People today need to study their ancestral community history to better understand how much our ancestors gave us.
For most old-time Manning families, their Pioneer ancestors came from Europe, mostly Germany, and headed right into Iowa (following the railroads) where it was Prairie and then started plowing the land, building farm homes and the small towns around them.
They fought drought, plagues of insects, floods, Prairie fires, rattlesnakes, wolves, and more.
During the time period the settlers came to this area, the battle between the American Indians and the more recent immigrants from Europe had ended...although I heard old timers decades ago talk about the occasional band of Indians who would travel through this area during early and pre-Manning's history, but no confrontations occurred.
So take some time to read below about the various families and their accomplishments done by hand, using mules and horses and steam powered machines.
The disturbing thing to me, the more I work on our area history, is how quickly things have changed from even my grandparents' time.
We had 3 railroads now we are down to 1 but at least we have one.
Manning had a creamery, we had 4 different grocery stores when I was growing up, now we only have 1 and many people don't seem to want to support it.
Furniture, shoe, clothing, 2 different grain elevators, 3 to 4 different farm franchises including International & John Deere, several car dealerships, and on and on.
I fully understand that change always occurs but I wonder how much of it in the end was good over-all, and if things continue on the downward spiral of less types of infrastructure in the community, how long
can the town survive?
We can't stop change but I think it is more important than ever that as a society we stop to think: do we need it? - who will it help?
Little by little I continue to put more pieces of the Manning puzzle together...
I recently purchased an ad on e-bay that came from a 1918 Breeder's Gazette magazine. The asking price was a little more than I generally pay for items but since it was the only specific type ad for Escher & Ryan I've seen, I decided to grab it before some collector, who has no connections to Manning, purchased it.
There is also a connection for me with the fact that Edward Escher owned the farm we live on which was called the Manning Stock Farm...they bred & raised work horses in the huge center-fill barn that is still standing on our place today. My parents purchased this farm from Laura Jones, who we thought was the daughter of Ed Escher, BUT now we are not sure what, if any, connection Laura has to the Eschers.
As I was working on this Escher feature I realized that I did not know the exact connection between Charles Escher, Sr. and Ed Escher, but was sure they were related somehow.
I remember Lester Wiese telling me the farms in the Manning area that were owned by the Escher family which includes our farm, the Art Gruhn farm in Manning, the present day Snyder farm which is just east of the Manning Heritage Park...also the old Art Kuhn farm and the farm where the family of Jerome Croghan lives southwest of Manning.
I know there has to be a connection between Ed & Charles because the Dave Dalgety family lived on our farm at one time and the Dalgety family
was brought over from Scotland by the Escher family - see the Manning Centennial article below.
Now don't get this Charles Escher confused with the more recent era Charles & Marilyn Escher.
Fortunately Jim Stoffers came to the rescue and did some searching on the Internet for me and found the Escher connections I was needing.
Charles Escher, Sr and his wife, Louisa (both 39 years of age) had six children: Edwin, Emma, Clara, George, Charles Jr., and Samuel - ages 16, 14, 12, 10, 7, and 4, respectively.
1910 census has Edwin Franklin Escher, wife Emma, and daughter, Louise E. Escher (age 17) living in Warren Township on what is now the Kusel farm.
Edwin was the son of Charles Sr. and Louisa (Paup) Escher, as shown above.
Edwin and Emma Escher's daughter, Louise, lived to her middle 90s and is buried with family in Harlan under the name Louise Escher.
Charles Escher, Sr. had a brother Henry Escher (1851-1930) who outlived Charles Sr. by 14 years.
Henry Escher had a son Herbert Escher (1888-1933)
Herbert Escher, son of Henry, grandson of Charles Sr., had five children: Marjorie, Arlene, Robert, Patricia and Charles H. Escher
Charles H. is the one who married Marilyn Simpson.
So now I think I have all of the Eschers, who once lived in the Manning area, connected...
1981 Manning Centennial history book
The nation's leading Aberdeen-Angus herd of the late 1890s and early 1900s came from the Escher-Ryan Farms between Botna and Irwin.
The herd was started in 1892, when Charles Escher Jr. entered a partnership with his father, Charles Escher Sr. The family had come to Shelby County in 1876, and during the next 30 years, Charles Sr. accumulated more than 1,100 acres of farmland.
Charles Jr. was 20 when his livestock and farming career was launched. Within 20 years, he owned 1,800 acres of land and was considered the foremost breeder of Aberdeen-Angus cattle in the United States.
The Eschers built their herd from a foundation of 100 high grade stock. The herd was increased through four importations from Scotland, in 1900, 1902, 1906, and 1909, and from the purchase of the leading cattle at American Aberdeen-Angus sales.
In 1906, James Dalgety met Charles Escher, Sr. at an Aberdeen Angus sale in Pert, Scotland. Dalgety was asked to come to America as a herdsman, and he and Escher arrived on a cattle boat, taking care of a shipment of cattle Escher had purchased in Scotland. Dalgety continued to work for the Eschers for many years.
