|Mansfield PA and Richmond Township in Tioga County PA|
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in and near Mansfield including Richmond, Sullivan, Rutland, Covington
Visit the History Center on Main Street at 83 North Main Street. We also have a locaton at 61 North Main Street.
Regular hours are noon to 3 T, W Th or by appointment.
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Mansfield in the Seventies
An Interesting Sketch by a Former Resident Showing Marked Changes Uncle Toms Cabin by Local Talent
In looking over some old paper recently I found among them the enclosed
programme a drama entitled Uncle Toms Cabin played by the Good Templars
of Mansfield on Friday evening, February twenty-seventh, eighteen hundred
and seventy-four, being thirty-one years ago.
Uncle Toms Cabin
Presented by the Good Templars at Union Hall, Mansfield
Friday Eve, Feb. 27, 1874
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. Elliotts 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 Pettersons 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