His dad, William F. Ohde, his brother, William G., and sister, the late Ruth Ohde have all been very active in Manning projects over the decades.
Many individuals and families have worked hard over the years to add to the quality of life for Manning citizens.
One of those individuals I'm featuring is John Ohde. Along with John, I'll be showing images of projects and day to day aspects that the city crew has been involved with over the years...with John heading up most of them.
Over the years, I have kidded the city crew that they will be the most famous employees of any community, or at least the most documented in their day to day activities.
Below are just some of the scenes I have captured over the years.

John Ohde
City maintenance & engineer


1989 John Ohde working on the Indoor pool construction


2001 Demolition of the old Manning Creamery

John Ohde operating the city crane


2002 Some of the city crew that worked on the City Maintenance building
Kevin Boersma, Tom Wittrock, John Ohde, Matt Siepker

Construction work
Dedication of the new city shed 2003

Kevin Boersma, Chad Stammer, John Ohde, ??, Mayor Harvey Dales, Tom Wittrock, Dale "Ernie" Reinke, Lonnie "Archie" Rowedder


2004 new sewer line off Center Street - John Ohde next to the sump pump


2004 new sewer line through the ball diamond
John Ohde & Chad Stammer in the trench - "Fort Hitler" in the background


2005 work on the water tower - Kevin Boersma & Jon Hagedorn


2005 asphalting Center Street - Dick Mundt on left, John Ohde on right


2005 replacing Rec Center sidewalk - John Ohde on left


2005 new rubber roofing on racquetball court

Tom Wittrock & John Ohde on right


2005 asphalting Rec Center parking lot - John Ohde on left, Chad Stammer on right


2005 Rec Center gym floor sanded down to the wood - first time since 1956
John Ohde on right


2006 Demolition of the Green Bay Lumber company building


2007 resurfacing Ninth Street


2007 new bangboards at Rec Center
Tom Wittrock, Kevin Boersma, Chad Stammer

First basket made by Kevin Boersma


2008 construction of the Timmerman Shelter house
John Ohde operating the city crane


2009 demolition of the old restrooms (Fort Hitler) - John Ohde operating the city crane



Dave Kusel

How the old restrooms got the name "Fort Hitler..."
In 1938, the members of the Manning Fire Department wanted to build an athletic park for the community. One of the buildings constructed was the brick restroom facility shown above.
The structure looked like a fort and when Adolf Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, WWII began and from that point the kids started calling the restrooms "Fort Hitler."

When it all began.
To give you an idea of how much time and effort projects in Manning have been given over the last 100+ years...here is when the city park and ball field all began.
Just like the Sidehill Splash project today, it takes years of effort and planning and many volunteers to achieve a goal.
Sadly, today we live in a society that wants instant gratification but that is not the way community projects work or get completed. So please consider this when you consider helping, volunteering, and donating to this project.

William Ohde mentioned in this first article was John Ohde's grandfather.

WANT A PARK October 22, 1914
Mayor Ed Farrell and Councilman William Ohde went to Chicago Monday to interview the Chicago Milwaukee & St. Paul, officials in regard to securing the old Milwaukee right-of-way for a city park. The railroad men gave the city officials assurance that the town would have the first chance to secure this land when vacated, at a very small rental. A representative of the company will be in the city within the next sixty days to close the deal. As the city is not prepared to purchase the land the company proposed a 99-year lease of the ground, for park purposes. This will be about the last chance Manning will have to secure a park near the center of the town and the Commercial Club and the council sent Messrs Farrell and Ohde to Chicago to see if possible to secure the ground. Several parties have made a bid for the land but the company stated they would rather turn it over to the town than to private individuals. They also assured the city officials that when their representative came that the town and railroad company should have no trouble in agreeing on terms.

Firemen Vote To Buy Land Near Park April 21, 1938
At a special meeting held Tuesday evening, April 19, at the City Hall, the Manning Fire Department voted to purchase a tract of land from John Reinart consisting of approximately three acres.
The ground lies west of the city park, extending west to the creek, joining the highway on the north and the fence adjoining the northwestern tracks on the south. The purchase price of the land was $500.
A purchasing committee was appointed to look after the matter and to make all necessary arrangements to complete the deal.
So far no definite plan has been made by the department as to how the land will be used or improved but in time it will be finished off and beautified so that it can be used for an available purpose.
Fourteen members were present at the meeting and the proposition carried by a vote of 13 to 1. As plans and arrangements are made a report will be made from time to time, and no doubt it will be a project of which the firemen can be justly proud.

