From the late 1880s through the mid-1950s, Manning was pretty much a self-contained and self-sustaining community...three different railroads for 50 years of this
period and just about every business you could think of was in Manning.
There are many reasons why today we no longer have most of those businesses but I know that one reason why some of the food connected establishments are gone is
because of government regulations.
We had a meat locker but they could not afford to upgrade from steel lockers to stainless steel, wooden flooring problems, and other requirements health officials
would check off against this business.
Same thing happened to the Manning Creamery.
Now this was not the sole reason for these businesses closing but over-regulation has become an ongoing problem for most businesses big and small today.
When the locker business closed my dad purchased the metal lockers and we also tore up the flooring so it could be replaced and then the building became a flower shop.
We still have a number of those lockers in one of our sheds today.
Automation would be another factor that hurts small rural businesses that aren't able to easily adjust to changing times...but what if government would have worked with, rather than
over-regulate the many Manning businesses that we lost. Would some of them still be here, employing Manning citizens, rather than forcing them to move to the big cities where
huge businesses produce the same thing that once was produced here.
When I found out that the Masonic Lodge was going to close its doors, I contacted a member to find out what old records they still had in storage.
There was an old trunk and a
number of boxes filled with documents, receipts and memberships. I was able to scan most of these items and the receipt below is one example where they purchased sherbet
ice cream from the Manning Creamery.
The Eastern Star had ended many years ago and I found out that they gave at least some of their records to the Masonic group in Exira. I called and talked to a
member of that organization and they weren't aware of any Manning records.
This is why I try to get to our history and scan it before it is given away to another community or thrown away.
Receipt from the historical collection of the Manning Masonic Lodge
The plastic lid off a cottage cheese container
September 20, 1975 Tom Wurr on the washboard & Roy Schilling on accordion in the VFW hall
note the large creamery calendar on right
Kent Rutz 5th birthday (left) and his brother, Bruce "Stump" Rutz drinking Manning Milk.
One of the big reasons I ask people to allow me to go through their family pictures is because I'm looking for history they will not be aware they have,
such as the Manning milk cartons in the Rutz collection and the creamery calendar in the Schilling collection.