Couple donates 44-acre farm to Chippewa Valley School District

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – A couple donated a 44 acre farm to the Chippewa Valley School District.

William Manthey and Dorothy Manthey owned the Manthey farm, which sat empty for a few years. Now that land is going to the Chippewa Valley School District, a gift worth $4 million.

William Manthey died in 2011. He had dreamed of helping children. When his wife, Dorothy Manthey, died last year, that dream became a reality.

The couple bought the land in 1952. William Manthey had returned from World War II and was a teacher in Detroit. The couple moved out onto the farm to work the land full time in the late '60s.

Dennis Swartz was 10 years old when he started working at the farm. He came back to run the business in its final years and now watches over it.

"I'd sit down and talk to Bill and he was like a second father to me," Swartz said. "Education was always No. 1 with him."

The couple always had a vision of giving back to education, and William Manthey knew what he wanted to do with the land when they were gone.

In 2004 Mark Deldin had been named superintendent of the school district and took a phone call from the Mantheys -- they were offering 7 acres of the farm land to the district. A few years later Deldin learned about a much bigger offer: the farm would go to the district when William Manthey and Dorothy Manthey died.

Money will go toward a Dorothy Manthey and William Manthey scholarship so their legacy can live on.

The current superintendent at Chippewa Valley said there are no specific plans for the property yet, but they want to take their time and do something the couple would be proud of.

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