EXPECT TO START WORKS ON ATHLETIC FIELD PROJECT IN MANNING SOON September 15, 1938
Engineers are this week laying out the athletic field project on which the city has been working for some time, and actual work on the enterprise will get under way soon.
At a special meeting of the city council Monday evening a contract was made with the Schroeder Grading Company of Dedham for the moving of dirt necessary to level off the grounds. This solution to the problem was agreed upon by the city because it meant a savings of over half the expense that would have been incurred otherwise. The grading company is expected to begin work following the findings of engineers and will be engaged for approximately two weeks. Their activities will be in cutting the hill west of the park and bringing up dirt from the lower end to make the field level. It is intended to have the field leveled and seeded this fall, with final work to be completed next spring.

Purchase House and Lots To Add To Athletic Field October 27, 1938
At a meeting of the City Council last week, it was decided to cooperate with the Manning Board of Education and join with them in negotiating for the property adjacent to the Firemen Field project now under construction.
Following this meeting steps were immediately taken by these two groups to purchase the old "depot" house and lot belonging to a resident of Arion, and the two adjoining lots belonging John Reinart.
The two-story frame house, the last building west of the city park area has been sold to Mr. Schroeder, the contractor in charge of leveling the Athletic Field site and he will move the structure from the premises.
The Council and Board of Education are to be congratulated in taking this step. The new athletic field will now include the entire square area west of the city park and will afford additional apace for field requirements as well as making the project more complete and the set-up more attractive and uniform.

Just like today, the volunteers worked hard to raise money to complete their project back in 1940...it just so happened that the volunteers were mainly members of the Manning Fire Department.
While we all appreciate the volunteers who help protect this community, many people today do not realize how our fire deparment has helped with community projects over the years.
Back then the whole community got involved to help with this project - hopefully today the same sentiment will occur.

Benefit Carnival Money To Aid Athletic Field January 11, 1940
Programs And Clean Entertainment Will Feature Three Night Benefit Event.
Funds Will Be Used For New Field Improvement
The committee in charge of the Firemen's Benefit Carnival which will open here next Tuesday evening and continue through until Thursday evening. It has completed all arrangements for one of the best Mid-Winter entertainments ever to be held in Manning.
The money received from this carnival will be used solely for the purpose of equipping the new Athletic field which was purchased by the local department last year. When finished it will provide one of the best fields for athletics in this section of the state. The ground was leveled and seeded down last year and as soon as available money is received the work of equipping the field will start as soon as weather is favorable.
The corn queen contest is one of the main attractions and a great deal of interest is manifested in the rural district as well as in Manning. The queen will be crowned on the last evening of the carnival, and will receive a beautiful wrist watch.
In addition to the many carnival attractions that will be offered, programs will be presented each night by local organizations and these alone will be well worth coming for.
In case the carnival is hampered by one night of bad or stormy weather, it will continue through until Friday evening so the public is still assured of three nights of entertainment.
The DX sound system which was used each summer during the big street carnival will again be used for this entertainment for announcements and during programs on the sate. This sound equipment is offered through the courtesy of the Mid-Continent Petroleum Company and will be a great help through the course of the evening when announcements are necessary.
In addition to the many attractions offered at the various booths, a door prize will be offered on each night of the carnival. Music will also be presented by local groups so that all in all there will be some entertainment to please the public, young and old and the firemen aim to give the best there is in entertainment. The entire carnival will be good clean fun from start to finish.
Don't forget the carnival starts next Tuesday evening and will continue throughout Thursday evening. The dates are January 16, 17 and 18. Make your plans to attend now and invite your friends to come with you.
All merchandise for this carnival was furnished by the local merchants and a fine display of goods will be on hand.
The Band Mothers will present the program on Tuesday with musical stunts, pantomimes, etc. The F.F.A. and Farmers' Night School will entertain the second evening with side splitting jokes and stunts while the R.N.A. will have the last evening. The ad with entry list and contestant will be found on the local inside page.
R.N.A. PROGRAM AT FIREMEN'S CARNIVAL
Station R.N.A. on air Thursday evening, January 18th at the Firemen's Carnival, two 20-minute periods of fun and frolic (we hope).
See the Pantomime of Songs: "Piggy Wiggy Woo" - "Kiss-Kiss-Kiss" - "Oh Johnny."
See the "March of Time".
See the wonderful "Lie Detector" at Work.
See and hear the "Lane," family sisters on the Piano Accordion, violin and piano.
Hear Jeanette McDonald dramatize the "Piggy Wiggy Woo."
Hear the Bologna Phone - a wonderful instrument.
The Juvenile band numbers will be snappy.
Hear sweet and shy little Lily sing "Ma" and "They Go Wild Over Me."
See our version of a "Human fire department".
You'll really enjoy two young clerks from our local stores (men, too) harmonizing several numbers.

