Sadly, Utterly Abandoned and Other Images from a Little Indiana Town

These are some images from my trip home in July, 2013. Most are from my husband’s little home town of Manilla, Indiana, which I didn’t even know existed just 10 miles or so southeast of my little home town until I met him when he began working in my home town. How crazy is that? I immediately fell in love with the people, the buildings, and the history.

I would love to see the remaining buildings restored and brought back to life – and even those that are long gone rebuilt and turned into thriving businesses once again. A girl can dream.

An abandoned tobacco barn between Vevay and Madison, Indiana.

An abandoned tobacco barn between Vevay and Madison, Indiana.

Old, derelict barn between Vevay and Madison, Indiana.  The south end says Kentucky Club Pure Tobacco. The west side, Mail Pouch. There are too many missing boards to read the smaller print beneath both ads in this picture.

Old, derelict barn between Vevay and Madison, Indiana. The south end says Kentucky Club Pure Tobacco. The west side, Mail Pouch. There are too many missing boards to read the smaller print beneath both ads in this picture.

Spotted while cruising the country between Manilla and Little Marion, Indiana. Photo by Lis'Anne Harris

Spotted while cruising the country between Manilla and Little Marion, Indiana. Photo by Lis’Anne Harris

A collection of old Studebakers.I wouldn't call these abandoned, but I would call them pretty cool.

A collection of old Studebakers. I wouldn’t call these abandoned, but I would call them pretty cool.

This building used to house a bowling alley, hardware store, doctor's office, and a restaurant back in its heyday.

This building used to house a bowling alley, hardware store, doctor’s office, and a restaurant back in its heyday. There were two large storefronts attached to the left. They were torn down many years ago for some reason.

North side of above building. Once home to a bowling alley, hardware store, doctor's office, and restaurant.

North side of above building. Once home to a bowling alley, hardware store, doctor’s office, and restaurant. I’m sure sundry other businesses came and went over the years.

The Manilla grain elevator once sat where the Studebakers in the above image are now. The abandoned building to the right has been empty for at least 30 years. The Kessler Market sign is long gone, but the store was still open in this image from the mid-1980s.

The Manilla grain elevator once sat where the Studebakers in the above image are now. The abandoned building to the right has been empty for at least 30 years. We can see the two missing sections of the bowling alley building in this picture. The Kessler Market sign is long gone, but the store was still open in this image from the latter half of the 20th century. Photo copyright Karen Gahimer Williams.

Kessler's Market, Gas Station, and Church. Manilla, Indiana. The church and gas station buildings are long gone.

Kessler’s Market, Gas Station, and Church. Manilla, Indiana. The church and gas station buildings are long gone. An old brick bank building once sat just to the right of the market. Photo copyright Karen Gahimer Williams

Gross Store, 1914, Manilla, Indiana submitted to the

Gross Store, 1914, Manilla, Indiana submitted to the Shelby County, Indiana genealogy website by Phyllis Miller Fleming

The old Kessler Market grocery store building, Manilla, Indiana, in 2013.

The old Kessler Market grocery store building, Manilla, Indiana, in 2013.

The old, abandoned Kessler Market grocery store building in 2013. Manilla, Indiana.

The old, abandoned Kessler Market grocery store building in 2013. Manilla, Indiana.

I have always loved this place. It appears to be vacant now. I wouldn't necessarily call it abandoned though. Old hotel converted to single family home many long years ago. Manilla, Indiana. Picture taken July 2013.

I have always loved this place. It appears to be vacant now. I wouldn’t necessarily call it abandoned though. Old hotel converted to single family home many long years ago. Manilla, Indiana. Picture taken July 2013.

Old hotel converted to single family home many long years ago. Manilla, Indiana. Picture taken July 2013.

Old hotel converted to single family home many long years ago. Manilla, Indiana. Picture taken July 2013.

Old hotel converted to single family home many long years ago. Manilla, Indiana.

Old hotel converted to single family home many long years ago. Manilla, Indiana.

The Schutt's Blacksmith shop has been in continuous operation - probably since the town was founded in the early 19th century. The sound of hammer striking metal once echoed through the town. I don't know how much metal work is done now, but the family still uses the building.

The Schutt’s Blacksmith shop has been in continuous operation – probably since the town was founded in the early 19th century. The sound of hammer striking metal once echoed through the town. I don’t know how much metal work is done now, but the family still uses the building.

Awesome old Schutt Blacksmith 7up sign. Manilla, Indiana.

Awesome old Schutt Blacksmith 7up sign. Manilla, Indiana.

I don't remember who lived here, but my husband and I used to take the little old lady whatever fish we'd caught from our local expeditions. I still think it's a very cool house and would love to see the inside.

I don’t remember her name, but my husband and I used to take the little old lady who lived here whatever fish we’d caught from the local countryside ponds and lakes. I still think it’s a very cool house and would love to see the inside. I imagine this house is nearly as old as Manilla, Indiana itself.

Little decrepit outhouse in the trees near very old house. Manilla, Indiana

Little decrepit outhouse in the trees near very old house. Manilla, Indiana

Same house as above, different angle. Manilla, Indiana

Same house as above, different angle. Manilla, Indiana

Old garage. Manilla, Indiana. There's something about this quaint little building that draws me in. It must be the diamond windows the owner thought would really dress it up - and it did!

Old garage. Manilla, Indiana. There’s something about this quaint little building that draws me in. It must be the diamond windows the owner thought would really dress it up – and it did!

This old barn sat behind the Manilla, Indiana grain elevator. It was torn down many years ago.

This old barn sat behind the Manilla, Indiana grain elevator. It was torn down many years ago. Photo copyright Karen Gahimer Williams.

Manilla, Indiana. This lovely church was torn down at least 20 years ago. I never understood why someone didn't buy it and convert it into a home. It's always so sad to see such a beautiful building like this razed.

Manilla, Indiana. This lovely church was torn down at least 20 years ago. I never understood why someone didn’t buy it and convert it into a house. It’s always so sad to see such a beautiful building like this razed.

This Methodist Church in Manilla, Indiana was torn down almost 30 years ago. It could've easily been upcycled! | lisanneharris.com

This Methodist Church in Manilla, Indiana was torn down almost 30 years ago. It could’ve easily been up-cycled into an amazing home! | lisanneharris.com

Palmer's Antique-Thrift Store. It burned down about 20 years ago. Manilla, Indiana. I always planned to explore the contents, but put it off too long and now it's all gone.

Palmer’s Antique-Thrift Store. It burned down about 20 years ago. Manilla, Indiana. I had always planned to explore the store, but put it off too long and now it’s all gone. Photo copyright Karen Gahimer Williams.

Aerial view of Manilla, Indiana. The old bank is still standing between Kessler Market and the gas station in this one. Picture taken over 30 years ago.

Aerial view of Manilla, Indiana. The old bank is still standing to the right of Kessler Market. I’m not sure what the building was to the right of the bank, but in later years it was torn down and a gas station replaced it. The filling station is gone now, too. Picture taken over 60 years ago.

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59 thoughts on “Sadly, Utterly Abandoned and Other Images from a Little Indiana Town

    • Thank you, Ann! Manilla is a wonderful little place full of some of the most interesting history. And it produced awesome people just like you! It’s hard to believe the town once had so many thriving businesses. I wish I had lived there during its heyday. 🙂

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  1. I went to the elementary school that used to be there. I remeber the elevator…my dad used to work there:) Thanks for the pictures!

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  2. Awesome job!!!! Brought back lots of memories!!! Got to Dr. Sheets office and then to get an ice cream cone at the pharmacy …going to the Manila Christian church .. Was baptisted there… Going to Kessler ‘s market …my dad spinning the car in the snow in front of the dr’s office after Manilla basketball team had won an away game!!!! Going to Manilla high school my 7-10 th grade… Would love to share these with my family!!!!!

