Five: Village Hit by Windstorm - Manchester Community Fair

(This chapter division has been created for online presentation purposes and does not appear in the original.)

Village Hit by Windstorm

Thursday, June 12, 1902, is a day many in the village still remember. It was the hardest windstorm recorded in the town but there was no loss of life. At 5 p.m. the storm broke with raging wind and hail. Trees were uprooted. Small houses overturned and roofs were torn from buildings. Water stood an inch deep at Freeman House.

Most of the teams had been hurried away to the barns for safety but there were three carriages left. On Furnace Street, Will Haschle's barn was tipped over on his cow but men hurried to the scene and extricated the cow without serious mishap.

The private bridge on the Rehfuss farm was carried away, and on in Bridgewater the wind continued to destroy property but the path of the storm was not more than a block wide.

February 28, 1908. The transfer of the electric light plant to Lonier and Hoffer was made and the lights of the commercial circuit turned on Saturday. President Freeman gave the transaction his personal attention ... The well of Jack Maloney went dry and so did the one of his neighbor when the dam went out. They did the same several years before when a dam went out. It was quite evident that the water supply was obtained from the river.

March 12, 1908. Part of the dam at Schmid's factory site was swept away during the high water. Schmid borrowed a steam engine and began sawing logs in his yard. The thunder storm Thursday was severe and lightning set fire to the Dresselhouse mill at River Raisin, near Bridgewater. The saw mill, feed mill and cider mill burned to the ground.

Council Notes

May 13, 1908. Council approved the building of a dam and flume for the village electric light station. The village was instructed to purchase 50 electric light poles and wire.

August 15, 1908. Council approved selling to Lonier and Hoffer gravel from the village pit for use in the construction of their dam on Exchange Place location. They charged 10¢ a load for gravel.

October 21, 1908. Council voted to have the electric light plant in operation on an all night basis beginning Nov. 1, 1908. At the same time council approved having all porch lights free with the installation costs paid by the consumer. John H. Mahoney was appointed at a dollar a day to help L. R. Hatch at the electric light plant, who was paid $75 a month.

April 6, 1910. Mr. Johnson was permitted to use the old watering trough on Exchange Place for a flower bed.

April 20, 1910. The wages of day laborers was raised from $1.50 to $1.75 a day.

November 2, 1910. Discussed the opening of the alley at the Handle factory.

November 16, 1910. Council approved the sale of the Mill Building at the Electric Light plant to Adam J. Wurster for $136. It was to be removed by April 1, 1911. It was moved to the curve on Riverside Drive where the Paul Ernst home stands. At one time it was owned by G. H. Breitenwischer as a barn for his horse.

The water tower in 1913 on Ann Arbor hill. Note plank sidewalks.

February 21, 1912. Council discussed the possibility of bonding the village for a water works system.

March 14, 1912. Village election results were tabulated by the council on the proposition of bonding the village for $27,000 to be used for the constructing and installing of water works. The vote was 229 for the bond issue and 88 against it.

April 17, 1912. B. A. Tracy, chairman of the stand pipe committee reported that Adam Wurster would sell a parcel of land on Ann Arbor Hill (v shape) with 2 rods fronting on Ann Arbor Street and running back about 18 rods for $500. Council gave a contract to George Wurster to drill the well for the village water supply at the Electric Light Plant at $3.00 a foot.

June 19, 1912. Council deemed it unlawful to park a vehicle on Exchange Place between Water Street and Clinton Street for longer than a 10-minute period.

July 6, 1912. Council approved paying $355 for a cover for the stand pipe.

October 18, 1912. Council approved purchasing an engine for $1,800 for the water works.

March 13, 1913. The voters turned down the proposal of John B. Cole and William E. Stipe for a gas franchise for the village.

Council Proceedings

May 15, 1918. Council appropriated $50 for the building of a band stand and flag staff. It was to be located between the mill and the bank. Later they put the stand on wheels so it could be moved to other locations.

April 2, 1919. A group of citizens complained because a neighbor was raising onions for seed. They objected to the offensive odor. Council referred the incident to the Health department.

May 21, 1919. $520 was approved for oiling the streets.

August 5, 1919. Village appropriated $100 for a Welcome Day for the soldiers.

October 1, 1919. The street commissioner was asked to remove all useless hitching posts.

December 15, 1919. Voters approved building a transmission line for electricity between Manchester and Clinton.

April 7, 1920. Charles Conroy and F. D. Kern were authorized to build the electric transmission line to Clinton.

November 4, 1920. New York Central Railroad trains were using: 6 passenger trains using 2,000 gallons each daily, and 5 freight trains using 3,000 gallons each per day.