To Have Lighted Athletic Field, Stand In 30 Days June 13, 1940
Manning sport fans in, particular and the public in general will be interested to know that a program has been launched to give the town of Manning a lighted athletic field and a grandstand. Too, indications are that the project will be very near completion within thirty days if present plans are fulfilled.
Firemen's Field, located at the southwest edge of the city has been a subject of civic interest for some time. Originally the Manning Fire department purchased the field (known as the "Fuss pasture") and turned it over to the city. During the past year or so the field has been completely worked over, graded, seeded and conditioned until now it has all the requirements of an ideal athletic field. City employees have been taking care of the field, mowing the grass and rolling the ground. It has been approved as ready for football next fall. In cooperation with the city and the fire department, the school board has agreed to move the gridiron to the new location.
Already, equipment is on hand, including 13 light poles and 32 reflectors for the new field.
Plans also call for a grandstand, work on which will start in the near future.
Kittenball games now held under the lights in the old field will continue there until the new set-up is ready to go.
A firemen's committee composed of Billy Ohde, Matt Wagner and Howard Dau, will manage the grounds this season, take care of the gate receipts and look after the baseball team which is scheduled to play night ball, once the field is completed.
The community may be justly proud of the project which will soon be, or for that matter, is already under way. Manning may boast of one of the best athletic fields in Western Iowa, and a lighted one at that. It has been made possible through the tireless efforts of the fire department with the help of the city council and community interest.

Construction of Bleachers Started at Athletic Field June 27, 1940
Manning, can, in the very near future, boast of having one of the best lighted, most modern-equipped athletic fields in western Iowa. Electricians and contractors are busy on the project at present and indications are that it will be complete about the fifteenth of July, under favorable conditions.
Last week, members of the fire department and others interested in the project, spent long hours digging holes for the large fifty-foot light poles which fence in the field. Thirteen of these are now in place and Renald Hoffmann and Max Detlefsen are getting the poles in readiness. Cross arms and ladder pegs must be put on each pole, between twenty-four and thirty reflectors must be set in place, wiring has to be changed from the old field to the new and many other items taken care of before the set-up is finished. Lamps totaling 60,000 watts will fit into the reflectors.
Lou Stamp and crew are also busy erecting bleachers in back of home plate on the baseball diamond. Here, concrete forms have been poured for the base and when complete, carpenters will erect board seats. This structure established on the natural slope at the northeast corner of the field, will seat about three hundred spectators.
Although no definite date can be announced at this writing, it is understood that a grand opening will be observed when Firemen Field is complete. A committee of this organization has been appointed to take charge and when under way, night baseball games, possibly two a week, will be on schedule under the lights.
The field will also be used for the remainder of night Kittenball League games, for high school football in the fall and for other events for which the grounds might be suitable.
Funds for the field were realized entirely through donations by local organizations and individuals interested in the project as a civic improvement. No levy whatever was required to meet the expense.
Previously the football and baseball fields were located just south of this new Firemen's Athletic Field and just north of Willow Creek - today (2009) it is the location of the Manning soccer field which is just south of the road to the sewage plant.


