There is so much going on in Manning (like usual) that I try to capture and document and then when I find some free time to post them in a web page.
I'm also in awe with so many of our citizens who go above and beyond the call of duty...things that make lasting impressions on visitors - mostly for the good.
This message was posted on the Chamber's site.
It also shows how we have a lot of GREAT citizens in the US who still appreciate and are thankful for their fellow citizens.

Message posted on the Manning Chamber site

Your car breaking down when you're away from home is a traveler's worst nightmare.
But the rescue that took place in the western Iowa community of Manning was nothing less than a dream come true.

Residents of Central Illinois, my husband and I had just enjoyed taking a close-up look at Trinity Lutheran Church on the edge of town, then the brakes started acting wonky as we headed to Level B for lunch with my brother and sister-in-law.

After heading downtown to do a little shopping together, my husband Andy noticed brake fluid was leaking from underneath our car.
It was the Saturday afternoon of Memorial Day Weekend, and virtually every repair shop in the area was closed until Tuesday.

The brake fluid alarm went off as we crept along the back streets in our 2016 Ford Fusion to the local Casey's to buy more fluid.
I looked up auto repair shops on my phone and even called a few, but all were closed.

A listing for John's Auto Repair caught my eye, and when I let the phone ring long enough the greeting said he usually took lunch between noon and 1 p.m. It was about 12:50 p.m., so we made our way slowly to his shop to see if it was open.
Andy was able to walk right in, but there was no one inside.

As we waited, my brother Keith and his wife joined us out of concern for our situation.

John Altenhein, who had been gardening nearby, soon walked in and quickly discovered that our brake line had ruptured but was pessimistic about being able to make the repair.

It seems that this particular part on newer cars almost never goes bad and thus it is not usually kept in stock.
John made a couple calls, however, and located one at O'Reilly Auto Parts in Denison.

While Keith and Jan made the hour round-trip to fetch the part, Andy and I did visit a couple shops downtown and were warmly received by Oh My Goodness and Sweet Treats Ice Cream Shoppe.
It appears that if we had wanted to rent a car, we would have somehow have to have gotten to Fort Dodge or Ames, neither of which is anywhere close to Manning.
But we were soon on our way after Keith returned with the part and John installed it for us.

Our gratitude for this series of events includes:
Our loving and gracious God, who made sure our car's brake failure did not lead to an accident.
John Altenhein, who was so ready and willing to help us out on a holiday weekend.
Keith and Jan Churchill, who spent a good part of their Saturday afternoon providing a much-needed delivery service.

Manning, Iowa, will forever have a special place in our hearts, and we will definitely be back.
Andy and Theresa Fulk

A little background on the Altenhein family.
John's dad, Bill, worked at Save-Mor Food Store which was located in the old Ford Garage (Plastico in 2023)...Paul Volquartsen was the owner/manager. This business operated from 1964 through 1973.

You can see part of the Save-Mor sign on the south side of the old Ford Garage.
Francis "Frisco" Zerwas is shown burying communication cable - photo by Manning Monitor.

John had an older sister, Corine, who graduated in 1975.

Corine Altenhein

John Altenhein MHS 1977

Corine was in my class and I knew John quite well too, so I invited them and other kids my age to our farm.
We would build hay forts in the barn and played games outside.

Terry Mundt & John Altenhein - on school work release

Terry and John worked for Don Zubrod of Don's Radio & TV on a school work release during their Junior and Senior years.
They had to get a form from the guidance counselor, fill it out and then take it to the principal's office for approval.
They worked for Don all 4 years in high school - after school and on Saturdays during the school year and full-time during summers. They repaired radios, TVs, did antenna - rotor work, made deliveries and mowed the grass around the business.

2003 Veterans' Day - John supports the Boy Scouts flag project

John's therapy and get away from the daily madness of keeping people's cars going.

I visit with John quite often and we talk about who is going to replace the various small businesses we have now...that are owned/operated by residents who are at retirement age or getting close.
If the younger generations don't step up and fill in we could lose 5 or more businesses in a few short years.
Hopefully the "powers that be" in the community are attempting to address this serious issue.

June 2004

From the 2006 Manning Quasquicentennial history book
John's Auto Repair
John's Auto Repair was started May 1, 2002, in a small rented building on Highway 141, previously owned by Bernard Jones. John Altenhein started this business which continued at the Jones' building for several years. John found he required more room for his repair business. In June 2004, he bought a building from Aspinwall Coop located at 820 Third Street which had operated as the feed store. This building was previously known as J & S Feed. This building has provided him with a large work area and has been a successful addition. John currently employs one full time employee.
John has been engaged in automotive repair all his life. In high school he showed an intense interest in mechanics and electrical troubleshooting and it has been his occupation ever since. John had been employed in the industry for twenty years in Manning previous to opening his own business.
John provides general automotive service and specializes in electrical troubleshooting on all vehicles. He has repaired Model T's to all types of new vehicles.

I don't have or can't find a picture right now of this building when it was the J&S office but here are a few pix when Glen Jensen & Gerald Schroeder (J&S) owned and operated this business.

