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The Superior Express
Superior, Nebraska
March 6, 2003     The Superior Express
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March 6, 2003

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109 E. Main, Mankato, Kansas 66956 Nebraska 68978 A feature of The Superior Express Thursday, March 6, 2003 Price 50¢ Entered into the mail at Webber, Kansas, and Superior, Nebraska 9 Best Lumber and Jewell, were :kend. Three reported attempted to the Jewell County Jewell Do-It- broken into some- ' noon and early of the lumber yard early Monday arrived at work. The pried open and Rems were reported Service was broken or early was made by open. Owner eak-inwhen Monday morning ything missing. were reported and Jewell Grocery. pared with, gained into J' s Ji ff-E ¢, it was noticed that the delivery with but entry Baird reported and is conducting an hears service Cloud County Health representative, was Mankato Chamber to explain the at is available. there are presently and 540 families hooks up to is placed on !n the button is pushed assistance. She told ing the Life- Life- s a non profit organi- presently 211 Life- Lifeline Telethon at .re.unity College and auction at the Concordia. at the meet- s at Critters will con- School Post Prom ,fterdis- decided to notify s places and the an item on the J ndt be donat- City Tree e, rel~.rted on prob- maintenance in ways to help made wide clean-up help as community to discuss this COuncil. report dues. Survival '20 Clues to Saving more than and Center for Opment, Lincoln, The work- North Central Council ommunity Col- commu- business and ;hated thoughts :rag in groups of group• Dooley Will Board met re- emove own- tree with posters from USD Board -'rabapple tree mol. Day" is Lg trees and goals ." of for naeet again March Calving season is underway in Jewell County. For the most part, weather has cooperated with moderate temperatures. A few chilly days and an occasional snow flurry interrupted, but calves appear to be doing well. The most recent inclement weather occurred Tuesday when winds whipped snow flurries into a fury• By afternoon, flurries had subsided and the weather man was predicting warmer temperatures for the remainder of the week. ng D By Gloria Garman Schlaefli For nearly 20 years the Metz Plant was a well-known industry in Man- kate. Its history began with the Metz brothers, Jake, Emery andi William Frank (W.F.), who began the produce business with stations in most of the towns in Jewell County. The Metz family moved to Jewell County in 1872 from Fairfield, Iowa. Silas A. Metz and his wife Martha (Swope) and their two sons, W.F., 2, and Emery, 6 months, homesteaded 160 acres of land, one mile south and one half mile west of Mankato. They lived in a dugout while Silas built a house. At this time Jewell County had just been organized. The nearest rail- road points were Waterviile, Kan., and Edgar,.Neb• "~ Another son, Jol~ Jacob (Jake) and a daughter, Daisy, were born in Kan- sas. The family experienced hardships and trials of pioneer life and Silas took an active part in the building of the new county. Sons begin business The three Metz boys began the pro- duce business by purchasing eggs, cream and poultry from local farmers• The busi ness, a c reamery and egg busi- ness, was located in a shop at the cor- ner of Main and Center Streets in Man- kate. Metz produce stations were later located in Esbon, Burr Oak, Formoso, Randall and Jewell. At first the Metz boys hauled the produce to Mankato by horse drawn wagons. Emery Metz took an active part in the community and in the town of Mankato. He was fire chief for many years. Sometime between 1917 and 1920, the Metz brothers contracted with Ri- chard Proctor, Gaylord, Kan., to con- struct a packing plant in Mankato. It was located on land owned by the Rock Island Railroad south of the rail- road tracks in the northwest part of Mankato. The plant was a large packing and mercantile business which supplied merchandise to smaller towns in north- era Kansas and southern Nebraska. In 1924 the original plant was destroyed by f'tce and rebuilt by Richard Proctor and his sons. A larger Metz plant was located in Concordia with a spur off the railroad which the Ringling Brothers Circus used to unload animals and equipment when they came to Concordia. Jake Metz managed the plant in Mankato and Emery Metz ran the shop downtown. The Concordia plant was managed by W.F. Metz. Local man remembers plant Howard Gehrett, Mankato, began working at the Metz Plant in Mankato in 1928. Gehrett moved to Mankato with his family when he was two years old. His father was a farmer and lived two and one-half miles west of the plant. Gehrett remembers when the plant burned in 1924 and believes it was during the spring of the year. "I looked and saw it on fire and it was something to see. It was a Sunday morning," he said, Gehrett started out as a packer and the last years at the plant, he was a poultry grader. "I was 19 years old when I started there. Poultry was dressed at the plant and also the eggs were shellrated,"he explained. "Farm- ers brought their produce into the local stations and then it was brought up to Mankato, to the plant." Gehrett said at the peak of opera- tion there were 25 to 30 employees; toward the end there were only eight to 10 employed. Workers were usually seasonal with the busiest season in the spring during egg candling season. An- other busy season was just before the holidays when turkeys were dressed and packed. The exchange trip to Russia this Theboardallowedexpensesof$347 spring for Jeweil High Students has for partial cost for the FCCLA trip to been postponed indefinitely, accord- state contest in Wichita. ingtoJeffTravis, principal, whomade A motion was approved to allow the announcement at the March 3 meet- school be dismissed at 1 p.m. March 28 ing of USD 279 board meeting. All for the On-Site QPA visit. The inspec- board members were present; Von tion team needs all teachers present in Taylor presided, the afternoon. The team's evaluation Superintendent Ron Kelley reported wittdetera ne school accreditation for the state legislature had passed the bill the next five years. to continue funding public schools at the present rate, provided the money is available. March payments are being delayed about a week. Jewell Jr.