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  3. The pictures of Manilla, In. were fantastic. Certainly brought back alot of memories. I was born, and raised in Manilla. Went to Manilla School all twelve years. Graduated in 1955 in a class of 12, nine of them still living. I can’t for the life of me remember a bowling alley in Manilla. The lady’s name that lived in the one house shown was Laurel Bradburn, a very dear friend of my family. She passed away approximately 3-4 years ago. I still drive thu Manilla often, my parents and brother are buried in the cementary just north of town. Thank you so much for these wonderful pictures.

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    • You’re very welcome, Donna! I think it’s awesome that you had 12 in your class. There’s something so special about knowing everyone and feeling like they’re all your family. I’m sorry that 3 have passed, though. 😦

      I never saw the bowling alley. In fact, that building was boarded up by the time I met my husband and Manilla. I always wanted someone to buy it and lease business spaces out of it. If we should ever strike it rich, I would love to buy all the old buildings in town and bring them back to life. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Gina! You know me, ever the historical freak. It is sad. I don’t understand the thought process behind tearing down buildings that are structurally sound. I’d have given anything to see the old bank.

      When I find the Manilla sesquicentennial celebration book with a history of the town and a lot of old images, I’ll scan them in and share.

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  4. Loved the pictures. Laurel Bradburn lived just behind the house we lived in until I was 9. Donna’s right, she was a lovely person. She must have lived well into her 90s.

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    • Thanks, Dan. I wished we had ever taken the time to sit down and talk with her. Being the young, impetuous kids that we were back then, I’m sure we thought we had to be some place. I wish her house wasn’t boarded up and sitting empty now.

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  5. Thanks for posting these. My Dad lived in Manilla and my Stepmother and brother still do. ALthough I didn’t grow up there, I was there quite often. It is a quaint little quiet town and I loved it. These pics brought back lots of memories. 🙂

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  6. We just moved to Manilla and I was told that the Studebaker’s you showed run and the guy that owns them lives in the brick building that you see in the picture. I have been to the blacksmith shop and the son runs it now. He still does a lot of work for people around here. Does anyone know if there was a underground community shelter for tornadoes in town. Someone told my neighbor that there was one under his garage and he is thinking about digging it up to see if it does in fact exist and what might be down there.

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  7. Lis’Anne, thank you so much for sharing. I knew Kessler’s as Drake’s and I graduated with Karen Drake in ’67. Carlos Branson ran the filling station between the bank and the church. (I think I still have my passbook from the bank.) Another classmate’s (Amelia Sutherlin) father ran the grain elevator. And that big house at the end of the street that was once a hotel was the Fisher house. I, however, was from Homer and that is a whole other set of memories. Please share more of these great old buildings from my memory.

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    • You’re so welcome, Jim. I love your historical facts and would love to hear more to go with all the homes and businesses in old Manilla. Homer is another cool little burg! I’d love to feature that town with images of then and now. If you have anything you’d like to share, I’d be happy to feature them here with your recollections.

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  8. The photos bring back many happy memories of growing up in Manilla. My family owned the store prior to selling it to the Kesslers in 1974. The school was the heart of our town, but the tremendous people living there made it beat. I miss that and would give anything to go back in time for a day. Thanks for the memories. Terry Drake

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    • You’re welcome, Terry! I had no idea your family owned the store before the Kesslers. I’m glad to see it still standing, but I worry it will be torn down like so many other landmarks in town. I know it’s not feasible, yet I wish someone would buy, restore, and reopen it. Maybe make it into a dinner cafe or coffee/pastry shop. Anything! 🙂

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  9. My husband&i have been in that old house on pearl ,it was built around 1880;s & needs work done on inside ,no electric or plumbing & no bathroom either !

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    • I don’t know exactly which house you’re talking about here. Is it the one that’s 16th, 17th, and 18th down from the top picture? If there was no electric or plumbing that makes me doubly sad for the lady that lived there. Thank you for visiting here to give us some interesting information!