Between 500 and 700 head of full-blooded cattle were kept at the farms each year. It was said that if a parade was formed of the Escher cattle, allowing 10 feet for each, the parade would have been 1 1/2 miles long.
The Eschers showed cattle at seven international shows previous to 1915, and never took lower than second place. They won more championships than any other exhibitor; they held the distinction of producing both a grand champion carload and the reserve champion at the same show, and did this two years, in 1911 and 1913.
The Eschers held an annual sale at their farm known as the Longbranch, now the Jerome Croghan farm south of Botna. Buyers from throughout the United States would come to Manning by train, and be taken by buggy to the farm. The group would often return to the Virginia Cafe in Manning for meals.
Stock from the farm went to 28 states and Canada.
Charles Jr. was appointed by two different governors to represent Iowa at the National Livestock Association meetings. He helped establish the Iowa Beef Producers Association, served as its president, and was a director of the National Aberdeen-Angus Breeders Association. He also served as a county supervisor and state legislator.
Charles Jr. was married to Myrtle Ryan in 1894. Her brother Earl became a partner in the business, which then became known as the Escher-Ryan Farms. Ryan lived at the Pleasant View farm between Irwin and Kirkman.
Both Ryan and Escher were considered excellent judges of cattle, and were often called upon to judge livestock shows.
Charles Escher, Jr. died in 1925, and a dispersion sale was held in the Manning Sale Pavilion. A bull named "Enlate of Denison'' sold for $36,000, the highest price a bull had ever brought. The next day, one of their cows sold for $10,000, the top price in that category.
The sale lasted two or three days, recalls Clyde Kenyon. Auctioneers were Kraschel and Cooper; Nels Kraschel later became Governor of Iowa. Each sale day concluded with a banquet in the old opera house, with the business people of the town invited as well as the cattlemen attending the sale.
Arrow points to the Pavilion before the other addition was built on.
July 10, 1919 Manning Monitor
SOUTH AMERICA MEN HERE TO BUY CATTLE
Tuesday Manning had the pleasure of having as its guests four men from Uruguay, South America, and an official from Washington, D.C., who acted as their guide and interpreter, that were here to buy purebred cattle for their cattle ranches in South America. Only one could speak fair English.
They are big cattle breeders in their home country, and having a desire to enter the purebred cattle business they journeyed to this country for the purpose of purchasing their first stock.
Their trip across the continent to Manning makes us feel we are indeed upon the map, and with a world wide reputation.
Manning is indeed fortunate in having so many purebred stock breeders who have their headquarters and herds located here. They called on Escher & Ryan and purchased several head of purebred Aberdeen - Angus cattle. They have the money and are buying the best cattle in the world and in order to do this they came all the way to Manning to buy the best. Too much praise cannot be given the local breeders of purebred stock, who through their efforts and fancy stock have put Manning in the lead as a purebred stock center.
Ed Escher - later Amos & Dorothy Kusel farm
Manning Stock Farm ad image in the 1906 Carroll County Atlas
The dot pattern in the 1906 image is what you get when you scan magazines and newspapers and then blow up the image - you see the dots.
We always could see that there was a building connected to the south of the main barn from the inside but never knew what it looked like until I ran across a 1906 Carroll County atlas and in there Ed Escher had a picture of his Manning Stock Farm included as advertising.
I'm assuming this was some type of milking parlor but we have no idea when it was removed.
Another change is that the lean-to on the south continued further on to the east. Today it wraps around on the east end of the barn and doesn't extend off to the east.
Besides the barn, the only other original building is the hoghouse on the left side. The large corncrib that once stood where the Quonset is now was not yet built.
One thing about the Eschers is that they built large buildings, barns, and homes.
August 3, 1905 Manning Monitor
Ed F. Escher informs us that his little daughter had a narrow escape from being killed or crippled for life last week. It seems Mr. Escher has been doing some excavating and building a new barn and had a deep ditch dug but it was covered over, and in walking over it the little girl fell in some way and it being about 6 feet deep she received several hard bruises about the head and body which made her unconscious for several hours, but at this time she is getting along nicely and it is hoped is out of danger.
An interesting aspect about this article is it tells us exactly when they started building the barn.
View from the south of the old Art & Carol Gruhn farm at 228 East Street.
Another Escher farm in years past
Arrow points to the large house that once stood on the Escher and then later Gruhn farm.
The line points to the area where the barn was later built.
Todd & Shelly Gruhn tore down the large house and built a new one in its place a number of years ago.
Barn on the old Art Kuhn farm in 1969 - this was another Escher farm.
Art told me that there was originally a very long hog house that was torn down.
The Croghan farm (Escher Long Branch) would be southwest of the Kuhn place.
I don't have any pictures of the Croghan barn which sadly burned down a number of years ago.
As I always do, if you have any old Manning historical stuff - please get it to me to make high resolution digital scans and add it to the Manning historical puzzle.