-St. High switched long distance phone carrier to CGI, which will result in substantial savings for telecommunications. Board members approved the se- nior trip to Osage Beach, Me., using Salina Charter. It is scheduled forMay 10 through 13. Sponsors for the 16 seniors are Harold and Susan Topliff and Mitch and Deanna Snell. Class funds are adequate for the trip. Insurance coverage was reviewed with Max Burks• Some expensive items, i.e lawn mowers and Genie lift must be moved from building to build- ing and not covered enroute or anytime they are more than 100 feet from an insured building. More coverage will be investigated. A contract was approved for Zeigler Backhoe to level the house recently purchased by the district, fill and pack the basement and level the area for a parking lot. His low bid was $4,500. The lot will be rocked and ready by graduation. Time for patrons to strip parts of the house will be announced on Channel 12. Schwab-Eaton sur- veyed the property to determine the actual property lines. Kelley presented the 2003-04 school calendar which was approved. School will start Aug. 18 and students last day willbe May 21 after 175 days of school; teachers begin Aug. 14 and remain on the job until May 28 for 185.5 days. National holidays in October, January, and February were set for in-service• A review of the minutes of March 2002 resulted in canceling a contract for lawn care for the football field. Kelley recommended the lawn care service be contacted for a new contract with less, but necessary maintenance that cannot be done by staff. Seven games are scheduled on the local field next fall which include junior high, junior varsity and high school. A decision was made to pay all ~ualified bus drivers for the district 12.72 per hour driving time begin- ning March 1• Activity bus drivers will receive the same amount plus $5.15 per hour down time. Others attending the open meeting were Kirby Shamburg, George Staten and Fawna Barrett. The first executive session was to consider the principals contract. Prin- cipal Travis was asked to be in the second executive session• Upon re- turning to open session, a two-year principal's contract was approved for Jeff Travis. || Three eating establishments opened in Jewell COunty within a one-week period. The Barn, Formoso, under new ownership, opened for business Mon- day. Dorothy Sjolander, Formoso, is the new owner and manager. More seating space is available than previot ly. Two double doors were installed in a wall that now connects the care with the bar, making it pos- sible for both places to use the same kitchen. Marilyn said, "The community has from 7 a•m. to late into the night. Regu- lar hours were 7 a•m. to 6 p.m. When times were slow, work days were 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. January through March were the slower months at the plant. The office employees worked year around. Gehrett said Rex Dick was one of the earliest plant foremen• In lateryears, Frank Kramer was foreman. "Jake Metz was the plant manager for many years and then during the last years, it was managed by Jake's son, Roscoe (Bob)." Eggs candled at Mankato Gehrett tells of the egg candling process where eggs were held in a can with a hole. "The old candlers had two holes. You would turn the eggs in your hand and check them for freshness and quality." The egg candling was done in a refrigerated room that remained 60 degrees in the summer. Eggs were candled year around, but spnng was the busiest season. Poultry dressing was done in the basement of the plant which was heated in the winter but not cooled in the summer. The chickens usually were shipped to the Concordia plant for dressing, but from late summer up to Christmas, the chickens were also dressed at the Mankato plant. The office of the Mankato plant was located on the main floor of the large two-story building, as were the storage room and candling room. Some packing of chickens was also done there. The basement was used for stor- age, dressing of poultry and the refrig- erators were located there. The live chickens and turkeys were kept in the upper story. The younger chickens were wrapped for shipping and the older chickens were boxed. As the mercantile business pros- pared, the plants had rail cars to ship car loads of eggs and produce to points as far away as Buffalo, N. Y. The two plants in Mankato and Concordia em- ployed more than 100 workers and contributed greatly to the economy of the areas for many years. Hard times hit business As the 1930s approached and hard times arrived, the plants felt the strain. Metz sold the plants in Concordia and Mankato to Seymour Packing Corn- Gehrett well remembers when the and he and his wife moved back to Mankato plant quit processing. "It