December, 1923. Council ordered that all porch lights were to be out by 1 a.m. with a penalty of 50¢ for violators. In that year the village clerk, LeRoy Marx was ordered to write a letter to a Belle Isle Creamery Co. to have their truck driver slow down when traveling through Main Street, especially across the bridge. Children swinging from trees in the public park were deemed a nuisance and throwing snowballs from business places was subject to prosecution....

LeRoy Marx - 41 Years Manchester Clerk

In March, 1963, LeRoy A. Marx pushed back his pen and traded it off for a fish pole. At 67 years, Mr. Marx had spent 41 years keeping the records of the village. It was hard for people to comprehend that he wasn't going to run for office. In December, 1961, Mr. Marx had retired as assistant cashier of the Union Savings Bank after 33 years.

When he became clerk in 1922, the salary was $75 a year. When he retired it was $750.

Checking the old council notes he noticed that, "The village council in 1922 ordered that no porch lights should be more than 40 watts and should not burn after daylight. That was because the village owned the electric plant and porch lights were not on meters. Some of the property owners were ordered to leave the porch lights on at night to light the streets because there were no street lights.

"Then, in 1923, the council ordered all porch lights be turned off by 1 a.m. Violators found a fine of 50 cents added to their light bills."

In 1925, the village held a special election to decide whether to sell the electric plant to Consumers Power Co. for $15,000. The proposal passed by a vote of 273 to 103.

In 1927, the village records showed, Main Street was paved and in 1928 council approved building of the Main Street bridge.

The rapid increase of automobiles also increased traffic problems; so in 1931 the council voted to have tickets printed to simplify matters in making arrests for traffic violations. That same year, Carr Park was graded and 500 pine and spruce seedlings were planted.

"In 1931," Mr. Marx said, "the council voted to pay common laborers 25 cents an hour and the street commissioner got 30 cents an hour. And we hired a man to read the water meters and paint fire hydrants for $50 a year.

"By 1934, with the depression in full effect, the salary of the meter reader had dropped to $40 a year. Laborers pay had been dropped to 20 cents an hour. The street commissioner got a raise-to 70 cents an hour-but he also had to use his own truck. The village marshal was paid $40 a year.

Other entries in the village records:

Union Hall stood on Main Street in 1[8]67 and until it was replaced by the Union Savings Bank Building.

In 1935, the village sold water rights at two sites to the Ford Motor Co. for $12,500 for five years. The council voted to pay the village president $150 for promoting the sale.

December, 1936. Pay for laborers was raised to 35 cents an hour.

April, 1937. $150 was appropriated to repair the Lynch home which had been purchased by the Library Association for a public library.

March, 1938. A man was appointed as street commissioner, meter reader, "water pumper and supervisor of all other work" at a salary of $100 per month.

November, 1939. The council ordered that the village pay a bounty of five cents for every rat caught in the village limits.

December, 1939. The village purchased colored lights for the municipal Christmas tree.

As a young man, Mr. Marx was a pitcher in the old Southern Michigan Baseball league at the time Manchester won a pennant.

Herman Kuebler Recalls Changes in Plumbing, Heating Fields

Herman Kuebler retired in the summer of 1962 after 50 years in business. The name of Kuebler's Plumbing and Heating went with him. Manchester residents had been going to Kuebler's for about 70 years for plumbing and heating needs.

Herman's father, Louis A. Kuebler, started his business in 1895, and was known to everyone as "Tinner" Kuebler. The elder Kuebler learned his business in Germany and was joined by his son in 1910.

It is hard to imagine milk pails and milk pans being made by hand-but they were. This was an art the Kueblers brought from Germany. Metal roofing was important in the early days and the Kueblers put metal roofs on many business places here. There was a demand for flat roofs on porches. Making stove pipes was important for it wasn't until about 1908 that furnaces started to be at all popular.

In about 1912, the village put in city water and the demands for knowledge to cope with this new type of enterprise caused Mr. Keubler's father to hire a plumber from Detroit to help out.

From the time of soldering a new copper bottom on a tea kettle and making stove pipes to installing the plumbing in a new home, or hooking up gas furnaces and air conditioners, Mr. Kuebler encountered many changes. In 1928 all of the pipe railing for the present Main St. bridge was built by Kuebler.

In the early days they traveled by horse and wagon out in the country and prepared to stay days until the job would be finished. Farmers provided room and board. It was part of the bargain. There were no 8-hour days.

Many times they shopped in town for the farmer and took him the supplies "as long as we were making the trip anyway."

Mr. Kuebler always found time to help in community projects. He was a charter member of the Exchange Club and Optimist Club, served six years on the school board, 16 years on Emanuel Church Council and eight years on the village council. He and his wife live on E. Duncan Street.

