Why do we consider Manning to be Refreshing? Better yet, why do non-residents consider Manning to be Refreshing? Here are excerpts of a 2004 article in the North Scott Press (Eldridge, Iowa, population 5,651) written by Bill Tubbs.
“Last Thursday, I addressed the members of a 390-member Des Moines Rotary Club… That was quite an experience… But despite the importance of a big urban club, last week’s visit to the Rotary Club of Manning, Iowa was just as memorable. Manning, population 1484, is a community that truly has its act together. ….
Manning is located in the middle of nowhere, some 261 miles from Eldridge in southwestern Carroll County… It’s not anywhere you’re likely to go but what a reward for those who make the effort!
The terrain… broad, sweeping landscaped with fields in which the crops are planted in contoured strips around the hills that are protected with miles and miles of tile outlet terraces. The fences are in good condition, an indication of industriousness and pride of ownership.
That same pride is evident in Manning’s bustling downtown, which spans 3 blocks of very nice looking and well kept store fronts… Despite its population, Manning is a “womb to tomb” town (my expression), meaning that you can be born, live, die there and nearly all your needs are provided for – medical care, groceries, pharmacy, hardware, furniture and more. What isn’t available in Manning can be purchased in trips to Carroll or Denison, both of which are 21 miles away.
Light years ahead of Eldridge, Manning has its own indoor-outdoor swimming pool. They also have a county park with a fishing lake, a rec center, funeral home, city-owned utilities and a locally owned telephone company with high-speed internet service. A tourist attraction is the Hausbarn, a historic building that was restored with authentic German craftsmanship.
I got the feeling when visiting with community leaders at the Rotary Club that Manning might be a 21st Century version of Mayberry RFD. With the regionalization of professional services and the encroachment of megastores into many rural communities, places like Manning are few and far between, which is why it’s refreshing to discover and celebrate such a community when we find one.”
There it is – now you why THEY say!!!! “Manning, Iowa…It’s Refreshing.”