The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933
Mansfield PA and Richmond Township in Tioga County PA
Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Historic Businesses of the Tri-Counties
Paisley Wool Factory
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

1897 History - The Paisley Woolen Company, capital $40,000 was organized September 21,1892, with the following officers: Alexander McLachlan, president and superintendent ; Charles S. Ross, secretary; Philip Williams, treasurer. The plant, which comprises the latest improved machinery, occupies a building 150x50, with an engine room 100x25 feet, in the southern part of the borough, and is devoted to the manufacture of shawls.
Business: Paisley Wool Factory
Township: Richmond Township - Mansfield Borough
Year: 1899-1934
Photo from Chester P. Bailey
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The Paisley Woolen Company
Chester P. Bailey

     The Company was organized in September 21, 1892 with a capital of $50,000. The officers were; Alexander McLachian, President and Superintendent, Charles S. Ross, Secretary, and Philip Williams, Treasurer.
     The Paisley Shawl factory was built in 1892 and contained the latest improved machinery.  The main building was 150 x 50 feet, with a separate engine building 100 x 25 feet.  It was located on South Main Street where the fire station is now located.
     It manufactured Paisley Shawls from local wool.  It was a Board of Trade project who raised the money to bring the factory to Mansfield.  It was the first factory in Mansfield to have electric lights and city water.
     After the plant closed down, it was used by the Brady Brass Works, and in 1918 it was used by a carbide light company called “The VanGleckland Light”.  After a few years its popularity faded and that was the last.  The building burned in 1934.
     This section of Mansfield from 4th Street to the boro limits became known as “Paisley” and is still so noted on highway and engineer maps.    

Paisley Shawl Factory 1899-1934. The area is still referered to as Paisley. This is where the fire station and the Goodwill (formerly skating rink) are located.

South Main street near Fourth Street, 

Mansfield Advertiser, 29 March 1899, p.2, col.5 

Shawl Factory Leased

Operations to be Resumed About May 1st

After some weeks of patient waiting the Advertiser is permitted to make the gratifying announcement that operations are soon to be resumed at the Paisley Shawl factory in this boro. The plant has been leased by Messrs. Ross & Pitts to Mr. James Strachan, an experienced manufacturer of Passaic, NJ, who has already bought ten new looms and made other arrangements looking to the starting up of the factory about May 1st. The work of getting the machinery and buildings in readiness was begun on Monday and will be pushed to completion as rapidly as possible. 

Mr. Strachan successfully conducted the business in Passaic, before it passed into the hands of the parties who brought it to Mansfield. His family  includes several grown up sons and daughters, who will join him here late. It is not expected to start in on a very large scale, but instead to proceed with caution, increasing the force of operatives as trade conditions seem to warrant expansion. Other lines of woolen goods will be made, though shawls will probably be the principal product. About fifteen hands will be employed at first, with good prospects of an early increase in the number. Operated to its full capacity on shawls the plant would give employment to about 175 hands. Other miscellaneous lines requiring little or no fringing or other trimming, would reduce the number to 100 or even less.  

The equipment of the factory included a fine, nearly new engine and boiler, an independent electric light plant, about 16 Jacquard and 16 plainer looms, washers, dryer, and all other needed machinery. 

Mansfield Advertiser, 12 April 1899, p.3, col.3

The style of the Paisley Woolen Company, of this boro, has been changed to the Strachan Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of woolens, cloaking's and silks. 

Mansfield Advertiser, 17 May 1899, p.3, col.2    [11/20]

Business is running along smoothly at the shawl factory with about twenty hands on the pay roll. A number of looms have been started on shawls and many others are nearly ready to start. The local supply of experienced weavers is somewhat limited and unless the demand for this class of help is speedily met here at home weavers will be brought in from a distance. The force will be increased to thirty or more before the close of the present month. Besides shawls, samples are being made of popular lines of dress goods. Manager Strachan's sound sense and long experience in the business are in evidence on all sides at the mill. Realizing the value of thorough preparation he has left no stone unturned in putting the plant in first-class running order and now that that stage has been reached the maximum product at the minimum expense may be expected. 

Mansfield Advertiser, 18 April 1934, p.1

Fire Destroys Old Shawl Factory 

The shawl factory, one of Mansfield's landmarks, was destroyed by fire early Friday morning. An alarm was turned in about 1:30, but the fire had gained such headway that the entire building was in flames before the firemen arrived. The plant, which comprised a large wooden building, a barn and a brick engine house, was built in 1892 and for eight years was one of the leading industries of the community, manufacturing paisley shawls and woolen dress goods in large quantities. In 1900 the firm, which included several Mansfield residents, discontinued business and the buildings were vacant until 1918, when the Grady Brass Works and the Blake Manufacturing Company located there. These firms continued business until 1925, when the factory was again vacated and since has been used for storing junk. A truck belonging to Lee Heinrich, which was stored in the brick building, was somewhat damaged before it could be removed. The loss is estimated at several thousand dollars with no insurance.



Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 03 NOV 2002
Article expanded 18 SEP 2018
By Joyce M. Tice
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The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933