Volume Seven Issue Nine 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
Director- Joyce M. Tice: President - Steve McCloskey: V.P - Kathy McQuaid
Bates Drug Store and Kelley & Baynes 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.
A Century Ago: Rose Bowl Then and Now

As we look forward to the 2023 Rose Bowl and the participation of Penn State University, from which many of our readers have graduated, we look back a century to Rose Bowl 1923. Penn State was there, and so was Mansfield's sports hero, Joe Bedenk - to save the day - or not. Steve McCloskey takes us into the action on this 100th anniversary of Penn State's first appearance and the 100th anniversary of the Rose Bowl stadium.
Rose Bowl 1923 and 2023 by Steve McCloskey
One of the programs hosted by the History Center this year was a visit by Joanne Bedenk Warren. Her October presentation, along with her son Chris, delighted the audience with stories about her father Joe Bedenk.

If you were flipping through the sports page of your local newspaper anywhere in the country 100 years ago this week, you would most probably see an article on Mansfield’s Joe Bedenk.

Bedenk, a 1917 graduate of Mansfield High School and 1919 grad of Mansfield State Normal School, was the star player for the Penn State Nittany Lions 1922 football team. Joe, perhaps better known in State College during his undergrad years as Dutch, and his teammates were set to square-off against the University of Southern California as the highlight to the 1923 Tournament of Roses celebration in Pasadena’s new Rose Bowl Stadium. The game was set for January 1, 1923.
The contest was a much-hyped matchup and eagerly anticipated by the national media. The Nittany Lions went undefeated in 1920 and 1921, but the young and injury-depleted team had lost three close games during the 1922 regular season. USC sported a 7-1 mark, losing only to Pacific Coast Champion California.

To add to the intensity, the game was to be played for the first time in the Rose Bowl Stadium. One of the most iconic football venues in history, Rose Bowl Stadium took two years to construct and is still used to play the Rose Bowl today.
Penn State was coached by the legendary Hugo Bezdek, who had taken over as the athletic director, head football and baseball coach in 1918. Bezdek was born in the Austria-Hungarian Empire, as was Bedenk’s father William who was a well-known tailor in Mansfield. Bezdek was one of the best known and feared coaches in the country. Raised in Cleveland after moving to this country, Bezdek’s father worked in the slaughterhouse and his forefathers were strong men and athletes. Hugo certainly fit their tough-guy mold.

Bezdek had already coached the University of Oregon to a Rose Bowl championship as well as the Mare Island Marine Corps football team during World War I’s 1918 season. He also served as Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team from 1917-19. His players at Penn State nicknamed him “Bloody Bezdek” and Tuesday practices were called “Bloody Tuesdays."
Joe Bedenk was also tough. He earned a starting spot at right guard on Bezdek’s undefeated 1921 team. He was so outstanding at his position that he was named as a 1st Team Walter Camp All-American as a sophomore. He also earned All-American and All-East honors as a junior in 1922 as well as Walter Camp All-American honors in 1923. He was widely considered the best guard in college football in an era when you played both offense and defense.
Penn State had already been invited to play in the Rose Bowl when the Nittany Lions suffered a regular season ending loss on November 30, to Pittsburgh. The 29-person travel party to Southern California rode in style, housed in a private Pullman sleeper. They spent a night touring Chicago and a day at the Grand Canyon before the Santa Fe pulled into the luxurious Raymond Hotel in South Pasadena on Christmas Eve.
Christmas day was a rest day for the excited, but train lagged Nittany Lions. The day after Christmas – a Tuesday - Bezdek requested a closed-practice for just the team at the 56,000-seat stadium. It was a much easier request to say than to accomplish in such a large venue. Curious onlookers and newspaper reporters were slinking about. Not having played since late November, Bezdek worried his players had gotten soft. After the long train ride, he was determined to whip them into shape in the five days of practice prior to the game. It was blazing hot that day, even by Southern California standards. Bezdek called for a full-contact, hours-long practice, that was really a full-blown scrimmage. Bezdek himself joined in the practice as the players beat each other silly.
Nittany Lions team 1922 including Joe Bedenk.
The worst thing that could possibly happen for Penn State in that day was for Joe Bedenk to get hurt – but, of course, that’s exactly what happened. Reporters lurking about noticed from a distance when Bedenk came to the sideline. Other reporters noticed him coming back early to the Hotel Raymond. The Nittany Lions had been injury-plagued all season with just four starters from the season opening game still healthy for the Rose Bowl. The one player they could not lose was Joe Bedenk, who had also served as acting captain because of injuries to fellow lineman and senior Newsh Bentz.

The newspaper reporters did their jobs, and the news of Bedenk’s injury went coast-to-coast. There was no official announcement from the Penn State camp, but reporters guessed it was a torn ligament or broken ribs. The betting odds, which initially favored Penn State, swung decidedly to USC’s favor.
Bedenk showed up the next day at the stadium in his practice uniform but didn’t participate in any contact drills. Bedenk was tough and had played through numerous injuries, but even Bezdek knew he wouldn’t be able to play. He did not, however, want USC to know his star player couldn’t play. Bedenk dressed for practice every day. Later in the week, Bezdek admitted that Bedenk wouldn’t start but he expected him to play. Extending the ruse to the end, Bedenk dressed for the game, however it was his teammate Bentz who represented Penn State as the captain for the pregame coin-toss.
Penn State lost the game by a 14-3 margin, and Bedenk never entered the game. Afterwards Bezdek explained the cause of the loss to the Los Angeles Evening Tribune “My line was far from at it’s best. Dutch Bedenk’s injured side kept him out of the game and this tolled on the rest of the boys.”
Epilogue – Joe Bedenk spent the summer of 1922 in Mansfield with his father William where he worked for the Highway Department and played baseball…Newsh Bentz graduated from Penn State in the spring and become the head football coach at Mansfield State Normal School for the 1923 football season largely through the efforts of Bedenk…Bentz and Bedenk were lifetime best friends…According to Joanne, Bentz would come to almost all the Penn State home games when her father Joe was later coaching the Nittany Lions and stay at their home…During her presentation Joanne also guessed that her father’s injury at the Rose Bowl was perhaps a broken collarbone. She noted he would have trouble with his collarbone off and on in later years and he said it was his football injury. Two weeks after returning to State College from the Rose Bowl Joe Bedenk was elected team Captain for the upcoming 
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 histcent83@gmail.com
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.
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 histcent83@gmail.com
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 histcent83@gmail.com. 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 icomplete: 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 with financial support.

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

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Thank You to Our Gold Level Sponsors
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Thank You to Our Silver Level Sponsors
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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