J&S Feed Service
Both Glen & Gerald were WWII Veterans

Glen Jensen 1955

Gerald Schroeder 1955

The only building left is the old block scale house and storage shed.
If I remember correctly, part of the original mill structure was moved in by rail from Botna.

Now let's go back further in time...
The Radeleff family was very prominent in early Manning history.
In 2002, I had the honor of meeting Lyle Radeleff and his son.
They, along with several other Radeleff descendants sent me old pictures and history to scan.
Below is a letter that Art Rix had kept from the publication of the 1981 Manning Centennial book and I scanned. It is from Lyle's dad.

Oh, IF I only would have had a computer and scanner during the centennial, I could have captured and archived so much more of Manning's history!!!
MOST of which has been thrown away by now - the parents/grandparents had it, treasured it, and knew about it --- then the kids/grandkids inherited it and threw most of it away.

But I was busy with my Video Camera so I captured a lot of those events during that celebration.

Letter to History Book Committee from Henry F. Radeleff, 620 N. California, Lodi, California 95240.
May 10, 1980
I will try and remember some of the things and events that were told and things I remember. To start, I have been told that Grandfather Charles Radeleff was quite a traveler in his young days. He wandered around the Western U.S. like a lot of young men during that time. I understand he was acquainted with Wild Bill Hickock, Buffalo Bill, Thomas Edison and Luther Burbank.

Grandfather Radeleff was born June 8, 1847 in Damlos Holstein, Germany and Grandmother Charlotte Radeleff was born on Feb. 23, 1851 in Kletzen Holstein Germany. Just where they met and married I don't know. I don't know when her parents came to this country. A lot of people from Germany at that time settled in the Midwest. Her parents, or my great grandfather's last name was Georgius, I don't know the first name. He must have farmed around the area some place as my grandfather married and settled in Manning. He, raised ten children (my father, Charles was the oldest) five boys and five girls. The oldest girl, Rosalind, lived to be a hundred years old.

I understand my grandfather was on the town council at the time the water system and water tower was built. He organized an athletic club in the old hall, and the fire department, but not sure on that part. He operated a nursery in southwest Manning and had an ice house and delivery service in the same part of town on the small creek that splits the town. His home was close by and may still be there. Just when they moved from Manning, I am not sure, but think about 1905 or 1906. They moved to Springville, California for Grandmother's health but she didn't live to see her new home he had built for her. She died in 1909 on my father's birthday, Nov. 10. My father was 29 years old at the time.

The druggist has a lot of pictures of my family. I sent some back to him to reproduce and I picked them up in 1975, some he had that I didn't. I found some material on Grandfather in the town library. I can't tell too much about Grandfather Radeleff because the first time I saw him was in 1923 when I was twelve years old.

My father, Charles Theodore, was born Nov. 10, 1876 in Crawford County, Iowa. He died Sept. 11, 1961 in Oildale, California. My mother was Nellie Jansen, born May 13, 1890 in Clinton County, Iowa. She died Oct. 23, 1958 in Oildale, California. They were married January 11, 1911.

Now to my father, Charles Radeleff's, story. When he was 16 or 17 he wanted to be a blacksmith.

He was a man who liked to work with his hands, he could do things with steel that no one else could. He learned the trade in Manning, a blacksmith that used to be in the U.S. Army taught him. He did lots of horseshoeing and worked at the blacksmith business for 62 years, until he was 80 years old. I worked with him for 15 of them.

He left Manning when he was 20 years old and he and two other fellows bought a wagon and team of horses and supplies and headed across Kansas and Oklahoma a year after the Land Rush in Oklahoma. The other two men quit and went home but Dad stayed and went to work for a railroad grading gang. At that time they were building the Texas and Pacific and Kansas and Pacific railroads across both states. He worked four years there.

Father went home to Manning in 1904. He bought a blacksmith shop in South Manning. He attended the World Fair in St. Louis. He ran the South Manning shop for awhile, then I understand he moved his business up on Main Street, just where I don't know. My cousins, the Fisher Brothers, own one of the old shops adjoining their garage. Later he bought the property east of the Manning Creamery. He invented a dump truck and cab for Model T Ford trucks and sold them throughout the Midwest and Canada. He held two patents in the United States and one in Canada. After World War 1 he lost his business, then moved to California in 1923. My youngest brother, Lyle, was four months, brother Howard was six, and I was twelve. My mother named both brothers after Dr. Carlyle, Howard, Carl, and Lyle.
Sincerely, Henry F. Radeleff

This picture came from one of the Radeleffs

Early view of John Altenhein's building

Lyle and Lora Radeleff - married November 16, 1945

One last item of history - sadly, when new abstracts are re-issued, a lot of the old original abstracts are replaced and thrown away.
Thank God, John Altenhein had the presence of mind to keep this old abstract when the new one was issued when he purchased the property.
So if you are purchasing a property/house and the old/original abstract exists - KEEP it and then let me scan it!!!


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