Volume Eight Issue Six October 2023
  • 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.- Amy Welch
Horrors to Come at The History Center October 29
Night of the Living Dead: The Mansfield Connection
Presenter: John Ulrich
Sunday, Oct 29, 2:00 p.m.
The History Center on Main Street in Mansfield
How did Mansfield State College alum Ronald Keith Hartman – a music major and aspiring singer – end up with a role in Night of the Living Dead (1968), an iconic, low-budget, and hugely influential horror film famous for its graphic portrayal of flesh-eating zombies? Why did the film’s director, George Romero, consider Hartman to be “our celebrity . . . our showbiz cat”? And why did Hartman choose to perform under the name “Keith Wayne” for what proved to be his one and only film? All this and more will be revealed at a special History Center Halloween presentation on October 29 at 2:00 p.m. Note: The presentation will include film clips with brief scenes that some audience members may find mildly disturbing and/or somewhat gruesome. But after all, it’s Halloween, and zombies will be zombies!
The History Center participates in Kelsey Academy for Lifelong Learning November 8
The Kelsey Academy is a new venture in Tioga County bringing life-long learning opportunities. Founded by Phil and Nancy Hesser, its format is a series of presentations on a variety of subjects by local experts. The format brings back the idea of the Chautauqua events from early in the twentieth century that brought a variety of educational and entertaining programs to the local communities. More about Kelsey Academy
The first series will be held November 6-10 with sessions at the Gmeiner in Wellsboro and at our location in Mansfield.
November 8, 10 A.M., Joyce will exhibit signature quilts that have come into our collections. She will talk about the history and purpose of signature quilts and talk about some of the community members whose names have come forward in time on these quilts. Our collection includes an 1899 coverlet from Covington, a 1934 signature quilt from the Elk Run Methodist Church, and one of the same era from the Morris Run Women's Auxiliary. Your ancestor may have signed one of these examples.
This 1899 Covington Signature Coverlet consists of 54 individual blocks, each with a different geometric design, and the names of countless signees from Covington, Mansfield and nearby embroidered in red thread. Did your ancestors sign?
This is an example of a single block on the 1899 coverlet. On Nov. 8 we'll talk about this and other signature quilts in our collection and we'll highlight some of those who signed.
November 8, 1 P.M.
Also on November 8 at 1 P.M., Steve McCloskey will talk about the lives and careers of the people who played on Mansfield State Normal School's football team in the famous first night under lights game of 1892. Both of these sessions will be held at the Museum of Us, 61 North Main Street in Mansfield.
Mansfield is nationally recognized as the birthplace of the world’s first night football game, hosting Wyoming Seminary under temporary lights in Smythe Park as part of the Great Mansfield Fair on September 28, 1892.

While the event itself is well-known, the Mansfield State Normal School players are far less so.

Steve McCloskey, History Center Board President, has done extensive research on the Mansfield players in that historic game with surprising results. McCloskey, whose research was used for an article on the first night football game that appears in the Fall 2023 edition of the Pennsylvania Heritage magazine published by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, will share the amazing success stories of many of those players.

Most of the players on the team came from communities in Tioga County. What they accomplished on the local, state and national levels is almost as remarkable and inspiring as the first night football game itself.

Dunkin Donuts of Wellsboro will provide donuts and coffee for attendees.

Outstanding Mansfieldian: Bernard Vincent Kelly
At The History Center, we like to know what happened to people who started their lives in our community and launched their future from our local schools.

Bernard Vincent Kelly was born in Elmira in 1917 to Trilby Vincent and Hugh Kelly. His mother died at or near his birth, so he was raised by his grandmother, Margaret Kerwin Kelly, in Lamb's Creek and Mansfield. His father, Hugh Kelly, was fire chief in Endicott, N.Y., and his uncle, Francis, was postmaster in Mansfield and also an accomplished football player for whom Kelly Field in Smythe Park was named.
Bernie graduated from Mansfield High School in 1937, and whether or not he attended class reunions, he kept in touch with his classmates. He can tell his story better than we can, so the following is his summarized note to the class as presented in their fiftieth graduation anniversary booklet in 1987.