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  10. Would like to know what was the church that used to sit along SR 44 was thinking either here in Manilla or Rays Crossing that since has been torn down? Maybe sat near the new fire station?

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    • I’m sorry I’m just now finding your question. I only know of the two churches in Manilla that were torn down and neither sat along 44. There might’ve been one in Rays Crossing, but it’s been so long since I was there that I can’t remember. If I should ever find out, I’ll comment here. 🙂

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  11. Hi: I am the one who restored the old hotel into a home. I loved it there but couldn’t put anymore money into it. The town was really on the way down at that point. That old house is as solid as a rock. I sold it to some women in Shelbyville.

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  12. Another of the Drakes chiming in. We moved to Manilla when I was 3 about 1959. Moved there so my father, also John Drake, could help his brother Claud Drake run his grocery store once his health was failing. Uncle Claude died a couple years later when I was in First Grade at Manilla H. S. The building you mention as Palmers Antiques had housed a the town’s hatchery for most of my childhood. They sold to area homes and farmers. Clarence and Faye Scull were the owners. Kind couple. We were not related by blood, but they were Grandma and Grandpa Scull to our family. Bud and Joyce Schutt had that Blacksmith shop. His dad Red had the shop before his adding. Saw a lot of Horses shorn there before they started working on cars and such. Red, Bud, and them really knew how to heat that forge and fashion those shoes. During the winter it was good to step inside there. As s kid never understood how they stood it during July and August heat. Herb Wise managed that old brick Bank to the right of our grocery store all thru my childhood. Kind, friendly, always had a smile and ready to help is how I recall Herb. Started many a Christmas Club account with him. And to the right of the old brick bank and just south of the tracks was Branson’s gas station as you mentioned. Before we moved to Manilla that had been the site of a two story performance hall. Manilla had been “a stop on the circuit” for traveling speakers and performers. I’m not certain because it was already changed, but I grew up with the understanding that what I saw as Branson’s gas station was the lower portion of that old performance hall. The top floor had been removed for one reason or another. Perhaps an older resident than I may remember that. Just outside that arial photo and half block behind Branson’s station was an old train station where folks once caught the train and visitors and those coming back to town arrived. It was just adjacent to the old Volunteer Fire Dept building. As you said earlier, a once thriving town. So glad to have grown up there. I know that God used those friends, residents, teachers, community leaders, neighbors, surrounding farmers, volunteer fire fighters and all to shape us into who we are today. What a legacy they gave us all. Watch out for one another. Everybody’s going to need your help at some point. And you’ll need their’s. Work hard at whatever you end up doing. Personal integrity and responsibility will be important wherever you go: in friendships, in family, in vocation. And faith in God informs all of life. Many SUMMER VBS programs at those two old churches. Two different faith traditions figuring out how to work together for us all. That
    was a great lesson itself. It wasn’t perfect. Life wasn’t perfect there. Plenty of hard times to go around, but a lot of folks to help you along the way!

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    • What a great history! Manilla is an awesome little town and I so wish all those places still existed. At least the loving, kind, and generous spirit remains of the people who once lived there and the ones who still do. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful memories! I read it to Jimmie and all the people and places you mentioned brought back great memories for him, too. 🙂

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    • Hi, my name is Gary Stanford and Faye Westerfield Scull, married to Clarence Scull is family to me. I am related to the Westerfield family in Manilla. I am desperately trying to find the resting place of Faye Scull, wife of Clarence Scull. I noticed their names in your article. Please contact me at garywstanford@att.net if you know anything about Faye Scull. Thank you, Gary Stanford

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      • Hi Gary, I would’ve thought they are buried in the cemetery right outside of town, but I looked through the list on findagrave.com and they’re not there. I wonder if they could’ve been buried somewhere on their property? Do you know in which house they lived or where they came from before moving to Manilla?

