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.