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Mansfield in 1870s
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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.

Uncle Tom’s 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. 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
Mansfield PA and Richmond Township in Tioga County PA - Article added to site 23 MAR 2018

Mansfield Advertiser, Jan 1877

Business - Article lists all the businesses in Mansfield and other pertinent information 12/17 - 3 and 4

Mansfield Advertiser, 24 January 1877, p.3, col.3 & 4

[From the Elmira Advertiser]

The New Tioga and Elmira State Line Railroad Route

Mansfield - Its Business and Manufacturing Interests, Etc.

[seventh article]

Mansfield, Tioga County, PA, is one of the most important, prosperous and promising places on the line of the new and direct railroad route between Elmira and Blossburg. It is 35 miles in a southwesterly direction from Elmira, 12 miles south of Tioga Junction, 11 south of Tioga, and 10 north of Blossburg. The Borough, which was incorporated Feb. 13th, 1857, and the boundaries of which were enlarged Jan. 14th, 1875, contains, including a reasonable portion of the resident pupils of its State Normal and Soldiers' Orphan Schools, about 1,600 population, four churches, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian and Episcopal, a graded school with three teachers, many beautiful and costly residences, a free reading room, three lawyers, five physicians, one bank, two hotels, several heavy manufacturing establishments, and numerous stores and other places of business. The location is the finest in the valley of the Tioga, being sufficiently elevated above the river to be healthy and salubrious at all seasons of the year; while the adjacent high hills command charming views of the surrounding country. The Borough shows the most unmistakable improvement, and evinces, in a marked degree, the energy, industry and public spirit of its citizens.

Borough Officials:

Burgess - D.H. Pitts

Council - C.V. Elliott, P.V. Clark, M.A. Cass, L.A. Ridgway, W.W. Bentley, F.M. Shaw

Clerk - J.W. Adams

As a business place Mansfield, for one of its size, has few if any equals in northern Pennsylvania. It is the central point of trade and shipment for a large continuous and wealthy agricultural region; and its future prospects are by no means less promising because of its new railway communication which places it within two hours time of Elmira. The following is intended to be a full and faithful exhibit of its business and professional interests, aside from details of the State schools, above mentioned, which will be treated in a subsequent article.

Business and Professional Men:

Mart King, extensive manufacturer of all kinds of common furniture.

Pitts Bros., dry goods and general merchandise.

J.S. Murdough, dry goods, etc.

Kohler & Chapell, hardware, etc.

O. Elliott & Son, dry goods, etc.

F.A. Allen & Co., hardware

E.O. Crandall & Son, groceries, etc.

T.F. Rolason, groceries, etc.

L. Cummings, groceries, etc.

R.N. Holden, groceries, etc.

H.V. Phelps, groceries.

Bailey & Allen, meat market.

Cummings & Swan, meat market.

C.V. Elliott, drugs, books, etc. [Mr. Elliott is also and M.D., and the present representative of Tioga county in the State Legislature.]

L.A. Ridgway, drugs, books, etc.

A.J. Cole, drugs and groceries.

N. Kingsley, boots and shoes.

O.V. Elliott, boots and shoes.

Jesse Smith, boots and shoes.

Mrs. Stickney, millinery.

Miss Lamb, millinery.

Wm. Hollands, harness making.

L. Locher, harness making.

A. Peterson, barber.

Decker & Metcalf, sash and blind factory.

V.R. Pratt, postmaster

Pratt & Goodenough, Mansfield Advertiser.

J.W. Adams, F.W. Clark, Henry Allen, lawyers.

C.W. Brown, John Barden, H.G. Smythe, J.P. Morris, Wm. Barden, physicians.

Ross & Williams, bankers.

United States Hotel, J. Van Osten, [formerly of Havana, NY] proprietor.

Mansfield Hotel, R.J. Brundage, proprietor.

Beach & Clark, furniture and undertaking.

R.R. Kingsley & Son, tannery.

C. Payne, foundry.

T.H. Bailey, saw mill.

J.M. Bailey, grist mill.

Tioga Iron Works, owned by a Philadelphia Company, and temporarily closed.