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        • Hi Lis’Anne, Thanks for the kind reply. I am related to the Westerfield family who settled in Rush County in 1828. My mother was born a Westerfield. My grandfather is Andrew Jackson Westerfield III, great grandfather is Andrew Jackson “Ding” Westerfield Jr. and great, great grandfather is Andrew Jackson “AJ” Westerfield Sr. (all from Manilla area). I was informed that the family had some “Westerfield Burial Plots” located somewhere in Walker, Indiana. My Uncle went to these Burial Plots in the early 1960’s. He called it the Westerfield Cemetery. He told me that there were many old headstones there and that many Westerfield’s had been buried there over the years. I will continue to search for the final resting place of many of my family members, including Faye Westerfield Scull as she was a daughter of Byron Westerfield. I would welcome any additional information about children or other relatives of Andrew Jackson Westerfield (any of them). Thank you kindly for your response.

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          • I love family histories such as yours. And I especially love your passion for wanting to know where they were and where their final resting place is. I spent many long years working on my family history, long hours in county libraries and court houses, and visiting cemeteries to find as many graves as I could. I took pictures of all that I found so my descendents would know where to look.

            Is Walker in Rush Co.? I’ve never heard of it. My husband is too young to remember the Sculls and doesn’t know of any Westerfields in Manilla. An obituary would really help and I’m sure there was one written and published in whatever newspaper was in publication at the time. The best place to look would be the Rush Co. Library. They have a historical/genealogy area in the basement (or at least it was in the basement). You might be able to find some church records if any were given to the library when the churches were torn down.

            I’m not sure if newspaper records would be found there or in the recorders office of the court house. If I still lived in Indiana, I’d drive over and help with the hunt. Unfortunately, the Rush Co. section on USGenWeb.com is sadly lacking in uploaded records. You might try ancestry.com. Even though it’s a paid service, they usually have a free trial period. It’s worth a try anyway. The best of luck to you with your searches! I hope you find Faye’s grave and all the others in your family!

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      • Logan, I have a couple memories of you and certainly your dad who was my fifth grade teacher. Your dad’s classroom and Mrs. Hime’s rooms were side by side at the top of the stairs. Remember that? You were tall in Fifth Grade and I think we must have been classmates. That would have meant hat you played with Paul Fenton, Rick Woolard, Jim Ellis, Dan Breece, yourself, and others as I recall. I’m sure you were center. Mrs Himes was particular about many things. Handwriting was one of those things. To this day I stand to write at a chalkboard, or whiteboard, or any board and have to hold my left hand behind my back as I write with my right.

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      • Gary,
        I hope you have been successful in finding the grave sights for Clarence and Faye Scull. We lived right across the street from them. They were surrogate grandparents to us. Spent many times in each other’s homes. Both were wonderful folks. Many memories of them both. I recall Clarence’s death. That was a difficult adjustment for G-ma Faye, but she was strong lady. My mother is still living and I’ll ask if she recalls where she was buried. I know I also thought it was the cemetery at the northeast corner of town. Less than mile from their home. I’ll see mom knows

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      • Gary, googling Manilla Cemetery this morning turned up this record that both Clarence and Faye Scull are buried there. It just lists “Clarence Leroy Scull 5/18/1897 – 11/67 and Faye Westerfield Scull 7/16/1896 – 6/4/1989”. My recollections are that’s true as well. Just FYI