was Mankato in 1986 where Lucille had 1935 and we were just used as a ship- relatives in Mankato and Concordia. ping point for Seymour Packing Com- Their son Richard lives in Mississippi. pany," he said. Though Gehrett is not The Gehretts have been married 72 sure when the plant was completely years. closed, he believes it was sometime The building in Mankato began to during the mid 1940s. deteriorate and in the early 1950s, when "The farmers quit producing eggs a tornado hit the town, the building and milking cows around here. There was damaged, to be torn down later• just wasn't enough to keep everything Nothing remains except memories. The family of Siias and Martha Metz are pictured in a family portrait, believed to be taken in 1880 after they moved from Iowa to Kansas. The sons, William, Jake (standing) and Emery, founded the Metz Packing Company in Mankato. decided to purchase the business, ries mail for the communities of Portis The Barn will be open 10 a.m. and Harlan and has served there for Monday through Saturday and will fiveyears. RickisanativeofSuperior. closeat 10p.m.MondaythroughThurs- The Warnekings plan to continue day and at midnight Fridays and Satur- with their custom lawn mowing busi- days. hess that includes taking care of five Noon specials wiil be featured along cemeteries and many private lawns in with menu items such as hamburgers, the area. The Country Bar will be open Mon- day through Saturday. Hours are 4 p.m. to I 0 p.m, Monday through Thurs- day. Closing time on Fridays is I 1 p.m. and midnight Saturdays• There are presently two cafe em- ~io~'ees and three employees at the Country Bar. Steaks, burgers and shrimp are three of the many items on the Country Bar menu. The Country Care has noon specials and menu items. The Jewell, Jewell, is scheduled to open the first of next week and is under new ownershipofJim and InezTillery, Jewell. An article and photo appeared in an earlier issue of this newspaper about The Jewell. Folks accustomed to hanging out at The Bam, Formoao, will be glad to know the establishment is now open, owned and operated by Dorothy Sjolander. chicken strips and pizzas. Menu items will be available during the supper meal. Sjolander will hire three to four employees. Sjolander is a native of Scandia and has lived in Formoso 13 years. She managed the American Le- gion Club at Scandia five years. Rick and Manlyn Warneking are Sjolander is eager to open and new owners of the Country Bar and hopes locals will enjoy, having The Cafe, BurrOak.Thebusiness opened Barn open once again. 'Every corn- Saturday night. munity needs a place like this, to so- cialize and to come to learn the latest news," she said. The Country Bar, Burr Oak, opened Saturday. Rick and Marilyn Warneking, Burr Oak, purchased the care and bar, located side-by-side, from Morris and Cheryl Hillman, Burr Oak, Jan. 1 and within a month, the Country Cafe was open serving breakfast and lunch, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Remodeling began on the bar and evening eating establishment and as the Warnekings put it, "We were able to open Saturday, thanks to our family members who helped us greatly." The Country Bar is decorated with new carpeting and has Americana deco- rations and pictures covering the walls. Mankato Weather Bill Wood, observer Tuesday, Feb. 25 17 -5 Wednesday, Feb. 26 27 -2 Thursday, Feb. 27 27 4 Friday, Feb. 28 30 13 Saturday, Mar. ! 43 17 Sunday, Mar. 2 32 16 Total moisture for month .75 with 7.5 inches snow JeweU Chambe. r meets Monday Monday is the next Jewell Cham- her meeting at 7 p.m. at the Commu- nity Center. Ron Kelly will speak about the future of small schools. The Christian Church is catering the meal. There were more women than menplant• "That is where the eggs were 22 years. He could see the days were employed at the plant in Mankato and separated, the whites from the yolks, numbered for the Concordia plant, so Gehrett felt fortunate to be employed These were canned and frozen and in 1957 he went to work for the USDA there year around, shipped by rail to the company plant in doing poultry grading in a broiler plant During turkey season in November Topeka. Later this process was all in Mississippi. • ' '~ e to early December, the employees put done at the plant m Concordm, Gehr tt In the early 1960s the Concordia in long hours at the plant, working said. plant closed. Gehrett retired in 1978 Dunng the late 1920s and early pany, Topeka. going," Gehrett said. Gehrett was sent camber, according to Sjolander, the previouslywasemployedatSunflower 1930s Gehrett's wife, Lucille, also Gehrett said it was during this time to the Concordia plant to work as a people in the area missed having a Manufacturing, Beloit. Rick is a rural worked at the plant and candled eggs. that eggs were broken at the Mankato grader and he continued to work there place to eat and "hang out," so she postal carrier at Smith Center and car- This sketch of the Metz Packing Company depicts a thriving business in Mankato. The plant, started by the three She purchasedthebusinessrecently really been supportive of this." The Metz brothers in the early 1900s, closed in the 1940s when farmers quit milking cows and raising chickens. The from James and Shelly Haskins who Warnekings previously owned and building, located in the northwest part of town, was torn down after it was damaged in a tornado in the eady 1950s. had owned it for six years. When the operated the care from 1987 to 1994. doors on The Barn were closed in De- Madlyn is a native of Burr Oak and