P.V. Clark, Tioga Railroad station agent [longest in service but one on the route] and an active local dealer in anthracite and bituminous coals.

H.M. Beeles, art gallery.

U.S. Snover, carriage manufactory.

R. Wilson, blacksmith.

C.M. Stearns, razor strap manufacturer.

Bixby & Howe, coal dealers.

D.A. Gaylord, blacksmith.

Jud Smith, blacksmith.

H. Longwell, carriage manufactory.

Oliver Ide, blacksmith.

J.S. Murdough, cooper shop.

Kimbalt & Close, livery.

Wm. Adams, livery.

G.R. Holden, bakery.

R.E. Olney, jeweler.

R. Crossley, ornamental and landscape gardener.

R.P. Buttles, wagon repair shop.

P.M. Clark, lime and plaster.

George Prutsman, Mansfield Paint Manufactory.

Andrew Sherwood, State Geologist.

O. Newell, dentist.

C.E. Spaulding, L.A. Swan, tailors.

The foregoing indicates a well diversified business and professional community, and a lively place, possessing excellent trade and educational facilities. Several of the manufactories of Mansfield and its two State schools are deserving of special notice, and we can very appropriately begin with Mart King's great furniture manufactory.

This is the most extensive, popular and successful furniture manufacturing establishment in all northern Pennsylvania or southern New York. It is indeed a mammoth concern, and managed by its large hearted, whole souled and energetic proprietor with consummate tact and ability. It was established in 1869, and ran until Christmas, 1870, when it was totally destroyed by fire. Mr. King, after thoughtful and mature consideration concluded to rebuild; commenced April 1st, 1871, and again resumed shipping goods on the first of June, the same year, only sixty days after the work of rebuilding commenced. From that time until the present [it will be six years of the first of next June] and notwithstanding the almost unparalleled stringency of the times, this famous establishment has not stopped a day, except holidays, but kept running at full tilt, ten hours out of every twenty-four, and all its work sold as fast as turned out. It employs from twenty to twenty-five men, has a great amount and variety of the most perfect and effective machinery yet invented by American genius, and is a most interesting place at which to study human ingenuity as applied to a highly important branch of the mechanical arts. The articles manufactured are mostly common furniture, for the wholesale trade, and shipped in the "white" or unfinished state, such as bedsteads, extension tables, - both of which are made specialties - bureaus, common tables, lounges, wardrobes, children's cribs, etc., etc. - the quantity being enormous, and every effort made to have everything as perfect, in both material and workmanship, as possible. Still, all furniture ordered, to be finished, will be thus turned out, in first-class style. The amount of lumber used is from 500,000 to 750,000 feet a year, the price paid for bass and maple being but $10 per thousand feet, and for ash only $16, delivered. A large and well seasoned stock of all kinds is kept constantly on hand. Cash "on the spot," is the motto, and the men are paid in full, and invariably every Saturday night. The business for the first year, before the loss by fire, was to a copper $12,353.44, and last year the sales were within a fraction of $50,000, with a prospective increase even in these "times that try men's souls," during the present manufacturing year.

We found Mr. King [who, by the way, is one of the State Trustees of the Normal School] a man of most genial nature - quick and keen intelligence, and endowed with any amount of good, solid, practical common sense - a commodity far more valuable than gold. He is greatly pleased with the marked reduction of freights to Elmira and beyond, consequent on the opening of the new route, and finds it not a little to his advantage, as he deals largely with furniture warehouses in Elmira, Waverly, Owego, Binghamton, Scranton, Carbondale, Havana, Watkins, Corning, and many other places on the line of the Erie, Northern Central, Lehigh Valley, and other railways reached through Elmira. He sends out no solicitors for trade, but is well and most favorably known all through a large section of Pennsylvania and New York, and seems to have no rivals able to compete with him in his line of manufacture. His work sells itself, and continually calls for more, the prices being exceedingly reasonable, the quality unsurpassed, and his business magnetism [so to speak] of the first order. It scarcely need be said, in concluding this paragraph, that the place of of all others within a hundred miles of Elmira at which to purchase furniture for the retail trade is the celebrated furniture manufactory of Mart King, at Mansfield, Tioga County, PA.

