The History Center on Main Street
Volume Three
Issue One
January 2018
The History Center on Main Street
83 and 61 North Main Street
Mansfield PA
The Museum of Us
Director- Joyce M. Tice: President - Deb Talbot Bastian: V.P - Amy Welch
Mansfield High School 1918 - A Century Ago
MHS Class of 1918
In 1918, Mansfield High School graduated its sixth class of 44 individuals. These people were born at the turn of the century from 1896 to 1901.

The class gender balance was unequal with only 18 males and 26 females.
That was typical even into the middle of the century as many of the boys went to work on the farms and did not continue in school. It's also probable that some may have left before graduation to join the military.

This class of 44 was larger than the previous class (32) and the following class (31.)

Life expectancy for people born in 1900 was 48 years at birth. However, they were already a select group when they entered high school, having survived the devastating childhood diseases of their time that accounted for high mortality among infants and children and lowered life expectancy rates. Having lived to their teen years greatly increased their chances for a long life, but even so, they truly beat the statistics. Not a single class member died in the great flu epidemic that enveloped the planet at the end of the Great War and into the next year.Their longevity was extraordinary. This group lived an average of 78.7 years. Eight class members, 18%, lived past the age of 90. Only fourteen of them, 31%, died before age 80.
Powers School 1910
Where Did They Start Out?

Most of the class of 1918 started out either at the  model school in Mansfield or in one of several nearby rural schools. Students from Sullivan or other townships who wanted to attend high school might spend the week with relatives in town. They could go directly to the Normal School and skip high school altogether as several Sullivan Township students did. Most people at that time did not pursue their education into the higher grades, as they were called. Most of the students at the high school were from Mansfield or Richmond Township.

This circa 1910 photo from the Powers School at Powers Corners includes four members of the Class of 1918.
Back Row: Lisle Sherman, Oscar Sherman, Rose Hemmer, Edna Lewis "Shaw", Allen Carlson, Gertrude Carlson, Buena Clark.
Front Row: Robert Seeley, Harold G. Clark, Dean Davey, Roy Omelion, Hubert Hager, Horace Beach, Keith Ripley, Theodore Clark.

Interestingly, Ora Harvey (1901-1993)and Frances Soper (1899-1983) had graduated from Covington High School in 1917. Since Covington was only a three year school, some came on to Mansfield for that fourth year of high school.
Gettysburg Trip
School Trip to Gettysburg

Gettysburg was the destination for the 1918 school trip memorialized by this group photo at Devil's Den.
Where Next?
At least 18 members of this class, 41%, went up the hill to Mansfield State Normal School for what was then a two year curriculum. Many of them became teachers. Some went on to four year colleges as well, and Ora Harvey (1901-1993) attended Elmira Business Institute following graduation.
This class graduated roughly six months before the end of World War One. The following Class of 1918 members are on the World War One Memorial Wall in Mansfield:
Oscar Sherman
F. Richard Stilwell
Wade Judge
Lewis S. Dorsett
Jay Austin Baldwin
Frederick B. Burnham Sr.
Albert Armstrong
Roy Cleveland
Keith Ripley
Wellwood G. Fowler
WW1 Memorial Wall
There were no deaths for this group in World War One.
First Born, Last To Die
Perhaps you remember her serving your coffee at the New XTrail Restaurant on W. Wellsboro Street which Evelyn F. Howe and her husband, Arthur Boucher, started in the 1940s and operated until 1962. She graduated from Mansfield State Normal School in 1920 and remained in Mansfield for her lifetime.
Born in 1896, Evelyn was the first born of her classmates and the last to die - in 1998 at age 101.
Evelyn Howe Boucher
Wellwood Fowler
Wellwood G. Fowler hurt his knee working at a Goodyear Rubber plant in Ohio only two years out of high school. The leg was later amputated, but still healing did not occur. He died in 1922, the first death of his class.
Wellwood, Harold G. Clark and Margaret Hamilton were first cousins through their mothers, the Gillespie sisters.
Harold Gillespie Clark (1898-1992) operated the Clark Family Farm in Richmond Township, as the fourth generation. His son, Dave, continued as the fifth generation and lives there still. Harold also started the filling station at Powers Corners in 1926 with his father, Wesley Clark. The children of Harold are members of The History Center. We are grateful for their support and participation.

Lyle Bert Sherman (1897-1972) also spent his life farming just down the road and within sight of the Clark Farm. He and his wife, Iva Sherman, had a large family. Many of their children and grandchildren still live in the area.

Lyle's brother and classmate, Oscar Richmond Sherman (1900-1990)went to Mansfield State Normal School and on to Penn State. He taught agriculture in the state. Returning back to the Mansfield area, he sold real estate and was active in the East Sullivan Grange.

Keith Smith Ripley (1898-1983) was both a teacher and farmer, his farm being adjacent to that of Lyle Sherman. It is an interesting coincidence that three people from this same class operated farms in such close proximity. Their attendance at the same elementary school indicates that they were neighbors even in childhood.
George McClure
George Nelson McClure (1899-1933) established the McClure Motor Company in Mansfield, Troy, and Corning selling Ford Cars. His death in 1933 was the second in the class and certainly the saddest. Just after the birth of his second child, he committed suicide by carbon monoxide in his car.
Margaret Hamilton
Margaret Hamilton (1898-1989) owned and operated the Holleran Inn in Wellsboro and co-owned the Redwood Inn at Hills Creek.

