Nothing going on in Manning (sarcasm)

The Old Guard is gone
For the first 100 years of Manning's existence, generations of families continued on with hundreds of different businesses...the same with family farms.
Then by the late 1970s to early 1980s, the demographics of the community were dramatically changing along with major changes in technology which allowed 1 farmer to manage several thousand acres and businesses in town that once had dozens or more employees were able to run their operations with just a few employees.
Once there were hundreds of businesses in Manning and every section in rural Manning had 4 farm families, the changes seemed to reduce these numbers overnight.
Most farm kids and children of business people in Manning had to go to the cities and out of state to find jobs.
The farm crisis was also in full mode which drastically hurt the small towns and schools of rural America.

But the Pioneer Spirit of Manning that was given a black eye did not die.
Local residents of Manning decided if something wasn't done, that the town would fade away.
The Weihnachtsfest celebration we have today is one of the ideas that began because of the crisis of changes at that time.
While the Manning community continues to struggle, that Pioneer Spirit is still alive and well, but now with a lot of newer/younger generations who have moved here and many who were born here, moved away, have moved back to raise their families and make a living here.

A case in point with the annual community cleanup...there were 90+ citizens who volunteered to help keep our town clean and in good shape.

Whereas each day in the news I see protestors in large communities wanting some type of justice as they see it, BUT the citizens of the Manning community do the opposite...they volunteer in large numbers through various organizations and work hard to solve problems and make this community a great place to live.

There are still descendants of the "old guard" who are active in Manning but are the children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren of those early generational pioneers.

One such generational descendant is Bob Mueller.

Bob Mueller picking up sticks in the Manning City Park during the May 4, 2019, city-wide cleanup

Bob's grandparents and parents were part of the pioneer generation that made Manning into what it is today. Bob operated the family business until 2005 when, like so many rural businesess, had to close the doors due to the ever-changing and fast paced technology of our modern times that continues to challenge the farming community and small-town businesses in 2019.

While some people don't feel it is important or pertinent to our present day life to know and understand our history, I will always show some of that past in my web page feature stories.

There are several reasons why I'm featuring the Mueller family. There are hundreds of other prominent town and rural families but in this particular case, Bob was one of the volunteers on May 4 and the Mueller family has graciously allowed me to go through their collections and scrapbooks so I could scan them and add their history to my VERY UNIQUE and ever-growing Manning Historical Preservation Digital Database.
So I have tons of pictures and history for the Mueller family but generally limited or very little for so many of the other Manning historical families...of which I wait patiently for more Manning connected people to come forward with their pictures and history so I can scan them too.


Pre-1915 view of the Mueller building
Charles Easterly, dentist on the second floor - Feldmann's Place, a saloon & soda pop business to the left.


Henry Mueller


Anna (Wiese) Mueller
Anna comes from the same Wiese family that Gene & Sam Wiese and Gerhardt Voge come from.


Anna & Henry Mueller July 1, 1944


Henry Mueller March 1, 1887 business college certificate


Anna Wiese - Blocker Art Studio - before Lyden Studio came to Manning


As the town grew, so did many busineses like the Mueller Furniture Store.
At this time Henry Mueller had the undertaking business before selling it to the Ohde family.
Ella's Beauty Shop was upstairs and the Virginia Cafe was located in the building to the left.

Now we come to the next generation of businessmen, many of whom served during WWII

Elmer Mueller in St. Lucia during WWII
Son of Henry & Anna Mueller who owned/operated the Mueller business.


Anice "Pat" (Loehr) Mueller, originally from Defiance - wife of Elmer
Pat was also active in the Mueller business.


Display in the Mueller building

Remember Crazy Days in Manning?

Marcella (Martens) Knaack of the Dime Store and Elmer Mueller of the furniture store


Elmer Mueller posing in the Rexall Drug Store February 1968


2011 view - now home of Brickhaus Brews

Now we get back to what prompted me to lay out this feature story in the first place.
At the beginning of this story I mentioned how we see protesters every day in the news. We also are beginning to realize that our technology has many bad side-effects, especially to the youth of our society.
One-on-one communication in person is nearly a thing of the past...with all of the digital "toys" people are using now. Where once all young people worked for their parents and/or had chores and jobs which provided them an understanding and appreciation that nothing is free and we all have responsibilities and need to work hard to succeed in life, today way too many people expect someone else to take care of them.

The following pictures show hard work, responsibility and volunteerism, which has been a big part of Manning's history.
It is great to see so many young people helping out in our community and at the same time learn how to work together and actually communicate in person to accomplish a goal.

Please take a few minutes to read the names of the volunteers at the link provided below. If you get a chance to visit with any of these citizens - tell them THANK YOU for volunteering in Manning.

May 4, 2019 City-wide cleanup volunteers



Debbie (Mohr) Ranniger and 2 youngsters picking up junk along 141.
The Mohr & Ranniger families are also old time generational names in the area.


City park


City park


Along 141


Along the Nishnabotna Creek


Along the Willow Creek


Arps & Doyel working on the lower ball diamond dugouts.


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