Volume Seven Issue Eight December 2022
  • Genealogy Library & Family Files
  • Research Library
  • 13,000 catalogued photos & local postcards
  • Museum Exhibits
  • Public Events
  • Website: joycetice.com/histcent.htm
  • Open T W Th 11 Am to 3 PM or anytime we are here, which is most of the time.
  • Stop in for a visit
It's Our Tenth Anniversary in Mansfield
Director- Joyce M. Tice: President - Steve McCloskey: V.P - Kathy McQuaid
Bates Drug Store and Kelley & Obourn Groceries are all decorated for Christmas 1914 in this wonderful Bates postcard.
Santa Clause is one Mr. Ballard. Thank you, Mr. Bates for writing that on the back.
This is likely LeRoy Ballard (1844-1920) who was in Sullivan, Richmond and Mansfield his whole life. We have recently acquired several rare postcards that we have never seen before in thirty years of looking. This is one of the best.
1892: Made in Mansfield by Steve McCloskey
Oh No!! Not the Dog!!
Christmas 1892 –Home-made presents took on a new meaning in Mansfield

If you could choose to be transported back in time, December of 1892 in Mansfield would be a good destination to visit.

Just 35 years after its incorporation as a borough, Mansfield’s population had grown more than five times the number of inhabitants of its 1857 founding. Mansfield, like much of the nation, was booming in 1892.

While the World’s First Night Football game, held in Smythe Park in September of that year, has become a legacy in the cultural history of our country, it barely was noted by local media. Instead, the Mansfield Advertiser focused and cheered on the stunning industrial growth that was taking place in the community.

Spearheaded by the recently formed Mansfield Board of Trade, investors in Mansfield bought and transported a manufacturing company lock, stock and barrel to the borough. Led by Charles S. Ross and Philip Williams of the Ross and Williams Bank, a stock-company purchased the Monroeton Wood Novelty factory out of receivership in May of that year. By September 15 train cars filled with equipment transported the factory to recently completed buildings near the railroad depot bordering today’s Novelty Place Street. By November the factory was humming with orders, employing up to 50 hands.
The Mansfield Wood Novelty Company produced a staggering array of products before the year was out, most, if not all of them for sale at the factory to local shoppers. The long list included: toy ten-pins, building blocks, tops, return balls, bows and arrows, flag staffs, rolling pins, potato mashers, baseball bats, toy furniture including pianos,1-5 and 10-cent toy wagons, penny locomotives, churns, toy wash tubs and boards, field and parlor croquet sets, scoops, squirt guns, pea-shooters and clappers. The factory produced more than 3,000 croquet sets in their first six months in Mansfield and completed a rush order of 100 gross of baseball bats (14,400) before Christmas.

Days after the ownership transfer of the Wood Novelty Company, the Advertiser heralded the addition of another factory – this one a start-up producing gloves and mittens. The Mansfield Glove and Mitten Company was located in the bank block at the rear of the Joseph Hoard Insurance Company. The boiler used for steam to power the sewing machines and other equipment also heated the bank and insurance company. In 1892 it produced numerous items employing dozens of hands, most of them women whom the paper noted had good singing voices. 
While much of their business was for wholesale trade, they also offered specialized products for local shoppers. That list included harvest mittens during the summer and sheepskin rubber boot slippers along with a myriad of glove and mitten styles and materials.

Among the unique – and disturbing – specialty products ordered by local shoppers that Christmas season included long-wristed coonskin gloves made for the driver of the Tioga-Roseville stage. Another order – well before the days of PETA – was placed by Dr. Smith of Tioga for driving-gloves made of dog-skin, tanned with the hair on them. They also featured palms and thumbs made of buckskin and lined with lambskin. Perhaps revolting by today’s standards, his wasn’t the only order for dog skinned gloves that Christmas season.
While the Glove and Mitten company had a relatively short life span, the Wood Novelty Company became a mainstay producing its nationally recognized tops and other novelty items for decades of Christmas shoppers.
Let us know what you think of our newsletters or just drop us a note to tell us about you and your family's time in Mansfield. We want to hear from you at [email protected]
Renewed Members - New Members - Join us for 2023
At The History Center, we rely on the support of the community to do what we do in collecting, preserving, analyzing and presenting the stories of our town and its people. Every membership dollar is valuable for us. Some of our members have been with us from the very beginning in 2012 and 2013, and new people join us every year.

Membership dollars keep our building operating and allow us to stay in touch with members and non-members alike who care about Mansfield area history and appreciate the opportunity to see themselves and their families represented as part of the community. We also present Mansfield as a thriving community to visitors who drive through and stop in to see what Mansfield is about. We provide a gathering place for people to celebrate and learn about our town and each other.

