It may have been the first visit to Mansfield by an incumbent President of the United States, that crisp autumn day in 1890. Others had certainly visited, including Rutherford B. Hayes, but that had taken place during his term as Governor of Ohio and before he was elected President.

President Benjamin Harrison, who was in the middle of his single four year term, was undertaking a 2,700 mile journey making stops in some seven states, including Ohio. As he came across north central Ohio, his train took the Big Four Railroad from Indianapolis to Galion, then north to Crestline where it transferred to the Pennsylvania Railroad to return to Washington D.C..

Harrison’s train had a private Pullman car, a private Big Four dining car, and an “ordinary baggage car.” The front of the locomotive featured a large portrait of the President and was decked out with American flags.

On October 13, after speaking in Galion and Crestline, the President reached Mansfield, where he was introduced to the gathered asemblage by United States Senator John Sherman. 1890 was, in fact, the year that Harrison signed the Sherman Antitrust Act into law.

The words which Harrison spoke in Mansfield were recorded, and were in fact focused on Senator Sherman and his brother, Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman:

“My Fellow-citizens — We stop so frequently upon this journey and our time at each station is so brief, that I cannot hope to say anything that would be interesting or instructive. I thank you most sincerely for these friendly manifestations. I am glad to be permitted to stop at the home of your distinguished Senator and my friend. [Cheers. ] I am sure, however you may differ from him in political opinion, the people of Mansfield and of Ohio are proud of the eminence which he has attained in the counsels of the Nation and of the distinguished service he has been able to render to his country not only in Congress but in the Treasury Department. [Cheers. ] He is twin in greatness with that military brother who led some of you, as he did- me, in some of the great campaigns of the war, and they have together rendered conspicuous services to this countiy, which we, as Ihey, love with devoted affection. We have so many common interests and so much genuine friendliness among the American people that except in the very heat and ardor of a political campaign the people are kind to each other, and we soon forget the rancor of these political debates. We ought never to forget that we are American citizens ; we ought never to forget that we are put in charge of American interests, and that it is our duty to defend them.”

Later that day, Harrison spoke in Wooster, Orrville, Massillon, Canton, and Alliance.

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