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Genealogy: Family Histories

Manke - Stier Families

  Compiled and Edited by Michael R. Reilly

Last Revised 09/17/2009

Manke-Stier family contributed much to Sussex-Lisbon

Former Lisbon farm boy Leon Manke recently donated more than 60 photos and newspaper clippings of the extended Manke-Stier family to the Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society.

The photos are now in a three-ring binder so researchers can study that once-mighty Lisbon farming family, which is down to only three Manke and two Stier entries in the most recent local telephone book.

Once, though, in about the first one-third of the 20th century, Lisbon boasted five Manke farms and three Stier farms.

The Stier-Manke family began in the mid-1880s with Jacob and Anna Stier's arrival in central Lisbon, where they raised three boys and a daughter.

Herman, Charles and August Manke immigrated to Lisbon from Germany in the early 1900s. Their land stretched from today's Bristol Court and Sussex Bowl west to Pick 'n Save and North Shore Bank on Highway 164.

Leon Manke, now a member of the Historical Society's board of directors, is descended from both lines. His mother, Lizzie (1876-1955), was the only daughter of Jacob and Anna (Eisenhauer) Stier. (She was baptized Elizabeth, but was known all her life as Lizzie.) She married August Manke on Nov. 30, 1904. Both had been born in Germany.

She gave birth to the first of their four sons, Jacob, soon afterward. Ed followed in 1909, then Art in 1915 and finally Hilbert (Hib) in 1919.

The couple raised the boys on a 75-acre farm on Pewaukee Road north of Sussex's Main Street. (The land claim had started with the then-standard 80 acres, but the Bug Line Railroad cut the farm in half, taking five acres of right-of-way with it.)

Much of the family's land was a former lake swamp, which made it flat and fertile. The 1923 Rural Directory of Waukesha County listed two horses and 14 milking cows to the farm. (Unlisted was a Case steel-on-steel tractor.)

The four boys attended Lisbon's Sixteen School, a one-room school at Good Hope and Hillside roads. They later transferred to Sussex Main Street School and went on to the two-year Sussex High School (housed in the same building).

The brothers all benefited from their father's financial backing: Jacob got a 78-acre farm along today's Highway 164 just east of Jay Lane south. Edward got a 40-acre farm immediately across Highway 164 from Jacob's farm. Arthur (Art) got their parents' 75 acres.

Hib, the baby of the family, bought land around Main and Maple Avenue with money from his parents. He leased the structure to Paul Cain Sr. and ran the Manke Oil Co. out of the back half.

Hib served in World War II and ended up on the Philippine Islands at the end of the war. He joined the Sussex Fire Department after his return and served there for 25 years, 1948 to 1973. His brother Jake also volunteered for service with the department, from 1926 to 1932.

Jacob had four children, Elisabeth (Betty), David, Philip and Louise. Betty helped run Halquist Stone Co. while Larry Halquist was at the helm. She was also a key member of the Sussex-Lisbon Area Business and Professional Association (now the Sussex Area Chamber of Commerce).

Edward had two sons, Curt and Richard (Dick). Both joined the Lisbon 4-H, went into the insurance business and served on the Waukesha County Board of Supervisors, Dick for 28 years and Curt for six. His fellow supervisors elected Curt their leader during his time there.

Curt, Dick and their uncle Art, who served 25 years on the County Board, together put in 59 years there.

Curt also served as the County Expo (County Fair) director for a while. His last hurrah came on the Waukesha County Historical Society Board of Directors, where he served for nine years, the last four as its chairman. During his tenure, the Waukesha Historical Society Museum ironed out the ongoing acquisition of items related to electric guitar pioneer Les Paul, a Waukesha resident in his youth.

Retrospect: Manke-Stier family played big role creating today's Sussex-Lisbon

The Manke-Stier family were giants in the Sussex-Lisbon community of the 20th century. Their political contributions included time on the Lisbon, Sussex and school district boards and the 59 years the Manke trio of Art, Curt and Dick spent on the Waukesha County Board.

