brothers, Don & George, also served and I have very little military information/pix for them.
Amos Rutz was a Veteran and I'm always looking for more information and pix about his service.
Francis Brennan is another Veteran - I'm trying to figure out if/how he is related to the Brady or Asmus family, or just a good friend.

So if you have pictures and information about any of these Veterans, please contact me. I want to include them in the Manning Veterans' history book.


All the way from "down under" in New Zealand.
Last year Jon Asmus sent me his dad, Merlin "Buddy" Asmus' pictures from New Zealand so I could scan them.
Jon found my web page years ago and then e-mailed me and we have been sharing pictures and information since.
Fortunately my mother is from the WWII generation and she has been able to ID quite a few of the pictures and having worked on hundreds of family histories over the decades I have also been able to ID a number of pictures and especially the locations in the Manning area...BUT we need help.
I'll be posting a lot of these pictures and hopefully people will come forward and help with IDs and information.


Children's Day early 1940s looking southwest on Main Street


Children's Day 1940s - the old Schuetzen Verein hall - AKA the Firemen's Hall.
I have a vivid memory at how neat it was to be above the top of the roof of this hall when I was a kid riding the Ferris wheel - ESPECIALLY at night!


Effie Stackhouse, Gladys Bauman, Marie Perkins
These were mom's teachers.


Verna (Asmus) Brady, Merlin "Buddy" Asmus, Marie (Asmus) Brady
I wish I would have been working on Manning history when I first knew of these ladies.
When I was a kid, mom would have to stop in the Golden Rule store to see the latest hats and shoes that Verna & Marie would have on display. Of course, as a boy, it was not exactly the type of store I wanted to be in.

Have you figured out where these 2 pictures were taken?

Merlin Asmus, ??, Amos Rutz, Don Brady, Verna Brady, George Brady
Down by the Manning Hotel on the north end at 105 Main Street

There are all kinds of connections if you take the time to study history.
Amos Rutz and Merlin Asmus were in the MHS class of 1938.
Amos & Merlin are also related: Martha (Wenzel) Asmus was Merlin's mother, Rosa (Wenzel) Rutz was Amos Rutz's mother.
My mother was born and raised in Aspinwall, along with the Brady family, so she knew them very well.

Here are more connections - to me...


Amos "Keezil" Kusel, Lyle "Red" Arp, Merlin "Buddy" Asmus
This is a picture my dad had taken in 1937. Dad was also a member of the class of 1938 with Merlin. Lyle was in the MHS class of 1940.
I'm constantly after people to let me go through their pictures.
So many just won't get involved and others have some misguided idea that I may lose or damage their pictures, or that they can do just as good a job at preservation.
Unless they have been working on Manning area history for over 40 years and scanning for over 20, they have been overlooking all kinds of history.
I do NOT concentrate on my own personal family history or what I think is important - I work on all Manning area history and all families connected.

I can connect the Manning history that few, if any, can do.

Here is another example from the Asmus collection where I immediately took extreme interest.
Most people will see a clown in a parade, but the first thing I noticed is the building in back.
More specifically the ivy growing on the wall. I had NEVER noticed a picture of this building with ivy.


412 Main - early 1940s before the WWII Roll of Honor board was mounted on the south wall.
For years I have been looking for a complete and good quality picture that shows the WWII board and all of the names.
I keep coming close but never find what I'm looking for.
Here are several pictures from various Manning connected individuals' collections.

1950s parade - you can see part of the Honor board - the Manning Fire Station at this time


Late 1940s parade - you can see the whole Honor board - the Manning Fire Station at this time

When Mildred Horbach was still living, she let me go through and scan many of her old pictures.
It was a historical gold mine of several events she captured.
One event was the Japanese Mini Sub that was captured right after the attack on Pearl Harbor and later sat on Main Street Manning in 1943.
She also took 2 pictures of the Honor board. I have not figured out where this board was originally posted...I don't recognize the house in the background.
The picture was also blurry from camera movement so it is difficult to read the names, even if I zoom in on the original scanned image.
She also took a close-up picture of her son, Robert, pointing to his dad's name. You can read all of the names in this view but many other names are missing.


First location of the Honor board


Robert Horbach pointing to his dad, Joseph Horbach's, name.

The last I heard is this board was moved and mounted on the east wall of the VFW hall on the north end of Main Street.
I assume it eventually became rotten with paint falling off, so it was thrown away.


