The tiniest clues can open up a whole new avenue of history about Manning.
Jim Stoffers sent me some more information on the Free family and also ran across a Monitor newspaper clipping of a 1905 Manning baseball team with Harry & Ledger Free as members.
Jim knows I have a huge digital database of Manning pictures and wondered if I might have a scan of an original photo.
After searching for key words like 1905 and baseball I found a scan of that picture.
I had a few other scans but they were from copies or poor quality print.
I checked to see where I got the good scan and it came from a person in Utah in 2011. They had no idea why their dad had this picture so they sent it to me to scan.
THEN I read the e-mail from that person and their address is Provo, Utah.
BINGO, I didn't think anything of the name of the town in Ledger's obituary (shown down below), which is Provo, Utah, but now with this picture that came from Provo, there must be a lot more to this story.
The person from Utah does not know much about their dad who died very young.

I'm wondering if their dad is connected somehow to the Free family.
I sent a message using their 2011 e-mail address and it has not yet bounced back, so I'm hoping it is still active and they'll respond.

Here is the picture from Utah.

Back: Otto Kempf, Peter Martens (assistant manager), Ed Farrell (umpire), Walter Grantz, Henry Hoffmann
Middle: ? Scully, Harry Free, Ledger Free (captain), William Ohde (manager), Herman Vogt
Front: Grover Brunnier, Frank Bucheit, Tom Navin (mascot), Clyde Rowland, Harry Reinholdt

Here is the clipping that Jim mentioned, but there is one person not identified.

This next clipping is from a March 17, 1906, Monitor.

The last name of the unidentified player is Scully.

Ed Farrell was a Spanish American war Veteran.
Walter Grantz served during WWI, along with Ledger Free.

Clyde Roland is spelled Rowland in the second clipping just above...I'm going with Rowland since his last name is listed in that 1906 article and since Henry Hoffmann provided the names from memory during the 1956 Diamond Jubilee special edition to the Monitor.

So as you can see, it was good that I took the time to scan so many different clippings and gathered as many pictures as I did and now I hope I'll be able to help the person in Utah about their dad's ancestry and hopefully confirm some more "little clues" on Manning's amazing history.

Here is Jim Stoffers' update information he sent me:
As it turns out, Ledger Daniel Free Sr. and Russell Martin Free are brothers. 1900 Federal Census lists the four children of Horace Martin Free and Sarah Free as Harry, Ledger, Nina and Russell. Both Russell and Ledger left New York for Europe on August 15, 1918 - but on different ships! (Ledger Free enlisted on September 4, 1917 and was discharged June 15, 1919).
Russell Free was born on September 25, 1891, and died on October 1, 1935, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. (Russell's tombstone lists 1936 as year of death, but I believe that year is incorrect.) The 1930 Federal Census lists Russell as single and a patient at a Colorado V.A. hospital. His Wyoming death record says he died of "hypostatic pneumonia." I have been unable to find an obit for Russell Free, but because of his V.A. hospitalization and the fact that hypostatic pneumonia is caused by being bedridden long term, you have to wonder if Russell suffered long term damage from WWI gas attacks. Pure conjecture on my part, but I think it's worth wondering about.
The 1910 Federal Census again lists the entire Free family living in Manning and Ledger Free's occupation is listed as "ballplayer." He must have been quite the young athlete. Anyway, the Manning Monitor (August 16, 1956) published an old photo provided by Henry Hoffmann of Manning's 1905 baseball team. Ledger and Harry Free are i.d.'d as members on the team photo. I'm hoping you've got that 1905 photo!

This is why it is so imperative that people with Manning connected stuff/history - NOT throw it away, BUT get it to me so I can scour through it and scan the "little clues" that so many people have and don't even realize it.

So please STOP throwing old pictures and information that you know DOES have OR even MIGHT have a Manning connection.
I'll probably be able to determine those connections and then want to digitize and add it to my Manning Historical database...

Another obituary for a WWI Veteran
Thanks to James Stoffers who found an obituary for Manning's WWI Veteran, Ledger Free, Sr.
There was also a small snapshot of Ledger in the obituary. While it is not the same as a scan from an original picture, you can still see his facial features clearly.
If a family member doesn't come forward with actual photos, I'll at least have this news article image to use in the Manning Veterans' book.
I see, according to the obituary, that Russell Free, another Manning WWI Veteran is not a brother, so he must be a cousin of Ledger.

