For about 10 years now, Jim Stoffers and I have been working together on area history and pictures. He would find some pictures for me to scan and I would share pictures and information I scanned that he was interested in or have a family connection to him...he also would search the Internet for obituaries and other information for my many various Manning historic projects I wor tk on.
I know Jim won't want this to be about him but I want to highlight some information about him for the amazing exhibit he has compiled to be on display at the
Five Mile House Schuetzen Verein Hall.
So before I go into the details about the exhibit here is just a little bit about Jim's military service.
Not many people will take the time for events such as the exhibit, so I like to give them recognition for their time and efforts.
Now Jim didn't ask me to present this information about him with this feature story but as with all Manning connected Veterans, I like to honor them as best I can.
This military information will be used in the Manning Veterans history book. While Jim isn't directly connected to Manning he had several Veteran uncles and an aunt who lived/worked in Manning/area...Judy (Gehlsen) Joens, for instance, and I'm including family connected Veterans in the book.
Now we'll go into the main aspect of this feature which is the exhibit Jim has put together, along with some help from his family and other friends of his.
Johann and Catharina (Groth) Jahn
They purchased 160 acres of Prairie ground eight miles northwest of Manning and five miles south of Westside in Hayes Township, Crawford County, and homesteaded that year.
Over the 150 years since then, direct descendants of the Jahn family have made their home on this Pioneer Jahn farm.
Today, Rich Hanson, originally of Manilla, who is the great-great-grandson of Johann and Catharina Jahn, now lives with his wife, Christy, and their two children on the Jahn acreage, located one-half mile east of the Five Mile House.
The public is invited to view the free, special historical exhibit at the Five Mile House on September 2 and 3, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on both days, as part of the 150th anniversary celebration of the Pioneer Jahn Farm.
The presentation will include a one-of-a-kind, self-guided display of archival farm, family, and Five Mile House photographs - all greatly enlarged for viewing. Historical documents will also be displayed, including copies of National Archive documents detailing the 1855 U.S. Act of Congress originally granting Virgin Prairie to French immigrant, Joseph Shepherd, for his service in the U.S. Navy during the Mexican War of 1846; the same farm which the Jahns later purchased.
The exhibit will include large 1906 and 1908 plat maps of the eight townships bordering the Carroll and Crawford County line - showing all the farms and listing the ownership names from that same period.
The Labor Day weekend presentation will also include an exploration of the Schleswig-Holstein diaspora to Western Iowa after the U.S. Civil War, including a large banner of a Schleswig-Holstein map displaying the towns and villages in northernmost Germany where many families, who immigrated to Western Iowa came from, along with a corresponding list of the surnames of those same local families.
Following in the German roots that many of our local
families have in this area, complementary "Koffee and Kuchen" will be served on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Danke! Hope to see you. firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, please remember to thank James Stoffers for all of the time he spent creating this exhibit and for his own personal expenses to make all of the displays.
June 2, 2019
VERY Patriotic organization! - click for video
June 5, 2016 - click for video
The Jahn/Gehlsen Sesquicentennial celebration and reunion was a huge success.
A number of old collections were brought along by various descendants. I had hoped to be able to scan more of them but that doesn't usually work out since most people won't know me and are afraid they'll never get them back.
Sadly, I know what fate those pictures face in another generation...maybe two - they'll get thrown away or divided up and taken to the four winds, never to be seen again in the area where they originated.
But one person let me work on their collection, unfortunately many of them were not identified, which is so typical with old pix.
This is a wonderful colorized farm picture and family from the collection I just scanned. I made a super high resolution scan and here is a reduced sized for web-page viewing but you should be able to make out the faces, unless you are using one of those little phones and not a larger computer screen.
At least these pictures will be preserved and archived in my database and even when the originals get thrown away or deteriorate into dust someday, the digital images will still be around.
As I took pictures of the event I would listen to the various conversations and one of them caught my attention. A younger person was talking to another young relative and asking that person if they were members of Ancestry...she said no, and the other person said you should join - it gives you a lot of information, but sometimes you go down rabbit holes.
Then I thought, while yes a lot of information can be found on those commercial sites, those sites do cover the historic work I do, which is more specifically about this area and not a world-wide approach.
The members don't realize that I'll probably have pictures and information and little trivia aspects that most people simply ignore or don't think are important.
So I give my usual plug to Manning connected people to work with me - they can still give their information to those commercial sites that make money off of their work, but that is something I don't/won't do - my work is strictly and purely historical preservation.