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  13. Thank you for all of the advise. I am joining the Rush County Genealogy Society in hopes that maybe some really nice people there can assist me in finding many of the Westerfields. They have direct access to the Rushville Library where I believe anything that even exists on micro-film could be found. I actually live in California so it’s very difficult for me to continue my search, but I will. Finding that Westerfield Cemetery/Burial plots in Walker Township (somewhere in or very close to Manilla) is definitely key to finding my ancestors final resting places. Oh btw, my 3g-grandfather owned 20 percent of the land in Manilla back in the 1830’s. I’ve got a copy of a Manilla Map showing the farm of A.J. Westerfield and it clearly reflects that as well. Funny thing is, I’ve never been to Manilla in my life…..lol. I was actually born in northern Indiana. My mother is Westerfield, born and raised in Shelbyville. This is why it is so personal for me to find these family members. My Uncle, Robert Edward Westerfield, asked me to promise him that I would find and record all of the W3esterfield’s in our family. He said……Gary, I just don’t want our family to be forgotten. He spent most of his life just trying to find out who he was and where he came from simply because he did not know much. So far, I have located hundreds of Westerfields all over the U.S. and continue to make connections everyday. Oh, my late Uncle told me something else……during this journey to find our family, you will meet the most amazing people along the way. Their kindness will almost seem overwhelming at times, maybe even foreign to you, but you should understand that’s how the Westerfield family has been for centuries as well. These kind people will lead you to your answers, just like they have led me to many of my answers since the 1950’s. Gary, please understand that you will be blessed with resources, tools and information which I never had access to complete my search. I made a promise to my Uncle to find our family, so yes it is a passion now. Any assistance is greatly appreciated. Someday, I hope to visit this tiny, beautiful little town they all call Manilla, Indiana. My family lived there for at least four generations and I would love to walk a mile in their shoes too.

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    • Gary, looking more tonight at the Manilla Cemetery interment list it shows 25 or more Westerfields buried there. Including Andrew Jackson (AJ “Ding”) Westerfield. Hope that’s a little helpful if you hadn’t discovered it already. Manilla is a little town on the west edge of Rush Co. In Walker Township. Just on the east edge of Shelby Co. I’m just saying

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      • John, thank you for your information. Yes, I have found many of my Westerfield family members from Manilla and Shelbyville this past year. Your post is very much appreciated! Gary

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  14. My mother owned the Kessler market from 1985 to several years after the sesquicentennial. They actually projected movies from our side of the street onto the side of Dr Sheets building during the sesquicentennial celebration. And my father worked at Schutts Blacksmith shop for years. I found your pictures today and it brought back a lot of memories. So the big question now is that now that I’m older I would love to have a copy of the book that was printed for the sesquicentennial. Any idea of how I could come by a copy of the book?

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    • I was at that Sesquicentennial celebration! I bought the book, but it’s in storage in Indiana and I live in Florida. I wouldn’t want to give it up, but if I should ever get my hands on it, I could make copies of the pages for you. I wonder if the Rush County Library would have one? If they do, you would at least be able to make copies of the pages. Another option would be to scour every yard sale in and around Manilla for the rest of your life. 🙂 Or, see if there’s a public bulletin board at the store on 44 and post a request.

      I did a quick Google search and found this link http://www.in.gov/library/4327.htm Second from the bottom shows where to find the book in the Indiana State Library. This link – https://archive.org/details/leadingindustrie00np – is to a page with a little bit of Manilla history found in the publication “Leading industries of the principal places in Union, Fayette, Rush and Shelby counties, Indiana” (1884) that some awesome person took the time to upload. Modern Technology + Cool Volunteers = Less work for people like you and me. 🙂

      Good luck!

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  15. Enjoyed your post and photos.. Although we were from Greensburg, I traveled with my father (Emmett Hyatt) who taught 5th grade at Manilla in the mid sixties( I was there 4th,5th,6th grade) I have many found memories of the town and my schoolmates there.Softball and Basketball were a big deal, the gym there was fantastic for a small town, we had a intermural basketball league (noon league)at recess that was always a thrill. I remember shopping for goodies at Kesslers and getting our old Chrysler repaired at schutts blacksmith, the sound of working metal were still there then. I remember Mrs Fleetwood in the 4th grade, and I still get compliments on my cursive handwriting thanks to Lenore Himes who taught 6th grade. Saddened to see the commercial aspects of the community decayed. Thank you for your efforts!!

