From one name written on the back of a picture, I was able to compile all of this information below.

People who have old Manning/family pictures and history will probably never realize the little tidbits of history hidden in their collections.
If they would share their old stuff with me so I could go through it and scan it, I almost surely would find little "hidden" facts/stories in their collection...which is based on decades of working on hundreds of old family albums and boxes of pictures/information where I found those tidbits.

Now I realize this picture and feature story will be a big YAWN to most people and they'll fail to see any historical value to it but having played Sherlock Holmes, decade after decade, to figure out identifications of people in pictures and looking for the who/what/when/where/why/how of items, I always find these situations as a fun challenge to TRY to solve.

I scanned this picture and do like I always do - look for any information written on the front or back, sometimes which has almost faded away.

When I looked at the back side I knew right away some background of why the picture was taken.
Marie McGrath was a free-lance writer/photographer for area newspapers.
I've run into multiple dozens of pictures over the years that had "return to Marie McGrath" written on back, which obviously didn't get returned to her.

Marie fortunately wrote the name of the intended person for this picture...and the last name caught my eye right away.
I first asked my brother-in-law if he knew of his mother, Helen Pratt, ever teaching an adult night school or some type of cooking/baking class. I had never heard of this and neither had he.
So as I thought more about the name Triplett, it hit me that he was a teacher whose name I worked on dozens of times while working on the Manning Schools history book and school pictures.
Next I went to my teacher database and sure enough, there is George Triplett and also his wife, Julia, listed.
Next I searched within my MS Word files and found all kinds of Spotlite articles with the Triplett name in the articles.
So here is the picture I've been writing about and some of the information I found for the Triplett name.

Photo by George Triplett - given to Marie McGrath for some type of newspaper article

Helen Pratt baking but what was theme of the newspaper feature?
The big clue that helped me put more information to the story.
Now I doubt there are very many Manningites who would have recognized the Triplett name and for darn sure would not have been able to find any information.

Here are some pictures to give context to the family involved in this story.

Helen McGrath - later Mrs. Ray Pratt
I just love scanning old colorized photos!

Marie (Moser) McGrath - free-lance writer/photographer

Raymond Pratt WWII

Children of Ray & Helen

Dan, Carolyn, Kelly Pratt

Kelly in back, Carolyn, Dan holding John

Dan told me that the McGrath home was south, across Julia Street, from the Manning Ag Center which at that time would have been the Manning Mill (originally Doud Milling Company).
Well, when I scanned this next picture, I immediately noticed the Manning Mill building in the background...which is one of the first things I do - is to look in the background of a picture.

53 Center Street - Helen (McGrath) Pratt, Bob McGrath, Ray Pratt
This was later the home of the Dorothy Schultz family.

Here are some excerpts from the Spotlite which was published in the Manning Monitor.
It doesn't give any clues for Helen Pratt's baking picture but provides some insight into the Triplett family.

April 28, 1949 Manning Monitor
Faculty For Manning Is Completed For Next Year

George Triplett, Red Oak, who has a major in sciences from Iowa State Teachers college. He will teach high school history and sciences.

September 15, 1949 MHS Spotlite

We welcome another new member of this year's teaching staff, George Triplett, our science teacher. He is rather tall, has brown hair and blue eyes.

His hometown is Red Oak, Iowa. He graduated from Iowa State Teachers' College at Cedar Falls. He was a member of the Jeffersonian club, the Humanist club, and the Mathematics club while attending college.

October 27, 1949 MHS Spotlite
Physics class, taught by Mr. George Triplett, has studied the measurement of pressure in liquids and pressure in the air.

November 23, 1950
Mr. George Triplett: "I wish you wouldn't whistle while you work.""
Leroy Dammann: "It's all right, Mr. Triplett, I'm not working".

December 14, 1950
With Christmas just around the corner, appropriate decorations for the room are now on their way to completion. Names have been drawn and plans for a Christmas party are underway. Julia Triplett, teacher.

September 28, 1950 Spotlight
Mr. Triplett Attends School of Instruction

There was a meeting at Atlantic on Thursday, September 21, of officers of the county councils for the southwest district of Iowa. George Triplett, local science Instructor and vice-president of the Carroll County council, attended the all-day session. Purpose of the meeting was to discuss plans for this year's county council work.
Some of the topics discussed were: how the National Education association and Iowa State Educational association help the teachers, plans for discussing proposed school legislation with candidates for the Iowa legislature, plans for county association meetings.
The meeting lasted from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a luncheon at noon.

