Maienscheins not typical residents
Linda and Terry Maienschein were never typical Bella Vista residents. When they moved here in 1969, they were a young married couple without any children. They actually came to Bella Vista with her parents who were looking for property for retirement. They were also celebrating their second anniversary.
“We just loved it,” she said. “We thought why should we wait until retirement age to live here?”
She was a school teacher and he found a job with Cooper Communities. They moved during the summer of 1969.
The management of Cooper pushed their employees to get involved with the young community. At the time there were only about 200 people in town and many of them were Cooper salespeople.
“I was president of the Women’s Club at age 25,” Linda Maienschein remembers. “It was a wonderful atmosphere.”
“In 1969 everyone knew each other and it was a very close community. I don’t know if that’s possible today.”
She didn’t go back to work full time, but she did a lot of substitute teaching and then became a stay-at-home mom. She was also a busy volunteer.
“It was fun to watch it grow,” she said about Bella Vista.
Shopping could be difficult in those early years. Before she moved, she made sure she had a year’s worth of makeup. They usually shopped in Joplin. A trip to Fayetteville took an hour and a half.
Terry Maienschein left Cooper after five years to become a contractor, and he built a lot of homes in Bella Vista.
After their son was born, he was one of only
a few children in town. He learned early how to talk to older people and how to respect his elders.
When they first moved in there was no east side or west side. Metfield didn’t exist and neither did the Highlands. They watched as new roads were slowly put in and then paved.
“We had a welcoming committee and that was exciting. People were coming here and leaving their friends and coming here to make new friends. You didn’t feel by yourself when you moved here.”
There were regular
dances at the Country Club. They spent many weekends there.
Eventually, Terry Maienschein’s business moved towards Bentonville and traffic got to be a problem. While the couple still has many friends in Bella Vista, they now live in Bentonville.
The biggest change she’s seen is population. Bella Vista is now a city, and the population is also getting younger.
“School buses have always run in Bella Vista, there are just more of them now,” she said. “There’s always been some
But the advantage of having children in the community is that children keep older people feeling young.
“I love to see the new beach area — to see children having fun on the beach. I would have loved to have had that area when my son was small.”
While she understands that some retirees may prefer a child-free environment, younger retirees don’t seem to have a problem with children in town.
“It’s a community and sometimes that’s good,” she said.
Although they now live in Bentonville, Linda and Terry Maienschein still own a lot in Bella Vista and particpated in the long-time resident reception at the museum last week.
Linda and Terry Maienschein enjoyed the Country Club after moving to Bella Vista in 1969.