The State Normal and Orphan Schools are such unusual features, in and of themselves, and of such consequence to Mansfield, where they have been most properly and wisely located, that we feel compelled to devote our next article, [this being already long enough] almost exclusively to them, trusting that it may prove interesting to all who believe in a liberal education, and the best systems and methods under which it can be most effectually, and at the same time the most economically obtained by those whom fate and fortune have places in unfortunate or moderate circumstances.

Mansfield Advertiser, 31 January 1877, p.2, col.3,4 & 5

[From the Elmira Advertiser]

The New Tioga and Elmira State Line Railroad Route

Mansfield - Its State Normal and Soldiers' Orphan Schools

[Eighth Article]

The State Normal School in and for the fifth district of Pennsylvania, located at Mansfield, Tioga County, was recognized as such by State authority in the year 1862, fifteen years ago. The institution of which it was the permanent outgrowth was first established as a Wesleyan Seminary in 1854, and intended, under the control of the Methodist Episcopal persuasion, to become the second Lima. It owed its origin to the active and indefatigable efforts of an influential citizen named Joseph Hoard, who may always be regarded as its founder. The building was not completed until 1857, when it was consecrated as a Seminary and opened under highly favorable auspices. In April, 1858, during its first term, and when occupied by students to its full capacity, it was burned. An effort was soon thereafter made to rebuild it on a larger scale, 150 feet in length and five stories high, but after one wing had been erected, the insurance money having been lost [probably because of some legal technicality], the requisite funds could not be raised, and the work had to be abandoned. About the year 1860 or 1861, when thus abandoned, it was suggested that it be turned into a Normal School for the fifth district of the State, there being twelve districts, in all. The stockholders offered it to the State, and appropriations were made by which the building was completed; but many old obligations remain unpaid, and in 1862, while in an embarrassed condition, and inadequately furnished, it was "recognized" as before stated, and in 1863, opened as a State Normal School, with a limited number of students as pupils, and not a full compliment of teachers. A second failure followed, and it was finally sold at Sheriff sale on old judgment claims. The sale, however, was afterwards set aside as illegal, and, at that critical period of its eventful history, Hon. John Magee, then of Bath, but later of Watkins, came forward in his generous and characteristic munificence, called for and paid all legal claims against the property, and put the institution at once on a sound and practical working basis, to the great joy of its true and active friends, the people of Mansfield, and county of Tioga - taking security on the redeemed premises. From that hour the institution prospered, under the able management detailed below, rapidly extinguished its funded debt, and at the end of a few years, Mr. Magee magnanimously presented it with the balance due him, amounting to over $3,300.

In 1863, after Mr. Magee came to the rescue, Prof. F.A. Allen, [present proprietor and Principal of the State Soldiers' Orphans School] took charge of the Normal School as Principal and manager, for a term of five years, assumed and fulfilled the obligations of the Trustees of the State, in addition to furnishing the building [apparatus, etc., included; and, under his careful, arduous, and judicious supervision it soon became strongly self-sustaining. There were 259 students in attendance the first year, [afterward as high as 400] and a large graduating class was sent out the second year. At the end of five years Prof. Allen retired from the school, and it has since been under the direction of Trustees, with Charles H. Verrill, A.M., as Principal, under whose able management, it has continued to prosper, and is at the present time on a good and endurable financial foundation. Prof. Verrill has, in fact, been with the school twelve years, having first became connected with it as Professor of Mathematics in 1865. He held that position for four years, was elected Principal in 1869, and has thus been identified with the institution from the time that its first graduating class were in it as students. The whole number of pupils on the rolls of the school, since its recognition in 1862, is 1,200; whole number of graduates 239; and, even in these very close times it is in a remarkable flourishing condition, the catalogue of 1875-76 showing an attendance of 204 - 106 gentlemen and 98 ladies.