The Stier and Manke families joined when Lizzie Stier married August F. Manke in 1904, beginning a family dynasty that turned family reunions into political leadership conferences.

Just to pick a few accomplishments: John Stier served as Lisbon town chairman from 1917 to 1921 and as principal of Sixteen School, Sussex Main Street School and Lannon School. Art Manke served as Lisbon town chairman from 1961 to 1969. Fred Stier was one of the 16 signers of the 1924 Sussex incorporation petition.

The Mankes and Stiers spent 120 years collectively in the Sussex Fire Department, four of them as charter members since its founding in 1922. Roy Stier served as chief from 1948 to 1951. He was elected Sussex village president in 1957 and again in 1965, serving four years each time.

This final installment of our series will focus on the youngest sons of August and Lizzie Manke, Art and Hib.

Arthur 'Art' Manke

Art Manke was born March 18, 1915, on the Manke farm where Bristol Court is today. He graduated from the Sussex two-year high school in 1930. He married Mary Zindl, and they had five children: Leon, Girard, Marilyn, Robert and Steve.

He eventually took over the 75-acre home farm, but found time to enter politics, serving 10 years on the Sussex Main Street School Board, and later on the Hamilton High School site selection committee. He also served on the Lisbon Town Board, first as a supervisor, then as town chairman for many years. He also served 25 years on the Waukesha County Board.

Art joined the Sussex Lions Club In 1962, serving on a number of its committees and in many officer positions, including the presidency in 1978-79, when the club made the final payment on the lights and finishing touches on the Sussex Village Park softball diamond.

He sold the farm for development in 1979 and retired to a home on Hickory Road in Lisbon. He died July 15, 1992, at age 77.

Hubert 'Hib' Manke

The baby brother of this four-son family, Hubert "Hib" Manke, was born Jan. 24, 1919, also in the farmhouse, which stood on land that today serves as Sussex Bowl's front yard.

He graduated from Sussex's two-year high school in 1935. While there, he played fullback on the school's football team and served as business manager of the high school newspaper, The Courier.

(Its humor column mentioned that he bought a watch at the Chicago World's Fair. When asked how it ran, he replied, "Fine. It does an hour in 50 minutes." He later explained his logic: "That's the exception to the rule that all rules have exceptions.")

During World War II, he served in the Philippine Islands with the U.S. Army. On his return to Lisbon, he joined the Sussex VFW at its charter meeting and a few years later served a term as its commander.

With his father's financial backing, he acquired the Sussex Garage (today Paul Cain Service at Main Street and Maple Avenue) and started Manke Oil Co., a fuel oil delivery business.

He joined the Sussex Fire Department in 1948, serving there for the next 25 years. His wife, Kathleen, served as the Sussex Lioness Club's first president in 1965-66.

Their daughter, Peg, followed in her mother's footsteps as the Lioness Club president for the 1985-86 term. Peg's husband, Jim Kais, served as Lions Club president in 1984-85.

Hib and Kathleen had two other daughters, Karen and Kathy, and a son, Francis.

Hib, Kathleen, Hib's brother Edward, and Edward's wife, Ruth, were all killed in an traffic accident Feb. 23, 1975, near Scottsdale, Ariz. Francis was also injured, but survived.

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Copyright Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society, Inc., , 2002 - 2016, Except as noted: All documents placed on the website remain the property of the contributors, who retain publication rights in accordance with US Copyright Laws and Regulations. In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, these documents may be used by anyone for their personal research. They may be used by non-commercial entities, when written permission is obtained from the contributor, so long as all notices and submitter information are included. These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit. Any other use, including copying files to other sites, requires permission from the contributors PRIOR to uploading to the other sites. The submitter has given permission to the website to store the file(s) for free access. Such permission may be revoked upon written notice to the website webmaster. Website's design, hosting, and maintenance are donated by Website Editor & Webmaster: Michael R. Reilly (Mike)