2010 John Ohde using the city crane to assist in roof repair for The Market Place

While I just hate to see so many of our historical landmarks get torn down over the years, and I realize it would be expensive for the town/community to repair and maintain them - BUT AT LEAST, for the most part, something was built on those locations to replace them - very few vacant lots or "open holes" left to mar the landscape of our town.


2010 construction of concession stand that replaced "Fort Hitler."


John Ohde doing some landscaping


John Ohde working on the rafters


Installing the over-head roll doors


There was a tournament held at the ball park and a request went to John Ohde if a flag could be flown.
A way to dedicate the new scoreboard and concession stand...


Preparations for adding new whirlpool in the swimming pool area


New steps and lighting at the ball park

New lighting on the ball diamond


Taking down the old fuel tank that once supplied the old generator plant


2011 work on the new whirlpool - Denny Steffes, Tom Wittrock, John Ohde




Justin Mundt placing tile sections


Asphalting Center Street next to the Rec Center

Tom Wittrock got caught in a downpour


John Ohde applying hot oil for patch work on Fourth Street

Chad Stammer

Patch work on West Third Street

Chad Stammer on left, John Ohde

Oiling and sealing a section of Sue Street


2012 New water lines along Madison Street - John Ohde left, Tom Wittrock in trench


Chad Stammer, John Ohde, Justin Mundt


John Ohde, Chad Stammer


Tom Wittrock, John Ohde filling in sand where the old whirlpool was once located.


Justin Mundt working on the new soccer field concession stand


2013 Ann Street - Tom Wittrock, Chad Stammer, Justin Mundt, John Ohde


New water main


Curb repair along East Street



2013 Removing stage from old gym







John Ohde working on the wiring


2014 Removing tree branches after a windstorm


2014 repairs never end - John Ohde, Mitchell Hacker, Chad Stammer


2014 asphalting


John Ohde - Replacing library window


2014 Removing the balcony of the old gym

Looking over the display case to save it.


The large squirrel cage fan in the back came from the old Firemen's Hall.
Bennie Otto bought it when the hall was torn down and then donated it to the Rec Center in the 1980s.







2015 rennovation of the balcony

Balcony walls gone
New structural supports added

The old shop lumber and painting room walls were removed

Temporary wooden supports were put in place and then a steel I-beam with steel posts were added.

Permanent supports now in place.


New concrete stairwell in the northwest corner of the basement


2015 more street patchwork



City Crew setting out flags on Main Street


City Crew working on the 141 welcome sign on the east edge of Manning






2016 Bringing the Christmas tree down Main Street


2016 new sand on the ball diamond


Grinding up concrete chunks from streets and sidewalks the city crew hauled in from various projects over the last year.


City crew mows & trims the Manning Cemetery: Sam Wegner, John Ohde, Cody Eischeid, Justin Mundt, Tom Wittrock


2016 sand blasting pool

The pool had been repainted many times since 1989 but I think this was the first sandblasting.




Installing acoustic panels to help lessen the echo


A new diving board to replace the old one.


New addition to the sewage plant


2017 Trestle Park project begins

Chad Stammer, John Ohde, Cody Eischeid

New shoulder and curb along Julia Street.




John Ohde feathering out top soil


Placing new sewer line


Replacing shingles with tin on the west slope of the Rec Center gym



Painting the whole gym


2017 painting new lines on Main Street


2017 The old hospital clinic was converted to the new city hall



moving in day


South Main street work
The recycled crushed concrete was used as a base under the road


Iowa sinage at Trestle Park



IKM-Manning school students help plant trees at Trestle Park

Dick Johnson, Dawn Rohe, Jamie Blum, Harvey Dales, Tiffany McLaws, Erin Fineran, Bailey Cantrell, Lizzy Hale, Camryn Bruch, Tyler Brandt, Ryley Ahrenholtz, Sam Musfeldt, Hayden Meeves, Jim Blankman, Kirk Huehn


June 19, 2017

June 21 placing rerod in footings

June 22

July 10

July 14

October 16

October 16

October 18

October 25

November 3

November 9

November 28

December 1

December 5

December 7

December 19


January 3, 2018

January 3 blowing in insulation





January 10