Mrs. Ina Haeussler - Rural Teacher

Mrs. Ina Haeussler resigned after a 28-year teaching career. She taught school for six years before her marriage and returned to the profession in
1944. She has held offices in the local, district and regional Michigan Education Association and has just finished three years as local treasurer of the MEA.

She was employed at the Short School east of the village when it was consolidated with the Manchester system and she was transferred to teach the fourth grade.

When enrollment reached a new high and two rural schools were put into use again she returned to the third grade in one of these.

It was no hardship for Mrs. Haeussler to teach in the country school-even though she had only one grade the second time around. She liked the variation of different classes. School enrollments ranged from 15 to 42 and she doesn't remember when she didn't have at least one child in each grade, kindergarten through eighth.

There was more to being a country school teacher than met the eye. The teacher tried to be at school at 7:30 a.m. and the children came at 9 a.m. In the winter there were paths to be shoveled, not only to the road, but also to a couple of "little buildings" not too far away. Another path led to the pump. A pail of water had to be brought in. Everyone used the dipper.

Often on an icy cold Sunday, she and her husband, Erwin, would drive to school and start the fire so it wouldn't be so chilly Monday morning.

With school out for the children at 4 p.m. the teacher would find herself sweeping and cleaning to prepare for another day.

There was a closeness and friendliness in the country school that is lacking in the larger systems. Older children accept the responsibility of caring for the little ones. At recess they taught youngsters to play games and how to get along with one another and helped them in and out of their heavy wraps.

"Children no longer come to school barefooted," she recalled. "One early spring a family of children came barefooted. About noon it started to snow and continued all afternoon. They were worried. I suggested that the bigger boys help me by chopping kindling after school and the younger ones help put the room in order so I could leave a little early and I would take them home. They were so happy!"

In those days you didn't miss school because of the weather-at least the teacher didn't. But if there was sickness or some major reason for not having school the teacher and children made it up at the end of the year.

The highlight of the year was the Christmas program. The children were given parts to learn around Thanksgiving. Parents helped and loaned furniture and other props. The night of nights came and the little country school would bulge at the seams with relatives, friends and folks in the area, with or without children.

The teacher provided a gift for each child. It was expected and she did it gladly.

With the close of school was another treat. Sometimes Mrs. Haeussler chartered a bus for a field trip, maybe to Greenfield Village or the zoo. This was her party. Occasionally parents offered to drive and take a load of youngsters.

She said she tried to plan something to give the rural children an opportunity to know some of the things that their city cousins took for granted.

Children are far more advanced today for their age than they were when she launched on a teaching career, said Mrs. Haeussler. But in the rush and hurry of today, she believes some important things are lost along the way.

With a teacher so devoted, it was understandable that when one of her former students, not yet in high school, on hearing that Mrs. Haeussler was leaving, rushed up and grasped her hand, "You aren't leaving? You just can't."

Miss Nellie Ackerson

In 1949 the new Manchester elementary school building was named for Miss Nellie Ackerson who retired in 1959, after teaching for 51 years. She had taught four years in rural schools, one at the Schlaffer School and three years at Sharon Hollow School before joining the Manchester school system in 1912.

She always taught the third and fourth grades and was principal of the elementary school for many years.

She was graduated from Manchester High and Ypsilanti Normal College where she earned a bachelor of science degree. Miss Acketson will always be remembered for her art work and admits that she was torn between a love of art and music, and an admiration for the teaching profession. There were always beautiful chalk drawings for the children to look at on the blackboard of her schoolroom.

Miss Ackerson received another distinction when she was made an honorary member of the Manchester Township Library Board, the second person in the 128-year history of the library, the first being Mrs. Frank Merithew, who received the honor in 1945.

Rev. Alvin Brazee

Probably one of the best known persons in the Iron Creek area is the Rev. Alvin Brazee, who served the Iron Creek church close to 35 years. Now retired, he and his wife spend winters in Florida. He has always had a great appreciation for the old McGuffey Reader and brought many a Sunday School lesson to the children.

"There were no bright pictures in the books. They were not especially attractive but they were printed to teach the student and not entertain him," Rev. Brazee said.

He taught for many years in the Tecumseh Junior High School. During his lifetime he collected many old and rare books, but he prizes most the McGuffey readers used by his own parents during the Civil War days.

Carl F. Wuerthner

The Centennial Parade Marshal in 1967 was Carl F. Wuerthner. The 93-year-old former village president has a feeling for this community. One of the things he enjoyed most was getting 1,045 signatures on a petition for a mail box on Main Street, while on crutches.

