Volume Three  Issue Nine  October 2018
The History Center on Main Street
 83 and 61 North Main Street
Mansfield, PA
The Museum of Us
The History Center on Main Street
Director- Joyce M. Tice: President - Deb Talbot Bastian: V.P - Amy Welch
Francis J. Kelly 1904-1986
The Postman Francis Kelly Always Delivered
Mansfield’s Longest Serving Postmaster and Branch Rickey
By Steve McCloskey

On a Friday evening in late January of 1927, Branch Rickey, then the General Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals was huddled in a small room off the auditorium in old Alumni Hall on the campus of Mansfield State Teachers College waiting for a nervous young man to arrive.

In an hour’s time Rickey would deliver a rapid-fire lecture on sportsmanship, strong morals and clean living to an overflow audience of students, faculty, area citizens and baseball fans. An acknowledged complex personality possessing what many described as a brilliant mind, Rickey enjoyed speaking to groups of young people. He was, and would always remain, a difference maker in the lives of others as well as someone who would leave an indelible mark on history.
Francis Kelly
Francis J. Kelly from 1929 Carontawan Yearbook
As he opened the door to meet with Rickey, Mansfield native Francis Kelly must have surely been nervous. Few people of Rickey’s national stature had ever been to Mansfield before and Rickey was no ordinary baseball man.

Upcoming Events
On three Sunday afternoons in November learn how to draw like the masters!  November 4, 11 and 18th from 2:00 to 4:00 local artist, Randy Owen, whose drawing of Jack Black was featured on a recent episode of "ELLEN" will be guiding us through a drawing. All supplies are included in the $30.00 cost of three workshops. Call Deb at 570-662-2955 for more class details and to reserve your spot. Check out Randy's work at  Randy Owen | drawings & paintings
Was Our Building Once the Post Office? Or Twice?
The Museum of Us

I always tell people that even after 25 years of researching and studying the people and communities of our area, I still learn something new about it every day.

Until modern times the post offices in rural areas were in the business or home of the postmaster. That being the case, there are probably few buildings in the downtown that have not housed the post office at one time or another. In updating our web page on Mansfield's postmasters, I realized that two of the postmasters were doing business in our museum building at the time they were serving in that position.

From August 15 to October 14 of 1855, Isaac M. Ruckman was postmaster. He was also the editor/publisher of Mansfield's first newspaper, "The Banner", later "The Express." It was printed in the basement of the Methodist Church." That is what our building was originally, and since there is nothing we would call a basement, we determine that it is our first floor where our kitchen/conference room is as well as our blue and gold room exhibit. We have no confirmation that this also briefly held the post office, but it is possible given the practices of the time.

Once the Methodists built the brick church and moved up the hill, Melvin Clark and his wife, Sarah Beach, moved their family into the building and used the upper part as a furniture store. During that period, 1877-1886, Melvin was postmaster. It is likely that the post office was included in the furniture store on the second floor of what is now our museum building.

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Checks can be mailed to:
The History Center on Main Street
83 North Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933
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The History Center on Main Street
The History Center on Main Street provided no goods or services in exchange for your contribution. Your contribution is deductible to the extent provided by law. The official registration and financial information of The History Center on Main Street, may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement