Mansfield PA and Richmond Township in Tioga County PA
Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
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Mansfield in 1870s
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Visit the History Center on Main Street at 83 North Main Street. We also have a locaton at 61 North Main Street.
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Mansfield Advertiser, March 1, 1905

Mansfield in the Seventies
An Interesting Sketch by a Former Resident Showing Marked Changes – “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Local Talent

In looking over some old paper recently I found among them the enclosed programme a drama entitled Uncle Tom’s Cabin played by the Good Templars of Mansfield on Friday evening, February twenty-seventh, eighteen hundred and seventy-four, being thirty-one years ago.
 

Drama 
Uncle Tom’s Cabin 
Presented by the Good Templars at Union Hall, Mansfield 
Friday Eve, Feb. 27, 1874 
Programme 
Quartette, Home on the Rushing Sea 
Recitation, Prayer and Potatoes, Ells Seeley 
Drama – Six Acts 
Uncle Tom ……………. Everard Wilcox 
George Harris ………… Lee Smith 
George Shelby ………… Henry Saxton 
St. Clair ………….. Alba Welch 
Phineas Fletcher …………… D.L. Wilcox 
Gumption Cute ………. Fred Allen 
Mr. Wilson ……….Frank Elliott 
Deacon Perry & Mann ……..  H. Johnson 
Shelby ………….. Homer Kingsley 
Haley & Sambo ……….. Dee Gaylord 
Legree ………… George Spurr 
Tom Locker ………… Manford Bartlett 
Marks …….. J.S. Hoard 
Eva …………….. Maggie Elliott 
Eliza ……………. Ella Middaugh 
Aunt Chloe & Cassy ………  Linnie Wilcox 
Marie …………. Lydia Baker 
Ophelia …………… Fannie Spurr 
Topsy …….. Rose Voorhees 
Song – Poor Old Slave ……. Company

North Main Street in Mansfield in the 1870s as Henry Johnson saw it. 
The brick building was the Elliott drug store and is the only building in this photo 
that remains. All the wooden buildings were replaced by brick buildings over a few 
decades.The large building on corner [three stories] was the Soldiers Orphans School. 
The Shepard-Bailey building replaced it in 1904. BC Tech and Cummings Jewelers 
occupy yhat corner now. 

The writer well remembers with what interest this play was presented. Union Hall was packed full to overflowing, standing room was at a premium, and many turned away who could not find room. Many of the best citizens of Mansfield were members of the Good Templars at that time.

Of the company who took part in this drama, I do not know of only two who now reside in Mansfield; several have gone to their reward and the others scattered to the four winds. It is surprising to think what changes will take place in just a few short years. To one who once lived in Mansfield and enjoyed so many happy years there, can only look back and think of the good time with the friends who are now gone.

On August 20, 1870, the writer, then a young man, first saw the beauties of the town of Mansfield, coming from Troy, PA, by stage on a visit to one of your still honored citizens, Mr. Henry Johnson and family.

Mansfield at that time was not what it is today, with beautiful brick blocks, fine residences, churches, school buildings, park, etc. My first glimpses of Main street was to see the building until recently occupied by the Ross Cigar Company, standing in the street in front of the Dr. Elliott drug store, being moved from the corner of Elmira and North Main street to its present site, then known as the Ben Bailey store. Dr. Elliott’s store and the little brick building near the Baptist church were the only brick buildings in the town at that time. L. Cummings was at that time erecting the building recently burned, known as the Hotel Allen, for the orphan school. The west side of Main street was a row of low wooden buildings. First came Westley Pitts, groceries; Dr. Elliott, drugs and post office; James Webster, groceries; Dr. Cole, drugs and groceries; Reuben Holden, groceries; and lastly William Hollands’ harness shop in a small wooden building on the corner where Roses’ store is now located. Hiram Middaugh was building the Episcopal church that summer. On the corner were now stands the bank block, Mr. J.W. Willhelm had a dry goods store in a small wooden building. Where now stands the Allen block was a residence known as the Smythe house surrounded by tall evergreen trees; that house was moved back near the Presbyterian church. On the corner where now stands the Pitts block, Allen Petterson’s father had a barber shop in a small wooden building. A little to the south of this building Pitts Brothers & Murdough was located, doing a dry goods and grocery business, in a wooden building, and in the upper rooms Ross & Williams had their business offices.

Instead of a short visit in Mansfield as the writer planned, I engaged to work for the firm of Elliott, Clark & Company – S.B. Elliott, M.L. Clark, A.J. Drake, H.L. Johnson, and G.D. Spurr – sash and blinds, and became a citizen of Mansfield. In 1882 I moved from Mansfield to Elmira, where I have since resided. Have been a constant reader of the Advertiser, and it always comes like a letter from an old friend.

Hoping I have not tried your patience too much, nor used too much space of your valuable paper, I am most respectfully yours,
Henry S, Johnson
 
 

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Published On Tri-Counties Site On 29 DEC 2011
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: Joyce M. Tice