The location is an excellent one, not only so far as regards its elevated and healthful site but also so far as the village, or borough, within the boundaries of which it is situated, are concerned; and by a special act of the Legislature, no intoxicating liquors can be sold, and no billiard tables kept within a radius of two miles. The salutary consequences of such an act, which is enforced to the very letter, are too obvious to require comment. There are now two large and beautiful brick building in use, one having been built within a few years past, which are heated and ventilated in the most approved manner, the two [furniture, etc. included] and their ornamental grounds, costing over $100,000. No better or desirable and comfortable students' rooms and boarding accommodations can be found in any other educational institution in the State - every arrangement being attractive, systematic, health inspiring and complete. The same may be said of the excellent cabinet, presented by distinguished ............. and the Smithsonian Institute, and likewise of the apparatus, library, reading room, and also of the "Model School," where graduates must teach for a given term before they can, under the laws of Pennsylvania, be permitted to take charge of or teach in the common schools. The following is the organization of the Normal School, according to the last published catalogue, which bears the imprint of the "Advertiser Association, Elmira, 1876," omitting the names of Trustees whose term expired last year.

Board of Trustees:

Representing Stockholders - John S. Murdough, Daniel H. Pitts, Elmer R. Backer, Justus B. Clark, Jr., Alonzo M. Spencer, Joseph P. Morris. M.D., Eugene L. Sperry, Melvin L. Clark, Peter VanNess, John M. Phelps, Albert Sherwood, Frank M. Shaw.

Representing the State - Hon. Simon B. Elliott, Mart King, Fordyce A. Allen, Chas. V. Elliott, M.D., Hon. H.W. Williams, Hon. John I. Mitchell.

 Officers of the Board:

John S. Murdough, President.

Peter Van Ness, First Vice-President.

Albert Sherwood, Second Vice-President.

Eugene L. Sperry, Secretary.

Joseph P. Morris, M.D., Corresponding Secretary.

Philip Williams, Treasurer.


Charles H. Verrill, A.M. Principal, Professor of Science and Art of Teaching, and Mental and Moral Philosophy.

Joseph C. Doane, Professor of Natural Sciences.

William H. Bradford, Professor of Mathematics.

Miss Mary J. Tomlinson, A.M. Preceptress,, Instructor of Latin and English Grammar.

Miss Dora M. Woodruff, B.F., Instructor of Reading, and Assistant in Mathematics.

Miss Eliza J. Shaw, M.E., Principal of Model School.

Mark C. Baker, Instructor of Vocal and Instrumental Music.

Henry S. Johnson, Steward.

Mrs. Henry S. Johnson, Matron.

The foregoing [Charles V. Elliott being a member of the current Legislature, and Hon. John I. Mitchell a member of Congress] are gentlemen and ladies of high character an intelligence, and competent for the faithful discharge of all duties incumbent on them; and the Normal School with which they are connected enjoys a deservedly wide popularity, and is equal to the best of its exalted class in the Keystone State. It may not be amiss in passing to state that, recognizing the fact that gold and greenbacks are nearly on a par with each other, and the present stringency in money matters, prices for boarding students have been reduced $18 per year - the present term being as follows: Tuition and boarding, [including room rent, fuel, lights and washing], 61 per term. Tuition with boarding, $12 per term. All students who design to teach receive $7 deduction per term. Soldiers' orphans receive $14 deduction per term. At graduation students receive $50. Tuition and boarding in Model School, $30 per term. Tuition without boarding, $5 per term. 

There are three terms of 14 weeks each in the year, known as the Fall, Winter and Spring terms. The present winter term commenced Dec. 14th, 1876, and the next term will commence March 27th, 1877; next commencement day, June 28th, 1877. The Normal School Law of Pennsylvania provides for three distinct courses of instruction, Elementary, Scientific and Classical - each of which embraces a large variety of studies, and the whole embracing all the requisites of a thoroughly practical education. For full particulars of the institution, its studies, courses, examinations, diplomas, government, regulations, etc., send to the Principal for copy of annual catalogue, with the full understanding that the school is open to pupils of New York and other States as well as those of Pennsylvania, there being quite a number present from various counties in the Empire State, and two from the city of Elmira, Namely, Henry e. Lathrop and Edgar R. Flatt. There is probably not another institution of learning within anything like a similar short distance of Elmira, which possesses equally economic, and yet all sufficient facilities for acquiring the qualifications of first class teachers, and an ample education for all the requirements of business and professional life.

