As I continue to add thousands of scans from various family collections to my Manning Historical Digital Preservation database, I will go through it from time to time to look for a picture or some information for a topic I'm working on.
After I use the computer word search I'll see some images I scanned that I had forgotten about and then another idea hits me on how to use them...
Such is this next feature story.
As I looked at those 2 pictures I also searched to see what information I had about them...I had some information but also some discrepancies so I knew exactly who to talk to - Ron Hodne.
He was able to resolve the conflicting information I had and provided me with more details.

The more I work on Manning history the more I realize it has really affected my thinking on life and the perceptions I have.
My sister gave me her Kodak Instamatic 100 camera when she graduated from High School in 1965...that is when I started taking pictures and also of activities in Manning and Aspinwall. NOTHING like I do now with my digital cameras but it got me started.

During the 1960s I helped my dad take down houses and other buildings in Manning and on farms - especially during the winter when there wasn't as much to do on the farm. My brothers helped in the summer, and on weekends when they came home from college. Dad would also hire retired men in Manning to help during the winter. We "recycled" (saved) just about everything. The nails we pulled were straightened, the doors, windows, wiring, fixtures, and especially the lumber was all cleaned and sorted and later sold.

It hit me one day that dad was one of the early recyclers - a word that had not yet become a mainstream word.

Now let's fast forward to today. In 2002, J&S, originally the Manning Elevator Company, was torn down. Most of the grain handling equipment and bins were disassembled and reused elsewhere.

In 2007, Orland Fara retired and sold the Manning Ag Center, originally the Doud Milling Company. The Dedham Coop purchased the business which continued until 2016 when this elevator closed.

But this time there was a big difference...everything was torn down. For the most part nothing was disassembled and reused elsewhere...the bins & legs were pulled down and sold as scrap metal.

Now this is not a judgement on any specific person or group by me, but an observation on the changes in our society.
Society is constantly changing, some good and some not so good...But do we learn from our errors and not repeat them or continue doing so???
These are just 2 small events in one small community in the blink of an eye, but we can probably find hundreds, thousands, even millions of examples just like this all around the US.

Could we or should we have tried harder to keep the 2 grain elevators going in Manning?
We'll never know now since they are gone - we can't go back. Progress in its many forms continues to force small businesses to close and large businesses to continue to get larger.


Even though I never heard the Fara family criticize tearing down this elevator and mill, I know it had to be difficult for them...especially Orland who put his heart & soul, blood, sweat, and tears into the business during his life here in Manning. When Orland moved here, he and my dad became close friends, and dad helped Orland with many of his improvement projects. Later, my brothers and I also helped with improvements - so our two families have had close ties since the Faras moved to Manning.

As you look at the pictures and read a little of the history of the Manning Elevator Company - think about who had a vision to expand Manning, how hard they worked, all of the employees who were hired, the thousands of area farmers it served and the taxes it paid to keep Manning going.

There are dozens, probably hundreds of examples like this where the same questions could be asked as to why they no longer exist in Manning and how they also affected directly to the structural health of the community.

The first 2 photos were taken by Linda (Meggers) Frank, wife of Russell Frank. She worked for the Manning Monitor for a time...
Linda & Russ helped me with Manning history whenever I asked...they had lots of old scrapbooks and pictures, many of which I scanned - then worked with them on IDs.
I asked their children if I could go through that collection again to see if I missed anything and rescan some of the pictures with my newer scanners and software. I'm going to pick up the collection in the next few days.


Manning Elevator Company in 1948.


July 2, 2002

Information from Ron Hodne and Glen Jensen...

Ron Hodne MHS 1957

Arlo Hodne (Ron's dad) hired Leo Rasmussen and his crew to move this structure from Botna to Manning in 1948.
So this building was not simply torn down or burned - it was re-used.

Rasmussen expanded the building and added improvements once it was relocated in Manning.
Hank Nickum (block layer) built the scale house and office. Hank was Delores "Lorie" Joens' dad - wife of Donald "Bonnie" Joens - parents of Charlotte, Mark, and Kerry.
A new continuous flow corn dryer was purchased - something very unique and new to the area.
Arlo's dad, Lars, after retiring from farming, joined his son to help run the elevator.

Glen Jensen was hired to manage the business and then later purchased it from Hodne. Then Gerald Schroeder helped Glen manage the business and then later became a partner with Glen.