He has served as the Maccabee Supreme Lt. Commander in the United States and Canada. Wuerthner is the son of the late John and Caroline Wuerthner. He attended Manchester High School and Brown Business College in Adrian; then he worked for his father in the clothing store here.

He and a brother Gustof bought an interest in the business in 1909 and it became known as John Wuerthner and Sons. They added a wholesale business in 1924 which Carl operated until 1952, when he sold to a partner Richard Alden. Walter Schaible bought the store in 1941.

Wuerthner remembers that the first bicycle was owned by E. A. Carr. He became interested in local politics in 1907, when he helped organize the Young Men's party. He organized the Progressive Party in 1919 and has been a guiding influence ever since. In 1944, he was elected Village President, serving three terms. He is the only Village President to be elected to an office of the Muncipal League of Michigan, having served as Vice President.

He was active in the Chamber of Commerce and in two summers was instrumental in collecting $2,712 from merchants here to show movies on Main Street on Wednesday nights to bring people into town from the surrounding area.

Wuerthner was one of the committee from the village named to raise $15,000 to bring the Double A Products Co. to Manchester in 1939. This is Manchester's largest factory. He was secretary of the building committee and has watched the growth of the plant with satisfaction.

Wuerthner made his first trip to Europe in 1949 on a conducted tour and left the group to spend 34 days with relatives. Surprised as to their lack of good clothing, he made a mental note to try to help them when he returned home. He made it a community project and asked people to bring usable clothing to his home. The first shipment was 50 parcels-894 pounds; the next shipment was 192 packages.

When the Village Council passed a resolution to unanimously instruct the village attorney to find the heirs of Carr Park and return the park to them, it was Wuerthner who stopped the move. Every child who plays in Carr Park can thank Mr. Wuerthner for his farsightedness.

He is active in the Washtenaw County Historical Society. At 83, he was named vice president of the Union Savings Bank. He is active in the Emanuel United Church of Christ and a member of its Senior Citizens.

On June 28, 1966, while in Lansing he was handed a copy of the Michigan House of Representatives Resolution 452. This commends him for his many active years of participation in civic, religious, commercial and political activities in the community and in the state. The resolution states in part: "That the highest praise and commendation be extended to him for his lifetime of active participation and service to the community, church and state and that he be held out as a sterling example of citizen responsibility and participation to be followed by all citizens....

Riding in the centennial parade was nothing new to Mr. Wuerthner. He rode in one in South Africa in 1956 and still wears the hat and shirt with its centennial motif that he wore then.

L. P. Wurster - Park Named for Him

Lawrence P. (Dutch) Wurster was feted in March, 1960, for his years of service to the community. At that time he received a life membership in the Optimist Club and was named member-emeritus of the board of education. Yes, and he was given a pass to all high school athletic contests.

Councilman John Pippenger read the council proceedings of several years ago, in which the park across from the churches on W. Main Street was officially named "Wurster Park."

Dan Boutell, vice president of the Union Savings Bank, recalled Wurster's many years as clerk at the Peoples bank.

Wurster managed the local baseball team which won five area championships in the 1920s. He was instrumental in developing the current high school athletic field from a swamp when many said it could never be done. He was also very active in promoting the improvement of the big Carr Park.

William A. Widmayer

If Bill Widmayer were alive today and could look at this History of Manchester and the picture of the wooden Main Street bridge, he'd say, "Yes, I remember."

He had a keen mind and an excellent memory. On his 90th birthday, in November 1962, he recalled "Good Old Days."

"My, Oh my! There are many changes," he said. "There was an old wooden bridge across the Raisin River on Main Street and the wooden sidewalks.

The sound of people's feet clattering across that old bridge-nothing like it today. Along the hitching posts, where the horses would stand, the merchants spread cobble stones to keep the horses out of the mud and keep them from digging up the roadway with their hoofs. In the summer, the stones helped keep down the dust. Believe me, it used to get mighty dusty on Main Street with a good breeze a-blowing."

"There was a fellow, Joe Howard, who operated a sprinkling wagon. He'd go down back of the old Kimble building and fill up the tank and sprinkle the main streets. I remember that the storekeepers used to chip in 25¢ or 50¢ a week to have the area in front of their stores sprinkled.

"I remember when Fred Steinkohi (druggist) bought the first car. Maybe you don't think that created some interest. You know its a funny thing, but I never owned a car. Never had any desire to. I didn't even learn to drive. I did have a horse and buggy," Mr. Widmayer said.

He worked for his brother, Fred in the hardware store. He did the delivering for the store.