"Letter to Class of 1937 in 1987: BERNARD KELLY
11209 Mountaincrest Dr. Huntsville, Ala. 35803 Phone: 205-882-2598
Wife's name is Carol; Has 1 son and 3 grandchildren; After graduating Mansfield High School, Bernie spent 15 years in commercial aviation as a tech rep, pilot and flight instructor for the Army Air Corps., Wright Aeronautics, Yingling Air Service and as a commissioned office in the USAF, flying B25's. On completion of his studies at California Institute of Technology, he joined North American Aviation, working for 7 years in Japan, Okinawa, Formosa and USA as a tech rep on the F86 series of fighter airplanes. He then joined Chrysler Corp. missile division, spending four years in Italy as a senior field engineer responsible for the installation of the Jupiter missile system and 10 years in Louisiana and Florida as a systems analyst and quality engineer on the Apollo program. With the moon landings completed Bernie began working on the Trident program at locations in Florida, Ohio and Seattle, Washington. From 1977 until 1981 he accepted his present position on the space shuttle team for United Technologies. Bernie and Carol, who have been married for 34 years, now call Huntsville, Alabama, home. They have one son, Mike, serving in the USAF and three small grandchildren. Kelly's hobbies are trap and skeet shooting, photography and golf. Carol is the Executive Director of a large Girl Scout Council, and Bernie is a Girl Scout volunteer too!"

Bernie's obituary in 2007 tells us more about his remarkable career and pursuits.
Bernard V. Kelly, 89, died Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007. Born in Elmira, NY, Bernie was raised by his grandparents at the family home in Mansfield. He attended Mansfield State Teacher's College before joining the United States Air Force where he was commissioned as a B25 pilot and flight instructor. Following military service he obtained a degree in aeronautical engineering from Spartan Aeronautics Institute and a bachelor of arts degree in business from Sanford. During his career in aeronautics and missiles he and his family lived in Okinawa, Italy, Louisiana, Florida, Ohio, Washington State, Colorado and Alabama. Bernie was an avid sportsman.
He was inducted in the Tioga County Sports Hall of Fame in 1991 for playing basketball, soccer, and baseball in high school and college; for playing AA pro baseball; and for coaching Little League baseball for many years. He was the Alabama State Veterans Trapp Shooting Champion in 1986 and the Singles Champion D in 1990. He enjoyed boating, woodworking and was a Girl Scout volunteer for many years. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Carol Kelly; son, Michael and wife, Sandra of Melbourne, Fla.; three grandchildren; and three great grandchildren. Visitation was from 3 - 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14 at Laughlin Service Funeral Home. A graveside service was held at 11 a.m. on Monday at Huntsville Memory Gardens [Alabama]. Paul Van Manen officiated the service. Memorial may be made to the Girl Scouts of North Alabama. - Mansfield Gazette, October 17, 2007

Caption: Members of the Mansfield Senior High School basketball team, experiencing a successful season in northern Pennsylvania are, first row from the left: Donald Bentley, Darwin Neal, Bernard Kelly, captain; wells Leonard, Seymour Shaw and Jack Doane. Second row, Joseph Hayden, Wilton Doane, Robert Wilson, Casper Thompson, Robert Hendricks, Donald Benson, coach.

You can read about some of Bernie's 1937 classmates through this link to their commencement program Just click on the red highlighted names
The History Center Library: Genealogy of Northern Pennsylvania
By Linda Rashidi
What’s in Our Library 4: Genealogy of Northern Pennsylvania

The History Center on Main Street has a well-stocked library of books, both old and new. Our collection includes: History of Pennsylvania and the surrounding states; Military History; Genealogy; Fiction; Women’s Studies; Biography; Best Short Stories Series; Fashion; Catalogues from different eras; Year Books from local schools—and much more.
 
Among the numerous volumes of family genealogy, of special interest to those with a long history of settlement in our area is Genealogical and Personal History of Northern Pennsylvania, edited by John W. Jordan. We have this three-volume set in both the original 1913 leather-bound edition and the facsimile reprint edition. Great for just browsing, these volumes contain not only lists of genealogical information but also a vast amount of ancestral history in the form of personal sketches. Here we find a portrait of early Northern Pennsylvania through narratives of different communities, their prominent citizens, and the families that developed our region. 
Our history reaches back to the earliest days of the nation, including contributions of Indian communities, historical events during French occupation, and immigrant settlers. Such familiar family names as Milton, Seward, Dodd, Nelson, Potter, and Van Dyke appear.
The most prominent immigrants to Northern Pennsylvania came from England, Scotland, and Germany.
 
