Next, a good friend and supporter of my historical projects (Jim Stoffers) was perusing through web page pictures I scanned from the Bernice (Mundt) Spiese collection.
He read my notes about various pictures that were not identified specifically but had clues that I had never noticed.
Three pictures that were connected had the name of Frank Koepke family.
Jim then did some digging in the Koepke line and noticed that this must be the Carl Frank Koepke family. He then noticed that Carl F. Koepke was a Manning Civil War Veteran.
All I had about Carl was from his Manning Cemetery tombstone and no pictures. He was Carl F. Koepke 1828 to 1890 (GAR 1861-1865). His wife was Caroline 1838 to 1921. His daughter, Lena, 1879 to 1967 is buried next to her parents.
Jim provided me with the following family information: Carl married Caroline (Dohm) and they had 6 children who lived into adulthood.
Caroline, Katherine, Frank Carl, Fred, Lena, and Charles Henry.
Caroline married Julius Brunnier
Katherine married Hugo Grundmeier
Below are the Koepke (we think) pictures, and I sure hope this one is Carl Frank Koepke, so I'll now have a picture to use in the Veterans book for him.
Hopefully a Koepke descendant/relative will come forward and help confirm this and help with information and other pictures.
Caroline (Dohm) Koepke
Doug Fischer sent me this information.
One of Carl's sons (Fred) had a daughter Velma who married Bill Puck. Bill & Velma lived at 207 First street where Bob Nissen lives now.
Velma took care of her aunt Lena (daughter of Carl & Emma) at her house till she passed in 1967.
Velma always babysat for me & my brother when we were small and stayed at her house.
Bill & Velma did not have any children so someone from the Puck family had to clean out the house when they passed away.
I checked my database and found a picture of Bill & Velma.
It is examples like this where there were no children that make it much more difficult for me to find someone who can help with family history...actually childless marriages are quite common in many families which hurts my research into Manning history.
It is so sad that I don't get more help in preserving Manning's history...especially the Manning Veterans' history book project.
Where would this country be today if it weren't for the 360,000 men who died and 2,300,000 survivors who served for the Union?
They are the reason slavery ended in the US and helped lead to ending the acceptance of slavery worldwide.
They are why civil rights and reducing discrimination became possible today.
We'll never know or be able to prove it but if the South had won or it was a draw - slavery might still be accepted today.
Most people would never guess that at least 50 Civil War Veterans moved to Manning and lived in the area after the war.
One of them, Henry Peters, received the Congressional Medal of Honor.
There were probably many more Civil War Veterans who lived in the Manning area but I have not yet found out their names or those family members have not come forward.
If you have never visited my Manning Veterans' web page - specifically the Civil War section - maybe you should take some time now...
McPherson Post, NO. 33, G.A.R.
History can be looked at in many ways.
I have a very diverse viewpoint.
I want to know the who/what/when/where/why/how and more.
Most people have absolutely no idea at how much Manning data I have scanned into my database.
Some of it came directly from families but most came indirectly, meaning that I have pictures scanned of people/families that actually came from a non-family member.
Since my family has been a part of this community (all of the branches) starting in the early 1870s through the 1880s, I have a lot of connections.
For instance, the reason why I have a lot of the old pictures and small album from Bernice (Mundt) Spiese goes back to 1966.
One day Bill Spiese (Bernice's husband) came into the Manning Ag Center. My dad was visiting with Orland and when Bill came in he told Orland that he got stuck in the mud with his tractor on his farm, and he didn't know who to get help from.
The Spiese farm is several miles southwest of Manning.
My dad listened to Bill's dilemma and told him he would drive his IH 806 down to pull him out.
Bill was so happy and grateful that the following years, he had Kusel Brothers windrow and combine his oats.
Then years later, when Bill could no longer run his farming operation, they asked us to farm the land for them.
Bill & Bernice never forgot that day that dad ran all the way down to help Bill...they would talk about it with me every now and then over the years.
So when Bernice passed away, I made sure her old family pictures weren't thrown away or divided up among the distant relatives - Bill and Bernice had no children and Bernice had no siblings so I grabbed most of the old pix to help preserve Bill & Bernice's history.
I realize this information will be mostly thought of as unimportant, but I could cite many examples like this where other family history would now be lost forever...someone has to care and then take the time to preserve it.
So if it wasn't for my dad's kind gesture, the Spiese pictures would probably be gone by now and I would not have a picture of Carl Koepke - another one of Manning's Civil War Veterans.