Volume Seven  Issue One  February 2022
  • Genealogy Library & Family Files
  • Research Library
  • 12,000 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
Director- Joyce M. Tice: President - Steve McCloskey: V.P - Kathy McQuaid
Charlie and Mansfield Celebrate Birthdays
by Steve McCloskey
You only celebrate your 165th birthday once.

This month, Mansfield Borough and Charles S. Ross, the first known person to be born in the Borough of Mansfield, celebrate their historic 165th-year birthday milestone within 24 hours of each other.

The process of officially becoming a borough actually started on November 28, 1856, when fifty-seven citizens petitioned the Tioga County Court to elevate Mansfield from unincorporated status within Richmond Township to a self-governing borough.

On Friday, February 13, 1857, the Grand Jury of Tioga County certified that the conditions demanded by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had been met, legally establishing Mansfield as a borough within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Seventy-seven days after presenting the petition and less than 24 hours after becoming a borough, Mansfield had its Virginia Dare moment, welcoming the birth of the first child inside the limits of the newly certified borough.

Not only was Charles Sturdevant Ross the first baby born in the borough of Mansfield, he was also the first child for his parents Sarah McKune Ross and Andrew J. Ross. Born at the family residence on North Main Street, Charles, who died in May of 1940, would remain a citizen of the borough for his entire life. A brother Edward followed eight years later. (Photo: The Ross Family home on North Main Street is now North Forest Realty.)
Historical accounts record Charles' parents moving to Mansfield in 1855. Shortly thereafter, his father Andrew entered into a partnership with Phillip Williams in the mercantile and lumbering profession. Their venture was so successful that in 1872 they established a banking house that later matriculated into today’s First Citizens Community Bank. That original Ross & Williams banking business financed the economic development of Mansfield almost since its conception and its predecessor continues that service to this day. (Photo: Ross & Williams Bank built 1874, Demolished 1989, corner of S. Main and E. Wellsboro Streets)

Charles was a student at Mansfield State Normal School when his father Andrew died at the age of 48 in 1875. After completing his studies at the Normal School in 1876, Charles took over his father’s interests in the Ross and Williams Bank. He continued that partnership until Williams died in 1894, becoming the sole owner of the bank. In 1907, Charles went into partnership with many of the most prominent members of the Mansfield business community to establish the First National Bank. He would serve as President of the First National Bank until retiring in 1931.
Charles, who never married and lived most of his adult life in an apartment above the bank, ranked as one of the most prominent and influential citizens in Mansfield history. He played a key role in the success of the Mansfield Fair, Smythe Park Association, Mansfield Electric Company, Paisley Shawl Factory, Sun Milling Company, Wood Novelty Company, and Oakwood Cemetery as well as numerous other endeavors. He also served as a long-time Trustee and Treasurer of the Mansfield State Normal School as well as a founding member of the Hook and Ladder Fire Company. If he wasn’t an investor or an owner, he arranged the financing of seemingly every business venture in the community. His influence is felt to this day in our town.

While we at the History Center are well versed on the remarkable and impressive accomplishments of Mansfield’s first birthday boy, we are at a loss in describing what he looked like. Mansfield has had a continuous succession of photographers doing business inside the borough limits since F.M. Spencer first opened his shop in 1865. You would think there would be numerous images of such a prominent, long-time citizen.

However, in the 12,561 catalogued photographs and postcards presently in our database, we have yet to discover an identified picture of Mansfield’s first-born child. In fact, we haven’t been able to identify photos of his parents Andrew J. and Sarah Ross or his brother, Edward, another prominent business and civic leader who served as Burgess and is credited with owning the first automobile in the borough.

We invite you to stop by the History Center sometime this month to help celebrate the 165th birthday of the borough and its first birthday boy. With any luck, you may help us come across the first identifiable photo of our own Virginia Dare.
Then & Now Views
Hats Restaurant
The restaurant associated with The Ponda Rosa Motel, which was formerly Kendrick's Motel, was known as Hats. It was south of Mansfield on Route 15.
Real Estaters
The former restaurant is home to Real Estaters. The motel was used for rentals until just a few years ago when it was razed. A wholesale tire place is now on that lot.
Hometown Treasures
The Things We Leave Behind
Pictorial Scavenger Hunt
To enhance your museum visit, we have created a series of pictorial scavenger hunts. Each page has 10 to 14 items to find throughout the rooms and display areas. It's fun to hunt them down. Stop in if you have a few minutes. Bring a friend and turn the hunt into a competition.
Upcoming Events
We are open for visitors noon to 3 T, W, Th or by appointment or any time we are here (which is most of the time). Masks encouraged.

March 26, 1 PM. Jim McMullin, expert on the Erie Railroad, has donated his collection of books, maps, and memorabilia on the Tioga Division of the Erie to The History Center. On March 26, he will be here for a presentation on that subject. It was postponed from 2020 and again from 2021. This is sponsored by The History Center and the Mansfield Free Public Library. We hope to see you then.
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

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 4 to 6 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 2022
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 2022 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
83 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
Bohart Heating & Plumbing

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