Fred B. Burnham, Sr (1898-1968)graduated from M.S.N.S. in 1921 and Syracuse University in 1925. He taught at Mansfield High School and worked at the Post Office. He was also tax collector for Mansfield Borough.
Lewis Dorsett
Lewis Dorsett (1899-1961) graduated from M.S.N.S. in 1923 and was principal of Charleston and Millerton schools. In World War One he was a Sergeant in the Ambulance Corps. He spent fifteen years as a milk inspector for the New York State Board of Health.
Gone to Graveyards, Every One

Many of the Class of 1918 are buried in local cemeteries. At least twelve class members are buried in Prospect Cemetery and one in Oakwood. Even though they may not have lived locally, some came back to family plots in the local cemeteries. Eleven are buried in other Tioga County cemeteries and three in adjacent Bradford County. Others are interred in Rochester, Big Flats, Painted Post and Utica, New York as well as Texas, Ohio, New Jersey, and Washington State.

Our complete listing and all obituaries that we have can be found on our Class of 1918 page . We will add obituaries or other biographical material as we receive it. Sometimes, the obituaries don't tell us much, seldom as much as we'd like to know, so we will appreciate any additional information or anecdotes or photos you can provide on these or others who start from our area.
What Else Happened in 1918?
Sadly, Mansfield's local newspapers from 1912 to 1929 are lost in time except for three fragmentary tattered issues in our collection. However, we do have Mansfield State Normal School's FIRST ever yearbook. We also have the Fair book with advertisements from local businesses.

The Mansfield Fair, the year's major event, was spoiled by rain every day but one.

The most popular recordings of the year to be played on the Victrolas, included "Over There," and "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows." Sheet music included "Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning" by Irving Berlin.
Food Council
The Food Council

During the war, conservation of food was encouraged nationally as well as at the local M.S.N.S. where a committee met to discuss ways to be thrifty with food. This cartoon is from the 1918 Carontawan and reflects the issue with humor.
model school
The Model School and Kindergarten

Mansfield's children attended school on the M.S.N.S. campus. Kindergarten was held in Alumni Hall and was open to all children between the ages of three and six. Among those in kindergarten in 1918 were two friends who left us not so long ago: Esther Jerald (1913 -2011) and Chester Bailey (1912-2015). Both told us of their kindergarten experiences in video interviews which can be seen at The History Center.
A. Howard Vosburg
A. Howard Vosburg (1877 - 1954) was Burgess (mayor) of Mansfield and also ran the restaurant/ice cream shop located in one of the bank building shop spaces.
William R. Longstreet
William Longstreet (1858 - 1935) was principal of the high school from 1912 until he retired in 1929.

He had previously been principal of the training school at M.S.N.S. and Tioga County Superintendent of Schools. 
william Ringgold Straughn
William Ringgold Straughn (1882-1936) was principal of the Mansfield State Normal School. It was during his time, 1926, that the institution became Mansfield State Teachers College. Straughn Auditorium was named for him.

In 1918 S. A. T. C. (Student Army Training Corps) was part of the school's operation with the purpose of assisting in the training of the new armies.

300 cases of the Spanish influenza hit the school. Victims were isolated, classes were suspended, and there were no deaths. Worldwide, 50 million people died of flu.

M.S.N.S produced its first yearbook.
Wherever You Are
You are part of the greater Mansfield community. As local historians, part of our purpose is to keep track of the people who start out here. Many of us have ancestral ties going back to the first settlers in the area. We may have several generations of family who have been in the local schools. Check out your own Mansfield High School page as well as your parents and children. If you have obituaries or stories to add to our body of knowledge, we'd like to hear from you.
Wherever Life Takes You, You Are Always Welcome Home

Is this your year for a class reunion? One of our favorite activities is to welcome home our local people with a reception during their high school reunion weekend. We have hosted about sixteen reunion classes over the past four years and enjoy meeting or catching up with old friends. It gives us a chance to share what we are doing for Mansfield's people and gives the reunion class members the chance to meet and reacquaint in an informal setting.

This year we will make our Mansfield Then and Now program available to classes who want to see Mansfield as they remember it. Additionally, most of the first floor of our Museum of Us is set up with artifacts and exhibits relating to Mansfield High School.

We will be glad to work with your reunion committees to help schedule a visit to the History Center into your plans.
One way to you can make sure that we can continue to preserve Mansfield area history and ensure that it is available to you now and in the future is to become a member or donor.
Paypal makes it easy to give a one time donation or a smaller one on a monthly basis to spread it out over time.
You and your family are part of Mansfield's Community History. Do you have a story or anecdote to tell about growing up in the Mansfield area? We'd like to hear it and include it in the newsletter. We'd also like to see your family photos. You can send them by email as high resolution scans or bring them in and we'll scan them for you. This will not only help us tell Mansfield's story, but will also protect and preserve your treasured family photos. Our story is not complete without you.
Coming in the Next Issue

Mansfield was home to one of Pennsylvania's Soldiers Orphans Schools from 1867 to 1889. We'll tell you all about it in our next issue.

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