History & Tourism

Mansfield On The Map: Detailed Maps And Atlases Arrive

8 Feb , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

This is a brand-new post in our “Mansfield on the Map” series. For previous posts, click here.

Just two years after publication of the railroad map referenced in our last post in this series, a new mapping experience arrived in Richland County.

The 1856 “Map of Richland County,” based on surveys by P. O’Byrne, provided residents with the ability to identify lot property boundaries and owners in each township. Platted communities did not have property owners identified.

Well-drawn maps showed waterways, then-existing roads and railroads, and section/range numbers. Shown in full on the Library of Congress website (which can be seen here), the 1856 Map does have insets of several cities and villages showing the location of houses and commercial buildings, as well as a “Directory of Mansfield.”

This site has each of the 1856 Map’s township maps, as well as a list of owner surnames in each.

By 1873, surveying had become much more advanced and the “Atlas of Richland County” (more precisely known as “Andreas’ illustrated historical atlas of Richland County, Ohio”) published that year shows it.

The decade of the 1870s were a period of strong growth for Richland County. Between the 1870 and 1880 censuses, its population grew 11.7% — from 32,516 to 36,606. In 1870, Mansfield had a population of 8,029.

Railroad lines had multiplied in the preceding decades, as had what was considered, at the time, to be “improved” roads. The Atlas certainly showed all of these, and added several additional features such as a narrative history of Richland County and its cities; drawings of public buildings, churches, commercial structures, and larger residences; and a list of “subscribers” whose subscriptions helped to pay the cost of the Atlas.

The core feature of the 1873 Atlas continued to be the individual township maps, which added topographical and foliage representations.

The 1873 Atlas can be viewed in its entirety online. It was published in Chicago by a company that specialized in such atlases nationwide. It can be viewed at this link as well as a later-added list of surnames.

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