Putting it ALL together!
I know this will sound like I think "highly" of myself, but I only write these comments to help explain to people why I need to get access to Manning history, whether it be part of some old business/organization, or a family scrapbook/album.
Many people over the years will get involved with their genealogy or a community's history...they are gung-ho at first and then after a while most of them will lose interest or find out how much time/work it takes to preserve things properly.

They will end up losing some of the things they acquired, lose their hard copy information, and now today what they stored on a computer hard drive.

The reason why I can connect history so well for this community is because I've lived here all of my life...all of my ancestors came here between 1873 through the early 1890s, so I have deep roots in Manning.
Then I started actively volunteering in Manning in 1976, following in my mother's footsteps with her interest in history/community and as a country school teacher.

Over the decades I interacted with hundreds of individuals about their family history and/or their involvement on a board, group, organization, club, etc.
I also asked hundreds of people over the years to assist me with my various history projects...especially the older folks who "lived during that history."
I've been photographing events since 1965, and videotaped old timers and activities between 1977 through early 1990...not counting all of the times I sat down with old timers to ask about a picture, event, individual, family member, etc.
I also started my web page in 1996, which has made it possible for hundreds of people with Manning connections to find out about me and then contact me, with many of them sharing Manning history they have and I do in return.

Another requirement to preserving history is to have a good command of computer technology and software. I purchased my first scanner in 1995 and have been scanning ever since.
So with all of this background I'm able to connect names, items, pictures, etc together and to not have most if not all of the attributes for preserving information, a lot of history will go unnoticed or get thrown away.

Because I've been involved with documenting events in the Legion Hall, I know a lot about its history and what was in that building, and attended the sale to purchase old items to keep for a Manning Museum someday...the things most people had no interest in.
Because of my interaction with the legion committee members I knew that they were allowing a local history organization to grab and save things they were interested in.

This brings me to the subject of this feature...
While going through newspaper articles in digital form that Connie and Ann have been finding on the Internet for me, I noticed an article about the Legion Hall where a family donated money for improvements and that a plaque was hung over the door to the hall.
I didn't remember seeing it at the Legion sale, so I hoped that the local group had grabbed it, so I contaced Cory Arp...he was very sure that he saw it and had it in storage...sure enough he found it and here is the scan I made of it.

Now I'm NOT "blowing my own horn" even though it looks that way but this is just one of thousands of examples where I'm able to connect history, that no one else would be able to do, and/or be able to digitally present it on the Internet and to archive that information on a hard drive, for future use or research.
Connie & Ann found Jurgen and Martha Clasen's obituaries but I'm hoping we can find more information to see if one of their family members was a Veteran, or if the Clasen family wanted to donate to the Legion and not have any military connections that would have sparked that donation to this organization.

Plaque that is mentioned in the article below and once hung in the Legion Hall.
This is another attribute a historian needs - an "eye for detail" - that few people who spend time scanning items like this would seldom scan the backsides, and probably not even realize there is pertinent historical information on back.

Now consider that Connie & Ann took time to find these articles and then send them to me.
Next I open a file in my OCR software to convert it into editable text...proof read it several times and finally save it as a file.
Now to present it on this web page I have to convert it into HTML format.
This all takes a lot of time and knowledge for just this part of the process.

Here is the article...

Jurgen Clasen Honored by Manning Legionnaires for His Gift to Legion Hall
Above the entrance door to the new Legion building is a bronze plaque bearing the inscription: Our heating plant given by Jurgen Clasen in memory of his brother, Jann Thoms Clasen.
At 6:15 Tuesday night about eighty Legionnaires and members of the American Legion Auxiliary honored Mr. Clasen for his generous gift with a dinner in the Legion dining hall.
Commander Henry Meyers acted as toastmaster introducing Dr. Arthur F. Smith, who spoke upon the lasting memory, the name that passes on to each generation, is that of the citizen who renders some real service to the community. Mr. Clasen's gift, not only lifted a heavy burden from the shoulders of the Legionnaires but will be of value to the entire community.
Dr. Smith pledged that as long as a Legionnaire lived in Manning the graves of those dear to Mr. Clasen, those of his sister and his brothers would be cared for.
At the conclusion of his talk, all Legionnaires present gave Mr. Clasen the salute of honor which was acknowledged by him with a bow. Mr. Clasen, his brother, Jann T. and his sister, Martha, came to Manning nineteen years ago. In 1927, Martha, who had been housekeeper for her brothers, passed away. The two brothers lived together alone in their home on Third Street until death called Jann in October 1936.
Jurgen now nearing seventy-five years of age, still lives in the old home with his housekeeper.
A visitor who gave honor to Mr. Clasen, and who himself was an honored guest, was Iowa State Commander of the American Legion Vic Sieverding of Grundy Center.
Commander Meyers introduced Commander Sieverding, who spoke briefly on "Community Service," praising the Legion and the Auxiliary for their work in consolidating, communities. He stated that community service was an Iowa idea and that Iowa Legions had won the service trophy for three years.
He especially emphasized the youth program of the Legion, 8000 Boy Scout troops sponsored by the Legion, playgrounds, swimming pools, baseball, high school patrols and the work of the Legion in the highway safety patrol program.
He spoke of the many ways Legion posts served their communities in the purchase of an ambulance, an iron lung, oxygen tents or whatever might be the need of that special community. Mr. Sieverding closed his address with "The American's Creed."
Following the dinner and speeches the Auxiliary held its regular meeting.
Reports were given on unit activities, two dinners and a benefit card party.
The Auxiliary planned a rummage sale to be held in the Legion Hall basement, the second Saturday in May. Blanche Grelck was appointed chairman of the project. Four dozen veterans-made rugs will be on sale. A new member, Mrs. Friedman of Halbur, as a service to the unit payed for having the piano tuned.
It was decided to hold a Carroll County Auxiliary meeting in Manning April 25.
Ethel (Mrs. Amos C.) Lee was appointed luncheon chairman and Mrs. Frank J. Mentzer, program chairman. While the women held their meeting the men performed K.P. duty.
After the dinner Isabelle (Mrs. Arthur F.) Smith showed motion pictures of the Legion boys tearing down the warehouse and building the new structure, step by step. She also showed films of the Manning fires, some of which were in color.
Cards and dancing closed the evening's entertainment.
Carroll Daily Herald, April 13, 1939

Now some of you may think - "what's the big deal?" about this plaque...it's not the plaque in and of itself that is important but consider that the Manning American Legion Hall was built after WWI, to provide a place for those Veterans to gather.
THEY not only served our country but served our community.
If you have been reading any of my history articles over the years and reading captions of old photos, OR if you grew up here years ago, you would know how much more those Veterans gave back to the community.
I'm not going to go into all of those things right now...but just want the "yawners" to history to think beyond themselves and appreciate the folks who came before them to give us this great little town to grow up in and live in.

Back to Dave Kusel's main page