Volume Four  Issue Six  June 2018
The History Center on Main Street
 83 and 61 North Main Street
Mansfield, PA
The Museum of Us
The History Center on Main Street
Director- Joyce M. Tice: President - Deb Talbot Bastian: V.P - Kathy McQuid
Water Comes to Mansfield
by Sam Finch
               At the History Center, we are fortunate to have access to the Mansfield Borough Council minutes, dating all the way back to 1857. These valuable historical documents give us a glimpse at the community’s development over the decades, and one particularly interesting episode concerns the introduction of running water to the borough.

               On July 27 th, 1891, Charles S. Ross and Daniel H. Pitts presented to the council a petition “signed by two-hundred and fifty taxpayers of the borough” demanding the installation of at least forty fire hydrants around town. The council had previously invested in hook and ladder equipment, but one can understand why residents felt the need for a more substantial solution. Several major blazes devastated Mansfield around this time, including one in 1882 which prompted the council to establish a fire zone along Main Street, within which it was forbidden to build wooden buildings. A network of fire hydrants would help the hose company extinguish small fires before they spread to disastrous proportions. The burgess appointed a committee to explore the issue.

               A couple days later, the council convened to hear Lewis A. Waters and Lemuel Amerman, representatives of the Mansfield Water Company. They proposed to supply the borough with water for forty-five hydrants at $25 per hydrant, per year. The minutes offer little detail as to what was said, and by whom, but apparently a lively discussion concluded with the council agreeing to these terms for a period of ten years, provided the company would also supply “a watering trough for man and beast.” A contract to this effect was drafted by Charles S. Gilbert – the council, not wishing to be taken advantage of, required him to provide three references for the secretary to contact. When only one of them replied, the council refused to ratify Gilbert’s contract. While negotiations resumed with Waters and Amerman, a committee was sent to Wellsboro to examine the terms of their water contract and see how Mansfield’s deal compared. As it turned out, Mansfield was not being cheated, at least no worse than Wellsboro, and on August 28 th the council ratified the contract with one small addition – water for spigots in the borough building. These, along with the hydrants and watering trough, entered service within a year.

               Mansfield’s first system of running water bears little resemblance to the luxurious indoor plumbing we take for granted today. People still carried water from private wells for household use. But forty-five fire hydrants, a watering trough, and some spigots represented a tremendous investment in the town’s infrastructure during the 1890s, an eventful decade which also saw the introduction of sewage and electrical service in Mansfield. 

Thanks to the Borough Council and Lynnette Hoyt for allowing us to copy these records.
Dr. KimberLee Mudge : MHS Class of 1981
Breast Surgeon, Farmer and Parent, this former Mansfieldian has a full life. We are happy to share this excellent article about Kim and the work she is doing. https://anitacherryhealthcare.blogspot.com/
Upcoming Events
July 06 - MHS Class of 1959 Reunion 1 PM at the Museum of Us.
July 12 - The Art and Humor of A.S. Johnson's Novelty Freak Postcards - Amusing Reflections of Rural American Life in early 20th century.
July 13 - MHS Class of 1969 Reunion 11 AM at The Museum of Us
July 14 - Sunday 1-5 Nancy McCurdy - DNA testing and Matching
July 27  Joyce speaking at the Sayre Historical Society Meeting 1 PM
August 02 - Bonnie Kyofski - Storytelling 6:30-
August 17 - MHS Class of 1979 Reunion 11 AM at The Museum of Us
September 06 - Steve McCloskey - Mansfield's Greatest Baseball Players. From Mansfield to the Major Leagues
September 14 - MHS Class of 1964 Reunion Time at The Museum of Us TBD
October 04 - Mansfield Then and Now - A Photographic Journey Through Mansfield's Street from the earliest photos to the present.
How We Do Things - July 12 at The Museum of Us
Alfred S. Johnson, Jr. was a photographer in Wisconsin in the early days of postcard production, the first two decades of the twentieth century. He specialized in what was then called “Freak or Exaggeration” postcards. He posed his friends performing various tasks and then with the original “cut and paste,” as in scissors and glue, he created exaggerated images with humorous consequences.