"Stoves were among the big items to be delivered. Lawn mowers became popular about 1890 and a little later. We used to marvel at them and it took about 10 years for the public to really become interested enough to buy them in quantity. The dry good stores sold mosquito netting for windows," Mr. Widmayer said. His nephew, Herbert Widmayer, operates the hardware store on West Main.

He remembered when the trains chugged in and out of town every hour and when the apple and tomato canning factory was in operation. There was no such thing as putting up apple sauce in small cans, always in gallon jars for restaurants and hotels.

In this year of 1967 there is only one man living here who worked in a store on Main street when Will Widmayer came from the farm home in Sharon to work for his brother in the hardware store. That man is Carl Wuerthner.

Frank Higgins and Jake Weinlander shipped celery grown in the muck land west of the village.

James Hendershot - Pioneer

James Hendershot, 83 years died February 20, 1895. He was born in Jerseytown, Pennsylvania and grew up in Groveland, New York where he learned the blacksmith's trade. He decided to join the throng of fortune seekers and first stopped at Tecumseh and later decided on Manchester.

There were but few dwellings here at the time, a new mill just built where the Holt mill stands and a couple of stores and a shop or two comprised the settlement.

Farmers were settling in the area and he decided to seek his fortune with the rest. A few years later he was married to Catherine Dudley, whose parents lived on the farm later owned by B. G. English.

He was a hard working man, good citizen and served as one of the trustees of the village in the early days.

Homer Palmer - Spanish American War

Homer Palmer, 22 years, died in the regimental hospital, Chickamauga Park, Georgia August 15, 1898, after a brief illness of typhoid fever. He was at Camp Thomas serving with Company C in the Spanish American War. This was the first death in the company. Flags were at half mast and the news cast a deep gloom on the community. His father, Sam Palmer, arrived at the camp the day before he died. Funeral services were at Emanuel church here.

Mrs. Elizabeth Goodyear

Mrs. Elizabeth Magoon Goodyear, 80 years, died at the home of her nephew, Perry Winslow, January 6, 1906. She was born in Cornelius, New York, and at an early age came to Freedom Township, where she taught school. She married Henry Goodyear and started housekeeping on a farm near her former home.

At the close of the Civil War her husband was one of the largest land owners in Washtenaw County. He was public spirited and ambitious, and bought property in Manchester. In 1867 he erected the Goodyear Hall block. He also built a large brick hotel which took his name but was later called the Freeman House.

Later they moved to Nebraska and engaged extensively in stock raising. Their only child, a daughter, went to Nebraska with them. She married a ranchman and died a few years later.

After the death of her husband, Mrs. Goodyear returned to Michigan and for several years kept house for her nephew. Burial was in Oak Grove, Manchester.

Bennett C. Root

Bennett C. Root loved Manchester, and his love for the town in which he spent nearly all his life was felt even after his death, August 2, 1963. He provided for the village, students, churches and his former fellow employees.

Mr. Root, who was chairman of the board of the Union Savings Bank at the time of his death, left $5,000 to make improvements at Carr Park, the village park which has facilities for family outings and is the site of Little League baseball games.

He left another $5,000 to the local Methodist Church, where he was a board member for many years and church treasurer for 14 years. He left another $2,000 to the Sharon Evangelical United Brethern Church. There were scholarships to Manchester High School from which he graduated in 1904, and there was money for a Bank Pension Fund. He became cashier of the Union Savings Bank in 1925, president in 1949, and chairman of the board of directors in 1950. He also served as village president, Manchester Township Clerk and a member of the Manchester School Board.

They Buried Bill, and a Bit of Main Street

by Marie Schneider (reprinted from the Jackson Citizen Patriot)

February 28, 1964

They buried Bill Blumenauer last week. And this village isn't quite the same.

It has lost someone who was as much a part of everyday Main Street as the Raisin River bridge, the Union Bank and the grist mill.

Bill was not thought of as prominent. He never held a village office. He was no politician, no civic leader. But he was a friend to everyone and he greeted one and all with a cheery, "Hi, shotsie!" (Schatz is the German word for sweetheart).

He was nearly totally blind.

Main Street was Bill's front yard. Until recently he lived in a room above one of the stores -a place he seldom stayed except to sleep. This was because he liked to be with people.

His handicap didn't seem to affect his good nature and many residents here believed him to be the happiest person in the village.

Bill's blindness was the result of catching measles when he was an infant. He used to say that he never remembered seeing a color. Everything was a shade of gray, varying only in intensity. He used to wonder what grass would look like if anyone could see the color green. The 77-year-old Bill said that in the last few years he could barely make out the outlines of objects.

One thing was certain ... Bill wanted no part of charity. For years he shoveled coal until he could do the heavy work no longer.