Our 40-page quarterly journal which is mailed to members, tells the stories of some outstanding and some ordinary citizens like us who played a role here. In some cases, they get the chance to tell their own stories to a new audience through our Voices from the Archives.
We'd like to have twenty new members for 2023. As a bonus, we'll send each of them a journal issue from 2022 in addition to the 2023 issues as they are published. You can send a check or pay by PayPal. Directions link from the button at left.
Thanks also to our members who renew for another year. If you are due for renewal, your card is in the latest journal mailed in November.
You've thought about it. Now's the time.
A New (to us) View of Mansfield
Motorless Parade
This excerpt from a 1907ish Bates postcard gives us the best early full view of that South Main Street block that we have ever seen.
Dr. Linnaeus Smith
Born in September 1851 in the northeast corner of Sullivan Township, Dr. Smith specialized in homeopathic skin treatments. He worked in Jamaica, British West Indies, on treatment for leprosy. He died in Philadelphia in 1900 of jaundice contracted in Jamaica.

He was the son of Mary Abbott Bradford and Alexander Cumstock Smith of Sullivan.
New to the Collections
Wooden Shoulder Yoke
Amy Webster Ensminger donated this wooden shoulder yoke. It has ropes attached on each end with hooks at the end to hang pails. It is not comfortable, but it does the job in distributing the weight for easier carrying. Come in and try it on some time.
Upcoming Events: Your Suggestions
In March, we are planning an event for Womens History Month highlighting women from our area's past who have engaged in career or activities usually out of the reach of the norm for her time. We'd like to hear your suggestions of women who meet that criteria. Let us know by email who you suggest and what they did that makes you consider them. Thanks [email protected]
Regular Hours
Note for December - The History Center will be closed from mid-December until January 2nd. If you need to communicate, please do it by email to [email protected]. Enjoy your holidays.

Normal Hours: We are open noon to 3 T, W, Th or by appointment or any time we are here (which is most of the time). Masks encouraged.

We've been very pleased to see the High School Reunions resume after two years of absence. This year, we hosted several, and we are looking forward to more in 2023. Let us know when your class will be gathering, and we will make sure our doors are open to welcome you back home. If you've been here before, expect to see even more now.
MHS Class Reunions
After two long Pandemic years, we hope that the High School reunions can start again. If you are planning a reunion, consider a casual afternoon Meet & Greet at the History Center's Museum of Us. In an informal environment, you can chat with your friends, watch a slide show of Mansfield's historic photos, and find traces of yourself, your friends, and your family. Many of our exhibits are geared to those who grew up here. The Blue & Gold Room is full of MHS sports mementos. The pictorial display includes YOU along with all the other MHS graduates in its first hundred years.
Update on Our Renovations
Our outside work is very nearly complete: Siding, Stairs, Porch and sidewalks. This 174-year-old building is looking great thanks to Matt Neal and his crew and the community members who chipped in to financially support our upgrades.

Special thanks to Jim Davies and Mary Robinson-Slabey who tore out the old lath and plaster to get the project started. That was the hardest part of the work.

Be sure to visit our new genealogy-history library. Started on the inside in spring 2019, we are completed on the outside in fall 2022.
Growing With YOUR Help!!!
Your Town, Your Ancestors, Your History
For the New Year. Consider a gift membership. Members will receive our 40 page printed journal by mail 3 to 4 times a year with new articles that have never been researched before and outstanding photos to illustrate. Share your love of the Mansfield area with your friends and family.
Why do we ask for donations in every newsletter? Because we have to.
It's the only way we can continue offering our important services to the community.
Your help will make it possible.
The next issue of Voices from the Archives is in preparation. It will be forty pages of articles about the lives and activities of our town. Be sure your membership is current, so you don't miss any.
Membership- Renew for 2023
Annual memberships are an important part of keeping us operating. Please consider a new or renewed membership.

Members receive four to six issues annually of our printed journal Voices From the Archives.

Membership dollars are an important part of our operating resource. Be sure to renew your membership for 2023 or become a new member. A renewal card will be included in the next journal which will be mailed this month.
Annual Membership Levels
Family $50
Individual $35
Senior (Over 65) $25
Business Level $100
Lifetime $500
MHS Class Memorial $200

Checks to
The History Center
61 N. Main Street
Mansfield PA 16933
or by the PayPal Donate Button
A History Center Member is a History Center Hero
Be A Hero
Thank You to Our Gold Level Sponsors
Ward Manufacturing
Law Offices of Larry Mansfield
First Citizens Community Bank
VFW Post 6757
Mansfield Auxiliary Corporation
Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Lutes Foundation
Thank You to Our Silver Level Sponsors
Real Disposal Service
UGI Utilities, Inc.
Blue Ridge Cable
Matt Neal Construction
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