The State Soldiers' Orphan School

This is one of the many benevolent and most commendable institutions of like character in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The plan of providing for and education all of the helpless orphans of soldiers, who fell in the War of the Rebellion, up to the age of sixteen years, and thus giving them a good and right start in the world, which tends to make them good and true men and women, instead of vagrants, paupers and criminals, was first advocated by Governor Andrew Curtin, while he was yet in the Gubernational chair, and he is said to have been irresistibly impelled to the great and glorious work by two orphan children asking alms at his own door on a national Thanksgiving day, who, in answer to his inquiries as to why they were compelled to beg, informed him, with tears in their eyes, that their father was killed at the battle of Gettysburg, and that their poor mother had since died. At his solicitation the Pennsylvania Railroad company first subscribed $50,000, as a "commencement fund," to be devoted to the plan and purpose of establishing Soldiers' Orphans Schools throughout the State. This generous act was soon followed by a special message to the Legislature, and in due time one of the most praise-worthy, grandly ...................... and noble public charities of the age took definite form. According to the annual report of the State Superintendent of Orphans Schools for  1875, the whole number of orphans admitted into these up to that time, since the system went into operation was 7,858. The cost of the system for 1875 was $123,690.76 and the total cost to the State, up to May 31st, 1875, was $4,4238,226.02 - four million, four hundred and thirty-eight thousand, two hundred and twenty-six dollars and two cents, exclusive of buildings. The number of pupils in the schools and homes of the State, May 31st, 1875, was 2,780. Number of schools and institutes in which there are soldiers' orphans,m 28. Of course, as time rolls onward, the number of these orphans, below the age of sixteen, will rapidly decrease, and it is a grave and pertinent question, as to whether the schools should not be perpetuated by State authority, for the benefit of society at large, and indigent orphans, other than those of soldiers, who will otherwise grow up [many of them at least] in ignorance and wretchedness, to become the victims of degradation, crime and disease, and the inmates, at a much larger public expense, of poor houses, jails, penitentiaries and insane asylums. This is a subject that deserves and should receive most careful attention and consideration, not only in the State of Pennsylvania, but in every State in the Union.

Prof. F.A. Allen, former Principal of the Normal School, and a gentleman of great intelligence, sagacity, ability, high attainments, and superior organizing, and executive power, is the Principal and proprietor of the Mansfield State Soldiers' Orphan School. It was first established as a "Model School," in connection with the Normal School. In 1866, he sent to the State authorities for, and received 50 orphans, 25 boys and 25 girls - to be cared for, and 150 were tendered by the Superintendent. When he retired from the supervision of the Normal School in 18-, these orphans were left on his hands, and became the nucleus of a regular Orphan School. The number of pupils, including some day scholars, soon ran up to 110, and subsequently to 218, the orphans being taken at ten years of age and retained until sixteen. The State pays $150 each, per annum, which covers all expenses, board, tuition, clothing and medical attendance; also funeral expenses in case of death. This small amount per capita, as the number thus far has averaged about two hundred, suffices, in connection with a food farm under a perfect system, to handsomely sustain the school and even make it profitable. The Principal owns the building and farm, and both are kept in prime condition and order. The sanitary and all other arrangements are admirable, and the children are well clothed, provided with abundance of good wholesome food, heat, comfortable and well ventilated sleeping rooms and beds, and are rapidly progressive, healthy, contented and happy. The school is divided into five grades, with a teacher for each grade or department, and superintended by Prof. V.R. Pratt, [a graduate of the Normal School] who took charge of it as the acting and active Principal, at the end of the commencement of the second year - Prof. Allen acting as proprietor and general financial manager. During the past five or six years Prof. Pratt has had the entire direct control and management, as much as if he had been the actual proprietor. He is reported as possessing fine qualifications as a teacher, and as a kind hearted and genial gentleman. The school has quite a number of lady employees, in addition to its five teachers, and the policy is to have as few changes as possible. All the studies are embraced under three heads - Languages, Mathematics and Physical Sciences. In the summer season the boys work two hours a day on the farm, without interfering with their regular studies, un the supervision of a kind hearted, intelligent and practical farmer, and receive that attention and direction that a father would bestow on his sons. The girls are carefully taught in all kinds of housekeeping and plain sewing.