At this time the Northwestern RR ran from Carroll, through Manning, and down to Irwin. Ron said this RR was called the "Hinky Dinky." A spur also ran down to Gray and Audubon.
It is kind of confusing because during this time it was the Northwestern but originally it was the Great Western RR, and the Northwestern RR also ran through Manning on its own rail line. The Northwestern abandoned its tracks in the late 1930s because severe flooding took out a lot of its bridges and tracks.
For a number of years the Northwestern leased the use of the Great Western tracks and then eventually merged and bought out the Great Western line - and ended as the Northwestern.

Next 3 B&W pictures from the Glen Jensen collection


1955 Glen Jensen - MHS 1939 & WWII Veteran

1955 Gerald Schroeder - MHS 1944 & WWII Veteran


As I laid out this feature, I realized I captured a lot of history with my digital camera...how fortunate I lived at this time to take pictures - that I became interested in photography, preserving history, and self-taught on how to use and build the digital age equipment and computers I work with...also that I was young enough to do all of the climbing to get the pictures that most people would never take.

It was also during a time when there were fewer lawsuits, rules, and regulations which didn't prohibit me from climbing tall structures, and the work crews didn't have insurance companies that would forbid me to be around the demolition and disassembling sites.

This is another BIG change in our society. People want to sue for everything under the sun and for some reason certain people in our society think that we should be free from any and all dangers, so even MORE LAWS are passed.

Now I realize that some people will not appreciate or understand my "commentary" and opinions I add to these feature stories, but it's my web page I built in 1996 and updated completely by myself all of these years...and I feel I've learned a lot of things through very unique and historical experiences that very few people will ever have, so I'm sharing my thoughts, too...also, I know most people today don't take the time to read my comments, but they still like to look at my pictures.


1999 aerial view of the area.


2019 view of the original office and scale house.
Ron Hodne commented that in 1948, the scale was considered HUGE.
April 3, 2002 view


July 2, 2002 view


July 2 view


July 2 view looking west

I'm always writing about making high resolution scans of old pictures. Whenever I run into the digital pictures I took during the early years, I just cringe because they were not the high resolution images I can take now, plus I even downsized a lot of the images because back then hard drives were very expensive and capacities very small, and there weren't the external hard drives like we have now to store all of the pictures. So most of the images below are the full resolution...I can't increase the size to give a closer and sharper view, but they are better than nothing.


April 13, 2002, auction of dryers, legs, and bins.

Marty, Keith, Dave Kerkhoff


April 3, 2002
Part of the original building on the right.


April 9, 2002
Removing the guy wires from the Hunter elevator leg.
I'm up on the York elevator leg taking the pictures.


April 9
Removing the guy wires from the Hunter elevator leg.
The crane is now attached at the top of the leg, otherwise it would topple when the guy wires are removed.


April 3 removing the downspouts


April 3 view looking north east


April 4 view looking east.


April 4


April 25 taking down the York elevator leg


Removing leg from the headhouse


Removing leg from the headhouse


Removing leg from the headhouse


Removing leg from the headhouse


Bruce Construction company out of Red Oak.


July 12, 2002, controlled burn 11:03 AM


July 12 11:10 AM

11:12 AM


The firemen start cooling the lower part of the building so the top part falls in first.
Also to keep radiant heat from harming the surrounding buildings.


On top of the office/scale house


Drafting water from the Nishnabotna creek


More water sources to supply the firetruck pumps.


Volunteer departments:
Carroll, Lidderdale, Audubon, Manilla, Templeton, Odebolt, Kimbalton, Arcadia, Manning


Manning Ambulance crew


11:19 AM


11:38 AM


11:46 AM


July 19, 2002


View from Rasmussen's Ready Mix plant where I took the fire pictures from.


View from Rasmussen's Ready Mix plant where I took the fire pictures from.


some of the firemen who worked the control burn

Other pictures Linda Frank took for the Monitor

Otto Frank - cow/calf & bull


Carpenter Industries (lamp shade factory) - later LR Nelson plant up on the hill from West Street
Naomi Hupp on left and Judy Musfeldt on right 1960-62


Randy Behrens - Aspinwall Coop circa 1969


Aspinwall Coop elevator
Louie Ehrichs, grandfather of Dave Kusel, and Fred Rutz, grandfather of Karl Rutz shingled the roof of this elevator...maybe the last time before it was razed by a controlled burn in 1992.

1954 Robert Schilling, Fred Rutz, and Louie Ehrichs re-shingling the elevator roof
These 2 pictures from the Schilling collection.

Robert Schilling was hired to help Louie & Fred


1992 - scans from the MFD photo collection.


Remember the Aspinwall Barbeque celebration?


Pictures I scanned from Russ & Linda Frank's collection...

Russell Frank MHS 1955


Linda Meggers 3rd birthday


Linda playing her accordion 1953


Linda Meggers - prom - MHS 1958


Russ & Linda


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