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    • Thank you for commenting, Logan! My husband, Jimmie Woolard, remembers hearing a lot about those teachers. You probably went to school with one or two of his older brothers – Rick or Donnie (Moose) Woolard. 🙂

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    • Logan, I have a couple memories of you and certainly your dad who was my fifth grade teacher. Your dad’s classroom and Mrs. Hime’s rooms were side by side at the top of the stairs. Remember that? You were tall in Fifth Grade and I think we must have been classmates. That would have meant hat you played with Paul Fenton, Rick Woolard, Jim Ellis, Dan Breece, yourself, and others as I recall. I’m sure you were center. Mrs Himes was particular about many things. Handwriting was one of those things. To this day I stand to write at a chalkboard, or whiteboard, or any board and have to hold my left hand behind my back as I write with my right.

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  16. My husband (Dorsey “Gene” Kessler) grew up in Manilla with his eight siblings. His parents (Marjorie and Paul “Raymond” Kessler) owned Kessler Market. He loves looking at pictures from his hometown and hearing stories from its heyday. Thank you for sharing your pictures and captions with others.

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    • My husband, Jimmie Woolard, knows you and your husband’s family very well! Randy was Jimmie’s best man at our wedding and Jimmie was Randy’s! Thank you so much for commenting. I’ll probably update the pictures in a few years so we all can see how things continue to change. – Melissa Woolard (writing as Lis’Anne Harris) 🙂

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      • Hi There! My name is A. J. Poersch, originally from Kansas, now living in Denver. We have for a number of years tried to find information on my father’s father to no avail. Recently via the internet we have some info, his name was James or Jim Whisman, born about 1858 in Illinois & died in 1934, records indicate he is buried in Manila, Rush County, Indiana, in 1934. Anyone with any information on him I would so much appreciate. Thanks!. A J. Poersch ajules@comcast.net

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    • Hi Arris, do you know his wife’s name? You might try familysearch.org for more information. Did your father ever live in the Manilla area with his father?

      Glad you like the site! I haven’t had time to update anything. I’m in the midst of writing a new story. 🙂

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      • Thanks for your quick reply. His wife’s name depends on where you look. My father’s mother was Mary Fleener, she was pregnant by a Jim Whisman who left town without any marriage vows. Going into the website on Ancestry.net indicates a Jim Whisman is indeed buried in the Manila Cemetery this is verified by records. However the cemetery record is for a James Whisman the birth dates & death dates are nearly the same , so you might figure they are the same person. However, this is where it gets strange, the spouses are different, and none of the daughters or sons are the same. Very interesting! So that is where we are,, this has been an ongoing puzzle. Anything anyone can come up with would be most appreciated, thanks! A. J. Poersch

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      • Just another bit of info. My father’s birth was in Washington County, Kansas, He never lived anywhere but Kansas & never in Indiana. His mother was a Fleener sometimes spelled Fleenor, & they immigrated from Germany ,we have traced them back into the 1200s, anyway there were many Fleenors who settled in Pennsylvania, Virginia and then moved to Indiana & Kansas. Thanks Again! A. J.

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      • Just in case my email of yesterday did not go through. My father did not ever live in Indiana, his mother was Mary Fleenor and she was pregnant by a man who said he was Jim Whisman, he disappeared and she was left with a baby , this all happened without benefit of marriage. We have for years wondered and tried to find out any info on Jim Whisman to no avail. Now through the internet we have more info available, My father’s mother lived & he grew up in Washington County, Kansas. Any info anyone has would be greatly appreciated. Thanks A. J. Poersch

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        • My suggestion would be to look at census records. I believe all years available for public consumption are available and searchable on Ancestry.com. You’ll have to pay for a subscription, but I think they have 30-day trials. I hope you find the answers! If anyone from Manilla sees your request for information here and knows anything about this man, I’m sure they will respond. Best of luck!

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  17. HI, AMAZING site… 🙂 do you know if the old hotel turned into a single family in Manila is still there ? or do you have a location of where I can go check it out ?

    Thanks a lot!

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