Mansfield PA and Richmond Township in Tioga County PA
Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Historic Businesses of the Tri-Counties
Local Business History Section
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
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Joyce's Search Tip - January 2008
Do You Know that you can search just the Business pages of the site  by using the Business button in the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the Current What's New Page? You will also find extensive business information in the Directory section.
Sadie LEVINSON Finesilver and her husband Harry FINESILVER were active in business in Tioga County for decades. As resources come available I will present them on this page and by doing so we'll be able to trace the history of this entrepreneurial pair. Sadie owned and operated Finesilvers in Mansfield for over thirty years until her death in 1957.  The merchandise was quality women's clothing and some giftware. I still have a fruit bowl I bought my mother as a gift and I used to get very nice blouses there when I was in college for $5.00 (not inflation adjusted). That was after Sadie's day but it remained a fine store just as she had established it. I started my teaching career in 1966 wearing clothing from Finesilver's as well as the Wright Shop (Maybelle Wright) across the street. I'll add material about her also as it becomes available. The storefront that was Finesilver's has been divided into two stores and both offer antiques. In fact I was in one yesterday and the woman at the counter had no idea at all that she was operating in Sadie Finesilver's store. How sad.  It was a staple in the Mansfield Business environment for such a long time.
Year: 1955 and 1957 Articles  from Mansfield Advertiser and Mansfield Pennysaver
Harry and Sadie opened for business about the same year as this photo was taken, 1924, in one of the two storefronts (in one bulding - earlier photos show that better) just left of the pole. According to Chester Bailey, about 1950 Web Rice tore down the old Finesilver's Building and McClure's Garage and built the newer building, half of which is shown in photo below on the same spot. It was here that Sadie continued on with Finesilver's..
June 1991 Wellsboro Gazette
Finesilvers was in the building at right in this photo taken 2002 on the west side of North Main Street. It now houses two separate antique shops. The yellow brick building in the center of the photo is the oldest brick building in Tioga County. It housed Bates Pharmacy and later Terry's Rexall Pharmacy. Sadie Finesilver and Harold Terry conducted business next door to each other for decades.
The following letter from Sadie appeared in the Mansfield Pennysaver in 1955 after the major remodelling of the Finesilver's store.

"A DREAM COME TRUE"

     May I, at this time express my sincerest thanks to all that helped me achieve the realization of a dream.  started in Mansfield 31 years ago.
     Thirty one years ago - almost to the month, my late husband, Harry Finesilver and I, started in an humble way, to try to establish a business in this town that would serve the community honestly, sincerely, and diligently.
     We wanted to give them style, value, and service that would appeal to the critical consumer.  This I believe was both Harry's and my goal.
     At the opening house party I knew his spirit was ever prevelant, and that from his celestial seat in Heaven, he must have smiled and said, "Well done Sadie, you have been a good and faithful servant, your promise to Mansfield has been fulfilled."
     However, with all humility I can only make the following statement, and this from the bottom of my heart.
     Without the untiring assistance of Mrs. Susie Garrison and Mrs. Cornelia Bennie, who have been with me for over a quarter of a century and the cooperation of all those associated with me at the present time, I could not have achieved this end.  Above all, I wish to extend my deepest appreciation to the Business Mens Association, my neighboring merchants and the wonderful, kindly, friendly, and understanding people of Mansfield and its environs, for their consul, also the faith and trust, which they held for me.  This trust I will never betray, but will hold forever in the highest esteem.
     Without all of this, the new "House of Finesilver" could never have been built.  Thanks to the grace of God and His guidance, the dream has come true.

        Sadie Finesilver

      Fine Silvers
"Reliable As Sterling"

        Mansfield, Penna


TAKEN BY DEATH -- Memorial services were held this morning for MRS. SADIE LEVINSON FINESILVER, Mansfield business woman, who died Wednesday.  Funeral and burial will be in New York City Sunday.

MRS. SADIE LEVINSON FINESILVER, 62, of Mansfield, Pa., Wednesday, March 20, 1957.  Survived by daughter, Miss Ann Louis E. Finesilver of Cleveland, Ohio; sisters, Mrs. Mary Wolpert of Mansfield, Mrs. Lillian Wolpert and Mrs. Hannah Vinson, both of New York City; brother, Morty Levinson of Mansfield.  Body at Shaw & Robena Funeral Home, Mansfield, where friends may call.  Memorial service there Friday at 11 a.m., the Rev. James Gordon assisted by the Rev. D. J. Griffiths.  Funeral and burial Sunday in New York City.  Please omit flowers.
 