The scenes he created were typical rural scenes that he marketed all over the country primarily with the caption “How We Do Things In (your town name)” He was not the only one to do this, but he was certainly one of the most prolific and creative.

In the process of creating his “freak” crops and giant fish and recording all the humorous difficulties of handling them, Johnson has shown us rural life of a century ago: the transportation, the tools and machinery, the processes of growing, moving and storing monstrous farm and garden produce and game.

Joyce M. Tice has collected these cards since 1999. In 2013 she wrote the first book about the cards and the photographer. Since then, through contacts with other collectors, the known body of work has been enlarged to near completion of Johnson’s entire catalog of these cards. This amounts to roughly 250 different scenes.

The collection includes examples with the How We Do Things in Mansfield, Penna caption as well as other local examples from Rutland and Crooked Creek.

On July 12 at 6:30 PM at The Museum of Us, 61 N. Main in Mansfield, Joyce will show examples of Johnson’s work including some of the original cut and paste mockups and some of the tricks of his trade.
To DNA or Not to DNA July 14th at The Museum of Us
Have you thought about having your DNA tested but aren’t sure which service to try first? Or, have you already had your DNA test and don’t know how to use the results to add to your family connections or health history or genealogy.
Nancy McCurdy started researching her family tree years ago. When DNA testing became available, she tested and was fascinated with the DNA results. She continued to learn as much about it as she could. Now she helps others to understand DNA, their results and ways to use DNA test results. 

Her session will include a review of the types of DNA tests, current testing companies and privacy issues. There will be discussions about new technology, help aids for using your DNA results and new features available from the various DNA testing companies. Finally, she will use actual examples to explain how to use your DNA matches to add to your family tree and possibly break through some brick walls.
Join us Sunday July 14 th from 1PM to 5 at the Museum of Us, 61 N. Main Street, Mansfield to further your understanding. A $15 donation is suggested. Please register by phone or email – 570-250-9829 or histcent83@gmail.com.
Is Mansfield's history important enough to preserve? Say YES with a donation to The History Center. You can make it possible.

Comparing the MHS Class of 1919 and 2019

A hundred years ago, Mansfield High School graduated 31 students: twenty-one girls and ten boys. Thirteen or more of these students went on and graduated from Mansfield State Normal School. Many became teachers for at least part of their career. Based on obituaries and burial information roughly half stayed in or near Tioga County. The remainder scattered to the wind as most young people seeking jobs do.

A couple of weeks ago, North Penn-Mansfield Junior Senior High School, a name which does not fit in the allotted field for college applications even when abbreviated, graduated 101 students. All but a few indicated college or other education in their plans with 13 specifically mentioning Mansfield University. It’s the same number as a century ago, but not the same proportion.

The Class of 1919 graduated after the danger of being in war had passed unlike the previous several classes who had gone straight from school to war.

High school sweethearts Margaret Howe and Fred Jupenlaz (shown above) married just a few days after graduation. Margaret was active in several local community organizations, O.E.S., Hose Company and American Legion. Fred was principal at Covington High School. He also taught at Mansfield Normal School and in Elmira, N.Y. schools. He was Chairman of the board of trustees of Mansfield State College for 12 years, and director of the Tioga County Red Cross Chapter.

Fellow class member, Lyle Cleveland, served 26 years as a Mansfield school board director. He also married a classmate, Marian Davis, who was a member of the N. Elk Run Grange #913 for 80 years, and had been a Gray Lady at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital.

Ethel Shaw Shaylor was a buyer for Iszard's Department Store in Elmira for 25 years. Eleanor Elliott married Edward Russell. She was a member of the Columbian Literary Exchange, the longest lived women’s organization in Mansfield. In the mid 1920's she was employed as an executive secretary for the Elmira Star Gazette, and later was a bookkeeper for the former Morris Farms of Mansfield. During World War II she was very active with the Red Cross Relief.
Special Picture of the Day
The Mansfield Hotel and adjacent Commercial Hotel circa 1930s. These were located on South Main Street on the location of the present Mansfield Inn.
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