So I again throw out this plea to every Manning connected person who has old family and Manning pictures to get them to me to scan.
You WILL have pictures of people/events that are probably not directly connected to your family history, and more than likely not know some of the people/events/locations, but I will have a much better chance to recognize what you have.

Hopefully someone who comes forward will have a complete view of the WWII Honor Board that I can make a high resolution scan of and be able to read all of the names.

"Doubting Thomases" with probably shrug their shoulders and convince themselves they have nothing of interest for me or no historical pictures, but then they probably would never think I would get pictures from New Zealand that came from and were taken in Manning, Iowa.

Here is another Asmus connection and I hope someone from this family will contact me to help out with family and Veteran history and also identifying some of the Asmus pictures.


Back: Paul & Alma (Asmus) Vollmer
Front: Barbara, Judy (I think correct order)


Back: ??, Herman Musfeldt, Don Brady, George Brady
Front: Paul Vollmer, Kathleen (Nixon) Asmus
This is one of many pictures I hope someone will come forward to help with IDs


Judy in back with Barbara

I just love this picture because it shows what Clifford "Bud" Johnson told me around 30 years ago about the Manning city parking along the streets...that in the 1920s Paper White Birch trees were planted as a community beautification project. There was one problem with planting predominantly this species of trees - the Birch Borer came in and wiped out the birch...even today, if you plant a paper white birch, the borers will take them out in a few years.

History Repeats: now lessons weren't learned so they replaced the birch with American Elms - what happened in the 1960s and early 1970s? the "Dutch Elm" disease was introduced into the US from Europe which wiped out the American Elms in Manning and around the country. After this devastating event, people figured out that it would be best to plant a wide variety of tree species.

This picture was taken in South Manning next to the apartments where Verna & Donald Brady lived - note this is what was written on the back of the picture and the scene fits perfectly based on the background and streets
Possibly this is the Orren/Ray Pratt home that had an apartment upstairs at 921 Main Street.


I often write about how so much history/pictures are overlooked and thrown away. Here is a perfect example. For some reason, MINI pictures were popular years ago.
They are very small and could easily be lost if you dropped one of them.
They are also a pain to scan. I have to increase the size around 800% to be able to get a good size image to see and use...here is one example.

Most people won't bother to scan pictures like this but I have scanned hundreds of them over the years.


I'm trying to size it the way it would look if you held it in your fingers
the penny gives you a good perspective.


Opera doors that opened on the south end of the Firemen's hall stage area.
Now this picture would mean basically nothing to most people, but to me it is a great find...the only picture I have found so far that shows the doors open.
I have several pictures that show the south wall of the hall but the doors were always closed.
Who cares? It is the small details of our history that, when combined and compiled, start to give you a true feeling about the experiences people had generations before us.
There was no air conditioning in this building so to let in cooler air and let out heat during community events, these types of doors were very common on the stages of buildings.
The old gym, now Rec Center had a single door that you could open during plays and sporting events. It had a re-bar safety cage to prevent anyone from falling out and down about 20 feet to the ground.
That door was removed and bricked in back in the 1980s renovation, but you can still see the recessed area where it was.

Now we come to a picture that I had no idea if it was taken in Manning or where.
It was familiar but I don't have time to run around town trying to find it - especially if it has been torn down.
Thanks to Mary Muhlbauer who recognized it as the home of her grandmother from roughly 1950 to 1992.


The old Anna (Passig) Frees home at 1009 Center Street that was torn down.
Anna & her husband, Henry, were the parents of John Frees and Erna Muhlbauer-Odendahl.
Lois Hill last lived in this house before it was torn down.

1005 Center Street - 2018 view of where the Frees and Kienapfel homes once stood.

You can see part of the old Kienapel home to the right in this view.
Now some people may think - what's the big deal about a picture of a home no longer standing and what that area looks like now.
Generally it isn't a big deal until someone e-mails me to see if I have a picture of a home that once stood where their current home is, OR what their home looked like years ago...it is all in the eye and perspective of the beholder as to what is or isn't important.


The Milwaukee RR bridge on East Street - looking southeast from the Catholic Cemetery


Amos & Doris (Ramsey) Rutz


Amos & Steve Rutz


Bruce Jon Rutz 8 months


Steve Rutz


Steve Rutz in his first bib overalls 19 months


I believe this is Barbara Vollmer with her Easter Egg basket


This baby goes with the picture below

Need IDs


Back: Judy Vollmer, ??, Tom Musfeldt
Front: Barbara Vollmer, Evans Sam Musfeldt
May 7, 1947 on the Herman & Lydia (Asmus) Musfeldt farm