All I had for Ledger and Russell are just their rank, company, and division numbers.
While the obituary of Ledger only mentions that he served in WWI, it provides some family information, when he was born/died and where.

Hopefully a relative/descendant will reach out to me and can provide me with pictures and more detailed information, but at least I have some more basic details now, thanks to Jim.

Ledger Daniel Free
Sergeant, 338th Machine Gun Battalion, Company D, 88th Division

Ledger D. Free Sr.

Ledger Daniel Free Sr., 74, 209 North 400 West, died Thursday, 4 a.m. in a Provo, Utah, hospital, of complications following an automobile accident March 30, 1962.

Born September 7, 1887, in Manning, Iowa, to Horace Martin and Sarah Eller (Woodard) Free.

Married Carabelle Williams, April 1921, in Casper, Wyoming. Active in minor league Baseball 12 years; broad jumping World War I vet.

Owned and operated Senate Cafe in Casper, Wyoming. Lived in Rawlins, Wyoming. Returned to Manning, Iowa, in 1926. Moved to Provo in 1936 where he worked for Utah Poultry, Utah Concrete Pipe Co. as supervisor. Retired when 70.

Member, Ute Last Squad, Dean Mendenhall Provo Post 13, both American Legion. Survivors: widow; sons, Ledger D., Jr., San Carlos, California; Dr. Edward A., Oakland, California; Robert C., Rapid City, South Dakota; eight grandchildren; sister, Mrs. James (Nina) Wilson, Lorimor, Iowa.

Funeral Saturday, 11 a.m., Berg Drawing Room Chapel, where friends call Friday 6-8 p.m., Saturday prior to services.

Burial, Provo City Cemetery.

Thanks to Jim Stoffers and the Wyoming State Archivist for providing me with this information about Russell Free, brother of Ledger.

Note that Russell was a victim of Mustard Gas during WWI

Look at the various maladies he suffered as a result of the Mustard Gas.

Funeral Sunday For R.M. Free, Manning Veteran
Legion Post Plans Military Services At The Graveside

Funeral services for Russell Martin Free, 44, who passed away in the United States Veterans Hospital at Cheyenne, Wyoming, Tuesday, October 1, 1935, will be held in the Ohde Funeral Chapel in Manning, Sunday at 2 o'clock with Rev. Douglas Steffanson of the Methodist Church in charge.

Military honors will be accorded Mr. Free with Emil Ewoldt Post directing. The following "Buddies" will act as pall bearers: Ernest Dee Sutherland, Emil Kuhl, August Ross, Henry Meyers, Herman Wooster, Arnold Foster, and Harry Hoffmann.

The post firing squad of eight members, three color bearers and bugler will assist in the services. Burial will be in the Manning Cemetery.

Born In Manning
Mr. Free was born in Manning September 25, 1891, the youngest son of Horace Martin and Sarah Free. He was educated in the Manning Schools and grew to manhood in this community. During the boom days of 1914, Russell went to Casper, Wyoming. He lived there until he enlisted for service in the World War in 1917 and returned there in 1919 after being discharged from the Army.

He saw a year's service in France with the 351st Infantry. He was stationed in the Alsace-Lorraine Sector at the same time as his brother, Ledger, served in the Machine Gun Division.

Unusual Story
The story is told that when Ledger met several new men in a new camp, one of them said: "We have fellow from Iowa in the hospital here whose name is Free. Relative of yours?" "No," Ledger replied, "I'm the only one in the service." "Well, let's go over and see this fellow, anyway."

So they went and found that Russell had been wounded. Then it was that Ledger first learned that his brother had enlisted. For many years Russell had been afflicted with asthma. He was gassed in action, a fact, he never told his family.

He was unmarried. An infant brother, Norman, and his mother preceded him in death. His mother passed away March 31, 1935.

He is survived by his father, two brothers, Harry of Dodge City, Kansas; Ledger of Manning; and a sister, Nina (Mrs. James Wilson) of Lorimor, Iowa.

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