The emigrant ancestor of the Potters of Bradford in McKean County was one John Potter, who emigrated from England in 1632. He first settled in Fairfield, Connecticut. In 1867, his descendant, George Hubbell Potter, came to the oil region of Pennsylvania, and in 1877 settled in Bradford, where he became a prominent member of the community, serving on various boards. He is described in Volume I as a “very successful oil producer” ranking “as one of Bradford’s most respected and substantial citizens” (5).
The Fishers of Bradford county descend from Joseph and Catherine Fisher who emigrated from Germany circa 1746 and settled in Columbia county before moving to Bradford. Their son, Joseph (b.1780), was a farmer and a man of means and influence near Milton. Joseph’s son, Tunis (b.1801), who married Elizabeth Strohecker, eventually ran a line of boats on the Pennsylvania canal. Their son, Jasper Strohecker Fisher, was born in 1836 at their homestead on the banks of the Susquehanna at Lewisburg. Jasper was active in Democratic politics and served in various capacities of local government in Bradford county.
 
John Rieppel, of Cowanesque, was a German by birth. The son of Albert and Carrie Rieppel, he was born in 1837 in Bavaria. At the age of thirty-four, he emigrated with his father to Clinton county, moving first to Gaines and then to Cowanesque, where he built an iron foundry and machine shop. In addition, he owned 175 acres of well-cultivated land in Potter county, which was managed by his son-in-law.
 
In addition to immigrants from England and Germany, we find there were French settlers. The Bloss line of the Husted family is of French extraction, Bloss being a corruption of Blois, a hillside city on the Loire River in France. The earliest record is of one Edmond Bloss as a freeman in Watertown in 1639. Like many immigrant families, this one eventually moved south, and by the 5th generation, Aaron Bloss (b.1775) was living in Tioga county Pennsylvania. In 1802, he ventured into the wilds where he built the first house in what is today Blossburg, named in his honor.
 
We find these early immigrants to our region engaged in civic, religious, and business enterprises, some of which survive today. Many of these settlers were Methodists, and the building that The History Center on Main Street and The Museum of Us now occupies was originally a Methodist Church, the earliest church structure in Mansfield.
Our Library is open any time the History Center is open. We invite you to stop by to browse, dip into volumes, do research, or just sit and read. We can search our database if you are looking for some specific book or topic. You can also check out a volume on loan to take with you.
Volunteer Help Wanted and Needed
The History Center has a big project in the works that requires lots and lots of clerical support. We want to make our collections, including our genealogy records, more accessible to the public in online presentation, but we have a lot of file updating to do first. We need volunteers to update records from our genealogy database to our museum database. All you have to do is know how to type, be attentive to detail, and we can show you what and where.

Working at the museum is fun, and many of our volunteers have been here for years. This is an opportunity to be involved in one of the most advanced community genealogy/history projects ever developed.

If you can spare 3 to 5 hours a day for one or two days a week at the museum, we'd be happy to have you. Coffee, tea and sometimes cookies are free.
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 2024
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.
Something New & Special
In Development: We have added a feature to our museum cataloging software to upload selections of our records online. This will allow you to see some of what we have and follow the links to the people associated with it, including genealogical information. Take a sneak peak if you read this far down the newsletter. History Center Catalogs Online
Regular Hours
Normal Hours: We are open 11 to 3 T, W, Th or by appointment or any time we are here (which is most of the time).

We've been very pleased to see the High School Reunions resume after years of absence. This year, we hosted classes of 1973 and 1968.Class of 1959 will be here this month We are looking forward to more in 2024. 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
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.
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 2024
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 2024 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
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Thank You to Our Gold Level Sponsors
Ward Manufacturing
Law Offices of Larry Mansfield
First Citizens Community Bank
VFW Post 6757
Mansfield Auxiliary Corporation
Lutes Foundation
Thank You to Our Silver Level Sponsors
Real Disposal Service
UGI Utilities, Inc.
Matt Neal Construction
The History Center on Main Street
570-250-9829
histcent83@gmail.com
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