April 6, 1950 Spotlite

Say "hello" to our science and mathematics teacher, George Triplett. He was graduated from high school at Henderson, Iowa. He has attended Iowa State College, Red Oak Junior College and Iowa State Teachers college where he majored in science and mathematics and was also graduated.
Mr. Triplett's favorite recreational activities include hunting, reading and traveling. He was in the army in 1945 and 1946 during which time he traveled to the Philippine Islands and Japan. In these far away places, he was impressed by the homes, war devastation, and the water buffalo in the rice fields.
Mr. Triplett teaches general science, biology, physics and freshman general mathematics. His students are especially impressed by his scientific attitude and are grateful to him for his willingness to help at all times. His friendly personality is making his classes pleasant to all his students, who sincerely hope he will return next year.

January 12, 1950

RAH! RAH! RAH! was the echo heard from the assembly Friday afternoon just before the game with Bayard Friday night The students were entertained by a short skit given by Verna Swank, Myra Schroeder, and Joan Rowedder, pep talks were given by Deanes Rowedder and Mr. George Triplett, the cheerleaders lead the group in yelling and there was plenty of that Manning High School spirit present.

April 19, 1951
Miss Phyllis Porter and George Triplett are sponsors of the junior class.

November 6, 1952

By Mary Lou Foley
In case anyone wants to know where all the noise was coming from the night of October 27, it was coming from the high school where the seniors were really going to town.
The class sponsors and their wives, Mr. and Mrs. George Triplett and Mr. and Mrs. Miles, were also present.
The evening of entertainment with Barbara Knaack and Mary Lou Foley in charge, started out with a contest in which two groups competed against each other in putting proverbs together. The losing group had to pay the consequences naturally, so they acted out "Old Mother Hubbard" which they interpreted very well.
Passing an orange under the chin to each other proved to be a lot of fun. Claus Bunz wanted to do it again but there just wasn't enough time.
Dancing started off with a bang as Donna Joens and Merlin Ramsey took top honors in the potato dance. All came to the conclusion that they had practice in doing it. Claus Bunz took charge of the music, furnished by records for the rest of the evening which consisted by a flash-light dance, tag dance, and a couple of multipliers.
At the close of the evening lunch was served by Cleone Schroeder, Shirley Vinke and Richard Rix. Richard also took various informal pictures during the evening.

January 31, 1952

"You and Your Community" was the final unit studied last semester in health. In this unit the class learned about the many ways the community helps to keep everyone healthy by ensuring safe water and milk, sanitary restaurants, safe sewage disposal and so on. In connection with these studies, the class made a trip to the Manning Creamery to see how milk was processed and made safe to drink.
The class is beginning the study of science this semester with a unit on "How Living Things Behave." Later units will be on sound, electricity, light, fire, the universe and conservation.
Spain and Portugal are the two countries being investigated in social studies now. By Julia Triplett, teacher.

Julia Triplett, 6th grade

From the Karen Rix collection.

One last picture from the Pratt collection that we are trying to identify everyone.

??, ??, ??, Russell Stribe, Dan Pratt
Presbyterian Sunday School program

So if anyone can help with the mystery about Helen Pratt's baking picture, or the Sunday School picture, please let me know.

After finishing this feature I decided to search the Internet and I got lucky and found George's obituary and burial location.

George Howard Triplett

George H. Triplett died October 2, 2010, after a lengthy illness, surrounded by family.

George was born November 2, 1924 in Henderson, Iowa, to John and Rosa (Harding) Triplett.

He spent his career teaching biology and math to high school and middle school students. He and his wife taught at Manning, Iowa, Schools from 1949 through 1952, where they were very active in school activities.

He taught at John Burroughs School, EIU Lab School, and Uni High in Urbana, Illinois. He earned a PhD in science education from the University of Illinois.

After retirement, George was an avid volunteer naturalist for Rockwoods Reservation.

George and his wife Julia were founding members of Eliot Unitarian Chapel in Kirkwood, Missouri.

Family members include his wife of 60 years, Julia (Hauter), son James Triplett (Pam), daughter Pam Triplett (Ken Denson); grandchildren Drake Triplett, Leah MacMillan, Eric Denson; sisters Marilyn Viner, Doris Reid; brother Noris (deceased); nieces Sonja and Lisa Hauter; nephew Steve Hauter; and many loving family members.

