Theodore Korthanke’s tree in Connie Bent’s yard at Second and Miami.

A local resident is very thankful to JB Contractors, for their work in rebuilding Miami Street and their involvement in protecting the original maple tree that led Hiawatha being known as the “City of Beautiful Maples.”

Connie Bent’s home at 200 Miami St. was built by T.J. Korthanke in 1920 and on the corner of her yard is a hard maple tree.

“From that one tree, Mr. Korthanke took the seeds and planted them on a vacant lot north of my house,” she said. “He grew the first maple trees in Hiawatha. Mr. Korthanke would walk all over town, giving away his precious trees. It was his legacy that Hiawatha became known as the ‘City of Beautiful Maples.’”

Mr. Korthanke died in 1941 before the trees reached maturity, but he indeed left Hiawatha with it’s legacy.

Bent said crews with JB Contractors protected the original old maple tree on the corner, by building handicap sidewalks on each side of this special tree.

“Placing dirt against the tree, they built a special sidewalk to curve around it,” she said. “Thank you for helping to preserve the granddaddy maple in town.”

Bent said she has noticed that AHRS Construction and other contractors have been working in Hiawatha to improve many of the streets.

“Their crews are responsible for removing the old road and then rebuilding a new one. I live on one of the streets they have been working on. Rain or shine the crews would start their day around 6:00 a.m. They worked a 12 hour day or more, oftentimes working on Saturdays. Thank you for a job well done.”

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