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City of Manton Competing for Reader’s Digest “Nicest Place in America”

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Small towns across the U.S. are competing for the title “Nicest Place in America” according to Reader’s Digest, and one that made the top ten is in our own backyard.

The City of Manton may have a population of about 1,600 – but the people there have passion and love for their small town.

Scott Chittle, who created a skating rink in his yard for local kids during the winter, nominated the city to the magazine.

“It’s the small town effect, so to speak,” said Jim Westbrook, Owner of Westbrook Music. “Everybody knows everybody.”

Westbrook has owned his music store since 2013, but his family’s roots in Manton go all the way back to the 1800s.

“I think it’s the small town, the town likes doing things together like the music station,” he said. “The town really just loves music.”

Westbrook likes to sit out on the bench outside his store and talk to people passing by.

“Having all the people stop, wave and say howdy, stop to shoot the breeze for a while, everybody in town is just fantastic,” he said.

Just down the street, Shelly Helsel sets up flowers outside Larson’s Floral and Gifts.

She calls Manton her home.

“I’ve lived here my whole life and I never really left,” said Helsel. “I’ve never wanted to leave.”

But to them, it’s not the quaint shops, or the park that makes Manton what it is, it’s the people.

“If you look around Manton, it’s obvious what makes it special. It’s a gorgeous town,” said Mayor Sam Cronkhite. “But it actually is people. There’s a lot of love in Manton.”

“Everybody’s looking out for one another and in the school, in the community,” said Donielle Hicks from The Prayer Room. “Everybody just knows one another and helps each other out in tough times.”

And they agree, Manton is the nicest place in America.

“The citizens of Manton really pool together like a family,” said Cronkhite. “We are, we’re like a great big family.”

Voting for Nicest Place in America ends July 17, and you can vote .

The winning place will be featured in November’s edition of Reader’s Digest, and will have a video made about their town.

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