Two bands of music have been organized for the boys, and instruments purchased, costing $285, and good proficiency has been attained. Three thorough inspections a year, of all the Orphans' Schools of the State, are made by competent male and female officials; and under the last year's inspection the Mansfield School is reported "Number 1" - a fact that speaks volumes in its favor, and needs no clarification.

"A New Departure"

The methods of teaching in the school [which is open on easy terms to other than orphan children] are left almost exclusively, by the Superintendent, to the discretion of Prof. Allen; and they are indeed a new departure, and found by actual experience to be a vey great improvement over the old, for a late annual report to the State Superintendent. Prob. Allen, after stating the division of the school into five grades, of about forty pupils each, with separate rooms and teachers, and the three distinct departments of study under the head of "School Room Work" says: "Believing, as we do, that the elements of these departments of study may be taught successfully to the youngest child permitted to enter our school, we select from each such braches as seem best to meet the wants of our children, and such as we deem best calculated to develop harmoniously to faculties of body, mind and heart physiology, botany and local geography, in science; the elements of geometry and process in arithmetic and its tables in mathematics, the constant correction of improprieties in speech, and the no less constant work of teaching how to tell what they know, in good English, together with the training each child to write so that all school requests are in writing, in the department of languages, we find not only highly useful but practicable. Our teaching in the main is given without books. The subject of study, taken up, is first taken into the mind and heart of the teacher, who seldom fails to give to it a life of freshness that appetizes the class, thus creating a desire for more. After each class recitation pupils are required to reproduce the lesson in writing before the class. It will readily be seen that this process accrues a closer attention during recitation, greater accuracy in language and clearness in thinking."

Moral Instruction

Under this head Prof. Allen says: "No system of training or development can be properly called education , that does not embrace the moral as well as the physical and intellectual. In our system of instruction we have never been able to discover a point at which moral instruction should be dropped, even for a single day or hour. And though we have stated times for daily devotional exercises, and Sabbath periods for Sabbath School instruction, our constant aim is to so blend the three, in the every day concerns of life, that when we shall have finished our labors with these children, their development may be symmetrical and in the right direction." 

In a still later report, in treating of this new method, the Professor says:"In this work we deal with the thing taught, and not what the books say about it, If the subject considered is chemistry, philosophy, etc., the foundation is laid in giving ocular and tangible demonstrations. The pupil does, as well as sees and hears, as the collection of specimens in all these departments give ample testimony."

We have copied the foregoing quotations for the benefit of those who make teaching their avocation, as well deserving thoughtful consideration and as far as possible of practical application; and this long article cannot be more appropriately closed than by quoting from the State Superintendent's report to Gov.l Hartranft for the year 1857 the following language of Mrs. E.W. Hutter, the lady Inspector appointed by the State. She says: "We send out these orphans with robust frames, made so by the healthy work in the kitchen and on the farm, which they have learned to perform with ease and skill, and at the same time obtaining the great treasure of a solid English education, which may be the foundation of still great attainments. The girls learn to bake and cook, to sew on the machine, and to cut and fit dresses, to make buttonholes, etc., etc., in fact all that pertains to make a woman a good housekeeper. Many of the boys learn farming, or trades of different kinds, tailoring, plumbing, carpenter work, and other useful mechanical trades, while some are clerks and bookkeepers."

"The results of the Soldiers' Orphan Schools are perhaps best seen in the character and conduct of these who have already left their fostering care, having reached the required age of sixteen years. A large percentage of these are now industrious valuable citizens, a credit and blessing to the State that reared them. Many of girls are well married. A large number of those, who attended the Normal School, are teaching."

"In fact, from all the schools we meet these dear orphaned children, now grown to manhood and womanhood, filling positions of trust, and I feel that the State may well be proud of the part she has taken in training them up for the lives of usefulness."

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 29 DEC 2011
1877 article added 23 March 2018
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: Joyce M. Tice

The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933