He supplemented his small Social Security income by doing errands. He did the banking for many of the business places, took mail to and from the Post Office and did various kinds of work.

In the winter he shoveled snow in front of the stores, and if you had hired Bill to sweep the walks, you knew that they'd be taken care of on Sunday just as well as Monday. His dependability was one of his greatest assets.

He had an excellent memory. While others needed to make out a list of things to shop for, Bill didn't. It wouldn't have helped any, because he couldn't see. He used a white cane in crossing streets.

Bill's feelings were hurt if anyone failed to pass the time of day with him. He enjoyed visiting with children and teenagers and knew a few German songs he liked to sing.

Although Bill carried mail for people along the street, he received very little himself. There probably were few people in the Bethel United Church, of which he was a member, who listened to or read the church report as intently as Bill listened when his was read to him, sometimes asking that it be repeated in places where he was trying hard to memorize what was said. Sometimes he'd bring in a newspaper and ask to have a few of the headlines read to him as he'd try to piece together what other people were talking about.

"Shucks, shotsie, I'd hate to ask what they were talking about, but I'd like to know more and maybe someone could read it to me, if we could find the right article," he'd chuckle.

Many people thought Bill was just a happy-golucky individual without a care in the world. But he once remarked that everybody had troubles enough of their own without adding his. He demanded little and was thankful for everything he had.

"I have one good hot dinner every day, a place to sleep and a lot of friends," he used to say. "I don't know that I have a single enemy. What more could anyone ask for?"

The mention of Bill Blumenauer's name still brings smiles to people's faces.

'Grandma Bruns'

A woman born before the Civil War deserves a niche in Manchester's history. Mrs. Caroline Bruns came to the United States from Schalla, Germany. She was no prominent figure, no social belle. She married Lewis Bruns and had two sons. Her husband died in 1907 and, in 1920, she came to Manchester to live.

During her lifetime, which spanned more than a century (101 years), she knew nothing of the luxuries of life. She lived alone without "modern" conveniences and pumped water from a well, planted her garden and kept house well.

But she was "Grandma Bruns" to a community. Friends, neighbors and the children who skipped past enroute to school knew her for her unfailing warmth, good humor and for her music. She could be heard for hours of the day and evening playing her organ and singing German hymns. But they never heard her complain.

After she fell while adjusting a curtain in 1957 she was taken to a Nursing Home. Children of Emanuel Sunday School with teacher, Miss Amanda Leeman, came each year to help her celebrate her birthday with cake. This custom they started on her 90th birthday.

William M. Brown

Way back in 1843 when Michigan was young as a state and Manchester was just large enough to be named, there came from the east a strong, robust man, William M. Brown.

He was just the type expected to pioneer the country. He at once entered business as the landlord of the only "tavern in town." Many a hungry and tired traveler stopped off for food for himself and his beast.

After this beginning he went to milling and it's said that thousands of bushels of wheat was ground into flour and hauled to Monroe or Chelsea for shipment east. This was before the time of the railroad.

Yes, Brown was a businessman. He was associated with Elijah G. Carr and the late Frank Freeman in a general store and it should not be forgotten that he was one of the first trustees of the village after its incorporation in 1867, and was reelected in 1868. He was elected president of the village in 1870 and again in 1873. In 1878 he left Manchester to live in Muskegon where he died November 12, 1894, at 82 years. He was brought back to Manchester for burial.

William Chase

William Chase was born in New York state July 16, 1831, and died November 13, 1918. He came to Michigan with his parents, who first lived on the F. D. Merithew farm, long known as the Howe farm. He went to California in search of gold in 1852 and served as a policeman in San Francisco and mining camps. On his return, the ship was wrecked off Hatteras and he lost some of the gold saved in California but always said "he was thankful he saved his boots and other things."

He married Hannah Conklin. They had five children, one of which was Frances W. wife of Ed E. Root of Manchester. Mr. Chase was a farmer by occupation.

Newman Granger - Pioneer Dies

The Johann Spathelf log cabin in Freedom Township.

One of the pioneers of Manchester and for many years one of its most prominent businessmen, Newman Granger, died, July 17, 1888, aged 73 years. He is buried in Oak Grove.

He was born in Lowville, New York and because his father was a brewer, he was said to often remark that he was "born and brought up in a brewery." The Grangers moved to Michigan in 1838 and first stopped with Amos Bullard in Sharon.

The site of the old brewery opposite the Universalist Church was selected for the site of the brewery where father and son brewed ale for several years. Thomas Morgan was taken in as a partner. Business was good and on the death of his parents, Newman and his sister, Mrs. A. Strickland, acquired the property. The old and well known firm of Granger & Morgan was dissolved and Granger & Strickland assumed control.

