It seems every day I see and hear negativity and division by various groups across the country in the news.
I constantly hear how bad the United States of America is...
I see destruction of our historical monuments, statues, and history across the country.
I see vandalism and desecration of patriotic symbols like our flag and on memorials honoring those of law enforcement and military who have died protecting our communities and country.
I see protests in the large cities but NEVER hear any solutions from those protestors or see any community activities by them to improve their surroundings.

Now I see a different situation here in Manning and throughout its history, and I know it may be an oversimplification of society today and based on my own personal biases, but I know one thing for sure - I'm glad I live here and not at some of those other locations where it appears way too many people won't/don't have to work and then expect the rest of us to pay for their lifestyles.

Even though I've been working on Manning area history for over 40 years, I marvel at how this community has worked together, played together, and survived together.

Striving for Excellence
Below is just one of thousands of examples of Excellence in Manning's history that I've worked on over the last 45 years.
For about 30 years I was looking for the names of the Drum & Bugle Corps members in this picture.
It was featured in the 1981 Manning Centennial book but no IDs.
I worked with living historians like Art & Ila Rix, Bud Johnson, Bill Ohde, and many more Manning citizens to get the faces identified. But they were 10 to 20 years younger than most of the people in the picture so I wasn't able to get many of the corps members identified.
Then in 2006 I worked with Lola Ahrendsen on her family's collection of pictures. She had a who's who of Manning history in pictures.

I went through one box and one scrapbook after another...when I found this very common picture but became ecstatic when I saw that the names were written on the back...FINALLY after decades of looking - I have all of the names.
Sadly most of Lola's collection is gone now, but at least not before I was able to find one of these pictures with the names.

This is why I cringe when I find out every year that more family collections have being thrown away...I'm POSITIVE, I would have found more important and historical information that had been hidden away for years, but now that information is GONE FOREVER.
The same with the collections that Manning connected people still have but won't bring to me to go through and find that hidden history in plain sight that they don't even realize they have.

Here is that Drum & Bugle Corps picture, along with some history of the organization.
For now I'm intentionally leaving off the IDs.
I hope it will make people curious as to who is in the picture and if one of them might even be their relative...and also realize what I go through on a constant basis in trying to get old photos identified.
3 of these corps members are related to me.


Some of you may be aware that Emil Ewoldt Post 22 of the Manning American Legion will celebrate its 100th anniversary at the Legion Hall on July 14, 2019.

For many years I have been going through boxes of old legion records and history and scanning those items.
BUT, like usual, I'm never able to find all of the "goodies."
While members were going through storage areas and cabinets recently, an amazing booklet was found.
It is the original record book, a diary of sorts, about the Drum & Bugle Corps.
I borrowed it and scanned all of the pages and pictures...some very amazing aspects about the history of this group.

Now keep in mind this is in the early to mid-1930s. Horses were still used by farmers. Hard work and physical labor were the day to day routine in the lives of everyone back then.

But many citizens of the area still took the time to train and practice in this group. While I'm sure they enjoyed this endeavor, I'm guessing that they also liked to show off what a small community can accomplish when they work together...and boy did they achieve their goals.
There are only a few people living in Manning now - in their 90s - who understand what it was like during this time period of Manning's history.

Drum & Bugle Corps booklet

Don't judge a book by its cover.


First contest in 1932


First time winning first place

Notice the discolored box area on the right. The newspaper clipping on the opposite page transferred the faded paper and ink to this page of the book. While it is possible to digitally clean up and remove this stain, it would not be the best way to spend my time preserving history...but it shows the importance in digitizing old history, before situations like this get worse or hopefully before it begins.


Manning 1st - new uniforms


Corps performance to assist the Rober-Wehrmann business for the smoke damage.

Signed Gus A. Rober - partner of Julius Wehrmann
This book has some amazing history in it. Above is the letter head for the Rober-Wehrmann business.
Sadly, they had another major fire which destroyed the building and ended this business.
The December 1933 fire in the Lewis-Reinhold building which caused smoke damage in the Rober store.

1939 fire that destroyed the Rober-Wehrmann building/business.


1934 Leedy Drum & Bugle advertising - Manning's corps featured among others across the US.


Robert Kuhl - support ad in Monitor

DEDICATION another attribute of the corps - 1 week before but still participated
Peter Hansen - Rheumatism
Grover Steen - boils
Lawren Stoelk - appendicitis


3rd place Sioux City - first state meet

Final results


1935 Children's Day


State Contest at Waterloo

Contest field at Waterloo

Final Scoring


1937 exibition - Knights of Columbus celebration in Templeton


1937 exibition - Knights of Columbus celebration in Templeton


May 30, 1936 Memorial Day parade on Main Street


May 30, 1936 Memorial Day parade on Main Street


Color Guard & Firing Squad
Wyatt Hospital middle back - George & Ida (Roggendorf) Dethlefs home back right

Now fast forward to 2019 and Governor Kim Reynolds' visit to Manning on July 1.
Kim was invited to Manning to observe some of the results of state grants and funds that were used in the economic development of Main Street.

Ron Reischl gave an abbreviated report to everyone and spoke for several minutes about some of the recent accomplishments of the Manning community and its volunteers.


The Market Place


Ron Reischl audio

Click for Manning achievements


Kim Reynolds audio

Jean Voege (Main Street Manning volunteer) presents Governor Reynolds with a souvenir 1915 Main Street brick.


IOWA at the Trestle Park

Governor Reynolds

Back to Dave Kusel's main page