Even though I don't have a lot of helpers with my Manning projects, lately the ones who frequently help out have been sending me lots of informational tidbits that take me into various areas of Manning area history.

Nancy Stammer and I are still looking for more information about Bill Leet - especially his obituary.
He apparently died in Florida in 1966.
The Leets were prominent in Manning's history and especially at the present day Manning Heritage Park. So anyone who has Leet information and pictures or happens to run across information while browsing the Internet - please send it my way.
Ann (Voge) did a bunch of digging around the Internet and found a short obituary for Bill and one for his "last" wife...along with a lot of other little news articles and historical background.
Wild stories about Bill's life that most people might think of as more tall tales here in Manning were actually based on a lot of truth. While no judgment on Bill, he definitely led a fast life and spent his fortune on 5 wives.
Bill also achieved the rank of Corporal in the Army during WWI so he served our country...I did NOT have his name in my Manning military database so now I hope I'll be able to find some information and pictures about his service.

Bill is buried at Cuba Cemetery, Fulton, Illinois.

Another area I've been receiving information is on Manning's Civil War Veterans - Ann (Voge) works a lot on her own family history and then when she runs across information that connects to Manning in general she sends it my way and recently it has been more bits and pieces of information for the various Civil War Veterans.
Every little detail helps in the preparation for laying out each of the over 1000 Manning Veterans stories.
Unfortunately I have lots of names with very little if any information or pictures about them.
Hopefully more Veterans and their families will start coming forward...

The other area I recently received some new information is from David Kuchel about this picture.
For no other reason other than curiosity, Dave wanted to see if he could figure out who the driver was in this picture I had posted on my web page sometime ago, and was also featured in the 1982 Aspinwall Centennial history book.
I noticed David ran into some Aspinwall names and then wondered if both his and my coincidental thinking was maybe something to follow up with some more research.
I was wondering if the Aspinwalls he found might be how the town of Aspinwall got its name.
Read along below - it may be somewhat confusing with lots of conjecture, but still very intriguing.

Photo taken sometime before 1915 or 1916
Aspinwall Centennial book:
The man at the "steering rod" was a stranger who came to Aspinwall on a Sunday afternoon on business concerning the new railroad track that was to be laid (It was completed in 1913). He asked Peter and Reka Christensen and their sons Jacob and Hugo if they wanted an "auto ride." The Christensen's home is in the background. It was located east of Peter's blacksmith shop which he owned until about 1914, when they moved to Montana in 1915 or 1916.

From David Kuchel:
After over a year of searching, I think I've got a pretty good idea of who the driver is.
I believe he's Charles Frederick Loweth, Chief Engineer of the Milwaukee part of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad.
He participated in the construction of the Manning/Aspinwall underpasses, the Manning trestle bridge as well as several other area bridges. From the book Schröders Merchants and Bankers, J.H. Schröder, of London, acquired a $9.9 million bond issue for Kuhn, Loeb & Co., of New York, who in turn then loaned it to the C M St P & P railroad for the construction that Loweth took part in.

A picture of C.F. Loweth that David found during his research.

cropped image of the driver
Definitely a lot of similar facial features between both images.

More from David Kuchel in response to Dave Kusel's question about the naming of Aspinwall, Iowa.
Around the time the RR was being built through Aspinwall, Iowa - at Kuhn, Loeb & Co., employee Paul Warburg, and son in law of founder Solomon Loeb, they were working on what we now know as the Federal Reserve System.
This ultimately took place at a resort island off the Georgia Coast, Jekyll Island. At the Jekyll Island Resort you'll find an Aspinwall Room and an a Astor Room. Astor was the name of the town southwest of Manilla.
Lloyd Aspinwall was the son of William Aspinwall, a New York shipping merchant. William was the father of Lloyd Aspinwall, the president of the Jekyll Island group. There might be a relationship between William Aspinwall and Sherburn Sanborn Merrill, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad's General Manager at the time of Aspinwall, Iowa's founding.

So if you followed along and read the comments above from myself and David Kuchel, there is a lot of conjecture but many times coincidences are based on a lot of facts that back up an idea.

David Kuchel also sent me a number of related links to the Milwaukee RR. One of them was a bridge website and a person had apparently either found some old pictures of the Manning bridge on the Internet or had 2 old pictures of the Manning bridge and scanned them.
When I visited that site, I noticed the source of these images and more recent pictures he must have taken himself, but there is no e-mail or contact information to get a hold of him...I would like to see if he would make me higher resolution scans but no way to reach him.
Here are those 2 pictures from that website, but do you see something wrong with them?
Below you can seee the correct orientations for both pictures. Basically someone reversed the negatives when they made the prints, or someone didn't know what they were doing when they scanned the prints and reversed them for whatvever reasons.

The correct image.

The correct image.

Based on the fact that the Milwaukee Elevator cannot be seen in the background in the photo above - it means this picture was taken after it burned down, sometime I think in the late 1920s or very early 1930s.

View looking east with the depot on right and Milwaukee Elevator on left.

Looking west toward the trestle - elevator on the right.
One thing I never noticed before is the large building on the right (north).
I have never read about a hotel on this level but based on the size of it, I sure don't think it is a home.
Another possibility is that it could be a large warehouse - but with 2 chimneys to heat it?

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