He gave both the Methodist and the Universalist Churches the land for their edifices—along with many gifts of hard cash.

He was a born leader and was a promoter for the Jackson and Hillsdale branches of the L.S. & M.S. Railroads. Newman was also township supervisor for many years. He never married.

Old maps of the village showing how the village was platted, carry the inscription—"Granger-Morgan Addition."

Benjamin G. English

Benjamin G. English died February 21, 1905, at 73 years. He was one of the pioneers of Manchester and a prominent and wealthy farmer. He lived on his farm five miles southwest of the village until moving to the village a few years before his death.

History says he was well posted on affairs of the world, was a great reader, and possessed a remarkable memory as to dates and events. He was in favor of schools and education and contributed liberally to Hillsdale College. He was long-time president of the Farmers' Club and was interested in its work. Politically he had been an ardent democrat until Bryan's campaign. He was Justice of the Peace for many years and by his wise counsel settled many differences between neighbors. When the Union Savings Bank was organized he was made president and held the office until his death.

E. M. Smith

This community's oldest lifelong citizen, Ernest M. Smith, 94, was buried Sunday, September 25, 1965, at the Jenter Funeral Home and burial was in Oak Grove. He was born August 3, 1871, in Sharon Township, the son of Francis and Elizabeth Raymond Smith. He married Carrie Mount on October 9, 1890. She died in May, 1941.

Mr. Smith had served for 30 years as director of the Sharon Hill School Board and for many years as board treasurer. He also served as highway commissioner and justice of the peace for Sharon township.

He was a member of the Manchester Methodist Church and of the Farm Bureau. He has two sons, Mahlon of Sharon township and Francis of Detroit and four grandchildren.

Franklin M. Reck

This community lost one of its most noted personalities, Thursday, October 14, 1965, when author Franklin M. Reck, 68, died at his typewriter in his home here. This was on the eve of the release of his 25th book, "Stories Boys Like."

Mr. Reck had lived at 665 W. Main Street since 1941, and had written all but three of his books there. He became a full-time, freelance writer after moving to Manchester, writing "The 4-H Story," the official history of the 4-H movement. He also served for six years as boys' editor of the Farm Journal.

Employed as a consultant for Ford Motor Company, he handled the Company's Recreation Unlimited department, and wrote the Ford Guide to Outdoor Living and Station Wagon Living.

He made several extended trips to South and Central America and wrote books and periodicals on Latin America. On several of these trips his wife accompanied him.

At the time of his death, he was planning a book on trout fishing. An outdoor story of his was published in the August True magazine of 1965. He was also working on a proposal to publish a farm quarterly for Latin America to be sponsored by the Ford Overseas Tractor Division, and was collaborating with other writers on a book dealing with growth of cities in the U.S.

He was born in Chicago, and went through high school in Rockford, Ill. As editor of the high school paper and of the yearbook, he acquired his first taste of writing.

Later he worked for his father in the machine tool business in Cincinnati, Ohio, for just a year, listened to his father's advice and enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania in the Wharton School of Finance. But Reck's heart was never in that field.

This was during World War I, and Reck enlisted in the spring of 1917 in the 28th Division of the Pennsylvania National Guard. After the war he took a job in the steel mills and worked 12 hours a day. His personal experiences were as diverse as his writings.

Late in the summer of 1941, after the demise of 'The American Boy" Reck and his wife, Claire, began looking for a place to live. Their daughter. Linda, was 8 years old. Another child was on the way.

On October 29, the Reck family, augmented by baby Sarah, settled down in Manchester to a career of freelancing.

Everyone enjoyed a skating party on the Raisin just north of the Main Street bridge.

Just days before his death he was interviewed prior to the release of his new book. At that time he said, "till, the aspiring young authors that all books are not best sellers—they don't all make money. Sometimes there is quite a lull between checks."

He wrote many magazine articles but his first love was books. "Books are a challenge and stay on the shelves a long time. Magazine articles have a pretty short life."

For twelve years he was in "Who's Who in America."

At Manchester, Mr. Reck served in many community activities. He was on the school board and served as president for nine years, member and president of the Optimist Club, and also Community Chest. He was very active in Washtenaw County Red Cross Chapter, and before his death received a citation for outstanding service.

G. W. Kramer - Manchester Santa Claus

G. William Kramer, 84 years, a rural mail carrier and bank director here for many years died Wednesday, October 20, 1965.

He was a director of the former Peoples Bank for many years and served as a director of the Union Savings Bank after the two firms merged.

The Richert Hotel was at Main and Clinton Streets. The George Nisle buggy shop (graced by rooftop posers) was built in 1868. The hotel was moved to Territorial Street where it is now an apartment house.

