From everywhere, folks find home in Mancos
Different jobs and various church and school positions have given some of us a platform for public speaking. Now, through the library, I am forming a Toastmasters chapter that can be educational and enjoyable.
There are many of us who would find it profitable to join such an organization. And many who have left this scene would have profited by belonging to Toastmasters. One of them was Susan Littlejohn Mauler.
Susan Littlejohn was born in Luxembourg in 1869 and her husband Frank Mauler was born in Austria in 1877. They were quite poor when they came to Mancos in 1908. For a short time they lived on the Krumpanitzky (Humiston) place south of town. They milked cows, and their daughter Helen and son George would go around town delivering milk in buckets. They would dip out a quart or so at a time for folks.
Susan and Frank later bought a farm east of Mancos and close to the railroad. Frank died in 1928, but Susan and her daughter Dorothy and sons Frank and George lived there for many years. Mrs. Mauler and Dorothy went to town on Saturdays to deliver butter to the stores sometimes as much as 40 pounds at a time. They of course had prepared breakfast, fed and milked the cows and churned the butter from the cream before making their deliveries. Mrs. Mauler lived to be just three weeks short of 100 years old, and died on Dec. 1, 1968. In 1967, she fell and broke her hip and was confined to a nursing home.
A man I have come to respect and cherish his friendship is Brian Hanson, the superintendent of schools in Mancos. Brian was born and raised in Vermillion, S.D., as was his mother. His father grew up in Deadwood, S.D.
Mr. Hanson attended the University of South Dakota located in Vermillion. He met and married his wife Joan in 1984 while attending college. He graduated in May of 1986 with a bachelor's of science degree in math and went to Parker, Ariz., where he taught for two years. Joan's and his daughter, Brittany, was a year old when they moved to Arizona. Their son, Jed, was born while Brian was teaching in Mancos.
Mr. Hanson moved to Mancos in 1988 and taught here for 10 years. Even though it had become home to him, he wanted to be a principal and when the opportunity arose in Bayfield he took it. He stayed in Bayfield for 10 years as a principal.
A friend, who was on the school board in Mancos, said that Brian should apply for the superintendent of schools in Mancos. He did and has been here five years.
Mr. Hanson said, "Those years I taught in Mancos were the best years of my life. I enjoyed the school, the students and the people in the community. When the opportunity came to move back to Mancos in 2008 it was like being able to come back home. I was hired by Julio Archuleta in 1988 and am honored to be a superintendent and sit in the position that Julio sat in for 27 years."
Darrel Ellis is a longtime historian of the Mancos Valley. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.