1930 Yearbook Ad
1934 Yearbook Ad
1954 Yearbook Ad
1909
This cutout from a 1909 postcard shows the joint state of the two storefronts in upper photo.  In 1909 Mr. Dann had a barber shop in one of the storefronts. At a slightly later date, the storefront on right was used by Bates for the Rexall Drug Store

The Wright Shop on North Main Street in Mansfield

The Wright Shop was located on the east side of North Main Street between Strait's Hardware on the corner and the Jupenlaz Harness Shop. The location is occupied in 2008 by Marge's Antique Shop run by Margaret Nelson a.k.a. Marge Auwarter. 
I am only able to locate a photo of half of it on the edge of a harness shop photo.

Part of Wright Shop right of Harness Shop Part of Wright Shop left of Strait's Hardware

MAYBELLE H. WRIGHT
Maybelle H. Wright, daughter of the late Ira and Minerva L. Wright was born November 22, 1884. She was educated in the public schools and graduated from Mansfield State Normal School in 1904. She taught in the Bradford County schools. During vacation was a sales lady at F.E. Doolittle’s store in Elmira. For three years was a sales lady in Pitts. Judge Co. store. In the autumn of 1909 she opened the first Womens Ready-To-Wear store on the second floor of the building now known as Garrisons Mens Shop. In 1931 the business of M.H. Shepard was purchased. In 1949, because of poor health the Wright Shop was sold to Mrs. Jennie Hendricks. While at the Normal School she was very active in Athletics and Fraternity life. In 1900 she united with the Mansfield Methodist Church, Rev. Walter G. Hull was the Pastor. Miss Wright was a promoter of Young Peoples Christian Work, acting in all capacities of the Epworth League. In 1928 she helped to organize the Tabitha Class. After retiring from business she held various offices in the W.S.C.S. with a great deal of interest in Missionary projects. She was a member of the W.C.T.U., and a Charter Member of the Outlook Literary Club.  Most of her life was spent in Mansfield. About nine years ago she entered the Folts Methodist Home in Herkimer, New York, where she resided until her death.

NOTICE
Notice is hereby given to all parties that the partnership composed of Maybelle H. Wright and Jennie Lee Hendricks, trading and doing business under the fictitious name of “The Wright Shop” at Mansfield, Pa. has been dissolved and all liabilities thereof assumed by Jennie Lee Hendricks, who will hereafter conduct said business as an individual.
Maybelle H. Wright
Jennie Lee Hendricks
March 10, 1949


1959 Carontawan Ad
1961 Ad in Carontawan, Yearbook of Mansfield State College
The Wellsboro Gazette – 14
Thursday, September 18, 1969
Ann Caulkins Buys Wright Dress Shop
The Wright Shop which has sold smart clothes to women of the area for many years has been sold to Mrs Gerald Caulkins [Ann Garrison]. Owned for a long period of time by Miss Mabel Wright, the shop was sold to Mrs William Hendricks [Jennie Cox] who, because of illness has found it necessary to lead a less demanding life. Mrs. Caulkins has been “brought up” in the merchandising business as she is the daughter of Mr and Mrs Merle Garrison, proprietors of Garrison’s Men’s Shop situated on the corner of Wellsboro and Main Streets in Mansfield and has herself been working in that store for several years.

Cox, Jennie - Jennie C. Hendricks age 70 of Middlebury Center, formerly of Mansfield on Sunday, January 19, 1975 in the Green Home in Wellsboro.  Friends are invited to call at the Kuhl Funeral Home, Mansfield,  Tuesday 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. .  Funeral there Wednesday 1 p.m. Rev. Walter Caldwell officiating.  Burial in State Road Cemetery, Mainesburg.  She is survived by husband, William J. Hendricks; one sister Mrs. Sally Crymes of Atlanta, Georgia; one brother, William B. Cox of Lexington, N.C.   She was a member of theCovington Baptist Church; born September 25, 1904 in Cove City, N.C. the daughter of Ambrose & Siddie Daughtery Cox.  She was the former owner and operator of the Wright Shop in Mansfield.
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 26 JAN 2005
By Joyce M. Tice
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