A rural mail carrier for 55 years, he was given the nickname of "Manchester Santa Claus" because he distributed candy and other gifts to the children on his mail route every Christmas. He was often assisted by his wife. Bill, as he was known to everyone in the area, liked to tell stories about some of the requests he received from patrons along his route. The good natured mail carrier always complied.

He was a former member of the Manchester volunteer fire department, and was a charter member of the Knights of Columbus Fr. Fisher Council, St. Mary's Catholic Church, Holy Name Society and was very active in the American Red Cross.

At 90 Mike Gauss Recalled 'Good Old Days'

On September 2, 1965, the late Michael Guass, recalled some of his younger days in Manchester. It was Mike's 90th birthday.

He was born in Freedom Township, September 1, 1875, and his father, Michael, died when he was only a year old.

His first job was working on the Hank Rushton farm and this brought him $16 a month.

At that time Jake Briegel operated a barbershop in the "Old Hotel" where the Grossman-Huber Station is located on West Main and Clinton. Jake encouraged young Mike to become a barber.

Finally Gauss became his apprentice and worked for him for a year. At the end of that time he went to Detroit for his test which was cutting one man's hair and shaving him. "Later my license was sent to me from Lansing-that was all there was to it," Mr. Gauss said.

"In those days the fee was 25 cents for a hair cut and 10 cents for a shave. The work day began at 7 a.m. Of course we were open every Wednesday and Saturday night until midnight or even one o'clock," he recalled. The aged barber mentioned that no one had heard of a 40-hour week and pointed out that in his business they couldn't have made a living in 40 hours.

Back when he was busiest in the trade he received $2 a day while working for Briegel.

In the old days every regular customer had his own shaving mug and brush and the barber kept them on a shelf in the shop. Besides the oil lamp at night, and that is when most of the farmers had their hair cut, there was the problem of water supply for the shaving.

Soft water was the most effective and merchants along the street let the barbers use their cistern water.

They would haul the water up in a pail with a rope and carry it over to the shop where it was poured into a big tank to which a pipe was attached. In a way they had "running water in the shop." There was a spigot and it could be turned off and on and heated over a gasoline burner or, in the wintertime, in a kettle on the pot bellied stove.

Those were the days when people congregated in the morning at the barbershop to read the newspaper and a spicy magazine called "Police Gazette."

Chicken Broil

The most publicized event here is the annual Chicken Broil. It is held the third Thursday in July and the largest Broil in the state. This, the 14th, was the largest. Some 300 men in the area served 10,000 people, July 20. They worked under 28 chairmen.

Co-chairmen are Luther Klager and Rolland Grossman. As in the past, Howard Zindell of the Michigan State Poultry Department supervised the broiling.

The first Manchester Broil was a great success. The profits went to help pay for the athletic field fence. This was put on by the Exchange Club and was the dream of Luther Kiager. The following year the Jaycees offered to help.

The profits from this year's Broil cannot be ascertained at this time. But the total profits from the 13 previous years total $26,750.94. Of this amount $22,108.34 has been spent.

The money earned is always used for youth activities of the Manchester area. Some of the projects which have benefited include the athletic field, equipment for the Township Library, shelter at Carr Park, bleachers for the Little League diamond at Carr Park and at the athletic field.

With a balance of over $4,000 on hand, the Chicken Broil committee has pledged $4,000 for a track at the High School.

Manchester Community Fair

The Manchester Community Fair is just what the name implies-it is a community project. Beginning in 1951 the Community Fair Association printed Fair Books, with the premium lists, general rules, exhibit entries, and all other pertinent facts concerning the fair. Ted Stautz is in his 4th year as president of the Fair Board.

But the fair had operated before that time. In the beginning it was considered an agricultural and school display type of fair. That was all.

Now the fair centers around the Optimist sponsored Steer Club and the Jaycee sponsored Fat Lamb Club. During the fair these prize animals are judged, they are on display, and they are auctioned off. The boys and girls who own the animals receive the profits.

A big parade, over a mile long, will set the fair in motion. Every year all of the merchants and industries enter displays, trucks, farm equipment, floats and decorated cars.

There will be a Fair Queen and her court. L. V. Kirk promotes a cooking school each year. 4-H clubs and individuals bring in displays, sewing, cooking, canning. You name it, they have it.

Working with Stautz are vice president, Jesse Walker; secretary, Maynard Leach, and treasurer, Lehman Wahl. Other board members are Ellis Pratt, Willis Uphaus, Lawrence Kemner, Lowell Spike, Willis Hassett, Maynard Blossom, Herman Kuebler, Elmen Kopka, Paul Eisele and Ted Curley.