Services: October 15, 3:00, Eliot Unitarian Chapel, Kirkwood, Missouri.

George was a WWII Veteran, and will be interred at the National Cemetery at Jefferson Barracks, Lemay, Missouri, in a private ceremony on a later date. Donations in lieu of flowers: American Cancer Society, St. Louis Symphony.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri - Tuesday, October 5, 2010

According to an obituary of one of George's sisters, Julia Triplett was living in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2014. I'm currently scanning my brother-in-law's family pix and this one is very historically interesting and important for our town's business history.
I'm SO GLAD that the 1981 Manning Centennial History book had a business section and that the book was published by so many of the old timers who lived/knew the history of early Manning.
Click on the "Hardware" link on the left.

I knew the Coast to Coast Store was one building at one time and also figured it probably was at another location previously and fortunately the 1981 article helped me confirm the 1st location that this picture was taken.

Back around 2000, I started a web page with names of businesses in the various buildings along Main Street, and fortunately I had Coast to Coast listed under 313 Main Street.
Now this web page is by no means the complete list starting with 1881, and also doesn't have all of the more recent time businesses. I'm always trying to add more names when I find them, and hope other people will help me with the businesses they remember to keep updating this web page history.

Picture taken 1940 at 318 Main Street

Raymond Pratt on left - his father, Orin Pratt, on right.
Study this picture for a while and think about why we no longer have these types of businesses in small communities, and maybe wonder if some of the inevitable changes have really served us well...and do we want to save the few small businesses we have left before they also disappear?

1981 Manning Centennial book

Coast to Coast Stores, as a franchised trade name, was only eight years old when E.A. Peterson opened the original Coast to Coast Store in Manning. He started March 1, 1936, in a building west of its present location.
Coast to Coast was a home and auto store in those days, and the 2000 square foot facility in Manning was typical of small Iowa towns during that period.
After operating the store one and a half years, Peterson sold it to Floyd Muhlenbruck in November 1938. He also ran the store about one and a half years, selling it to Orin E. Pratt and his son Ray in February 1940.
The Pratt and Son partnership continued for 20 years. In August 1946, the Pratts took in a third partner, Ed Callen, who continued with them until July 1952. In January 1960, Orin E. Pratt sold his half interest to Ed Dobler. Ray and Ed continued their partnership until August 1965, when Ray sold his half to Ed, ending 25 years of Pratt participation in the Coast to Coast Store.
Dobler continued as sole proprietor until he sold to Marlin Kahl in March 1967. The store was sold to Richard Rafferty in August 1969, and present owner Gary Smith purchased the store in July 1972.
In the summer of 1948, the store had been moved across the street to 318 Main Street. This provided 2500 square feet of selling space. In 1975, it was remodeled and expanded to include 316 Main, making it a 5000 square foot store.
Note: The 1st location was 313 Main Street
Final location: 316 & 318 Main Street

Life's lessons
I know I have a strange way of looking at history but it can teach us a lot of practical things, and having listened to hundreds of old timers over the decades - yes LISTEN, which a lot of people today haven't figured out that many times you will learn a lot if you just listen to older folks.
Anyway, when I scanned this picture, it brought back a memory I have that Clifford "Bud" Manning Johnson told me one time while I was "listening" to his stories about Manning's past.
He told me how beautiful the streets of Manning were during the 1940s and early 1950s with all of the Paper White Birch Trees that lined the parking along the streets.
Then along came the Birch Borer and wiped them out.
Well, they liked uniformity so they replaced the birch with American Elm trees in the parking.
Guess what, along came the Dutch Elm Disease that was introduced from Europe, so the Elms were wiped out.
Finally they must have figured out that Mother Nature doesn't like uniformity and mono-type species of they started planting all kinds of species of trees after that.
Now we are fighting the Asian Ash Tree borer which sadly will probably take out most of our ash trees we have now.

Of course, we are fighting against Mother Nature by planting trees here in much of Iowa, which was a great grass, treeless Prairie for thousands of years.

The first thing I look at when I see/scan a picture is what is in the background and I SAW those wonderful huge Paper White Birch trees in this picture.

921 South Main Street

Dan Pratt - circa 1949-50

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