History & Tourism

Richland Roots: Lloyd Garrison Wheeler: Part Two

15 Oct , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

Part One of our first Richland Roots profile on Mansfield native Lloyd Garrison Wheeler can be accessed here.

When Lloyd and Ranie Wheeler made their move to from Illinois to Arkansas in 1870, they had good timing. Just one year later, 3.3 square miles of the central part of Chicago were destroyed by fire.

On the other hand, Reconstruction-era Arkansas was a very difficult location for Wheeler as he set out to establish a law practice. Family legend says that a billy club found within his effects after his death was protection in case he might become the target of Ku Klux Klan activity. More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: Lloyd Garrison Wheeler: Part One

14 Oct , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

Shortly before his death in 1909, a husband, a Mansfield native, and wife from Chicago boarded a train and headed south, their destination a relatively new place of higher education in rural Alabama. The couple was no stranger to southern life, having spent years living in Arkansas some three decades before. On this occasion, however, the man was leaving behind a set of business difficulties and accepting a position which had been offered to him by a long-time friend. More…

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History & Tourism

Grace Episcopal Begins 175th Anniversary Celebration

11 Oct , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

The parishioners at Mansfield’s Grace Episcopal Church set out to celebrate a remarkable milestone on Sunday.

They did so in a time honored way — by holding a commemorative worship service in their building on the corner of Third and Bowman. Among them was the Right Reverend Mark J. Hollingsworth, Eleventh Bishop of Ohio.

Hollingworth greeted those present by sharing with them that he was happy to be with them. “Under this mask,” he began, “I have an ear-to-ear grin of delight to be here and to see all of you in this wonderful celebration of 175 years and all that is awaiting us in our dream for Grace Church and for each of us.”

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: Introducing Mansfielder General James S. Robinson

10 Oct , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

Throughout its history, Richland County has produced or been the home to a wide variety of individuals that have made important contributions to the world. 1812Blockhouse has been sharing their stories in a series we started last year called “Richland Roots.” For other Richland Roots stories, click here.

Richland County has produced leaders in business, the arts, the military, education, politics, and civic life over its 200-plus years. Occasionally, that includes someone whose life story includes noteworthy activity in several of those areas. Such is the case with native Richland Countian James Sidney Robinson.

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All About Richland, History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: America’s First Matinee Idol

6 Oct , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

It’s a name you may not have seen before until reading this post.

The man was, however, a remarkable artist with a penchant for showmanship that transformed him into an international superstar — a superstar whose travels and concert venues included a very young Mansfield, Ohio.

An obscure reference in the Cleveland Daily Leader references the appearance of famed composer and pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk to Mansfield in December of 1863, in the middle of the US Civil War.

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All About Richland, History & Tourism

Richland Roots: A Mansfielder Attends A Historic Presidential Inauguration

5 Oct , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

Throughout the last 231 years, there have undoubtedly been scores of Richland County men and women who have attended US presidential inaugurations. Not many of them, however, have written about the experience and provided an account of what they saw and heard.

One such person was Robert Wesley McBride, who had a close-up seat at the second inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln. McBride, who had been born in 1842 southeast of Mansfield, enlisted in the Ohio 7th Cavalry, otherwise known as the “Union Light Guard.” That unit soon served as a bodyguard for the President and mounted escort. More…

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History & Tourism, Landmarks of Richland

Landmarks Of Mansfield: The Winfield S. Ward House

27 Sep , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

The exuberant Queen Anne style house at 350 Park Avenue West in Mansfield holds a bit of a surprising anecdote. More about that and the end of this post.

It was built by Winfield S. Ward, a man who made a good living as a manufacturer of “elastic web,” that being the elastic material comprised of woven textile or rubber fibers and primarily used for garters and suspenders.

Winfield Ward was born in Pennsylvania, educated in Trenton, New Jersey, and came to Mansfield about 1889. At the time, he was a real estate agent, and the The Weekly News of April 28, 1892 profield him as one of “Mansfield’s wide aware real estate agents.” More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: Eagles Building, North Main Street

19 Sep , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

Attendees at yesterday’s Secret City Tour had the opportunity to visit several spaces, including the almost 110 year-old Eagles Building on the west side of North Main Street between West Fourth and West Fifth Streets.

The four story brick structure has been a feature on Downtown Mansfield, Inc.’s, tours since they began several years ago, and is an annual favorite. The building was built for a specific purpose by what was then a relatively new civic organization — Aerie 336 of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. When it was constructed between 1912 and 1913, the local chapter was only 10 years old but already had over 500 members.

What was built was extraordinary.

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: The Good Witch Of The North

5 Sep , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

Certain Hollywood actors and actresses who have had long and successful careers are largely remembered for a single role.

Such might be the case for actress Billie Burke, whose career spanned over four decades. It began with a stage appearance in London where she had toured with her father, a clown for Barnum & Bailey Circus, and included Broadway shows, movies, and plays. Her final film was released in 1960.

In 1910 she made a trip to Ohio. More specifically, she came to Mansfield to appear at the Memorial Opera House, which was attached to the Soldiers and Sailors Building on Park Avenue West. One of her first Broadway plays, Mrs. Dot, had run at the Lyceum Theatre on 45th Street in New York City from January to March, after which the company appeared for a short time in Washington. D.C. at the New National Theatre.

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All About Richland

Landmark Of Mansfield Featured On National House Resale Site

3 Sep , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

Here’s some news that those “in the know” know very well:

Mansfield history sells.

Just a few hours after being listed on a national site for the marketing of older residential properties available for purchase, an update shares that the property in question is already in a pending or contingent sale situation.

The Prairie and/or Crafstman Style-influenced house, designed by noted Mansfield architect Vernon Redding, was previously the subject of this Landmark of Mansfield post back in 2019. The 608 Park Avenue West property was home to Rufus and Susanna Kern. More about the Kerns can be found in our post.

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: Paul Robeson

21 Aug , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

There are many Mansfielders who today would not recognize the name of Paul Robeson.

That is unfortunate. Robeson was an extraordinary talent who, as Wikipedia shares, “…became famous both for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism.” A man large in stature, he had an oversized influence in American musicals and in the Civil Rights Movement.

He was also someone who made a visit to Mansfield to perform in concert. More…

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History & Tourism

The Bartley Boys: Mansfield’s Father & Son Governors

14 Aug , 2021  

By: 1812Blockhouse

Richland County is an old pro when it comes to things gubernatorial — it was once the home of Ohio’s only father and son Governors.

It’s only happened a few times in American history – the governor of a state is succeeded by another family member. In the case of the Bartley boys, however, the uniqueness goes deeper than that. More…

History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: The Ohio State Fair

12 Aug , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

The online, pandemic-shuttered Ohio State Fair recently concluded. Here’s a trivia question for you – when was the last time that the Fair was held outside of Columbus, and where was it held?

You might be able to guess the answer to that question from the title of this post.

Mansfield was home to the Ohio State Fair in 1872 and 1873, one of only 10 cities statewide to ever hold that honor. More…

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: President Rutherford B. Hayes

3 Aug , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

It is almost certain that President Rutherford B. Hayes made several visits to Mansfield and Richland County during his life

The first of those may well have occurred on the evening of August 21, 1868, just three years after the Civil War. At the time, Hayes was serving in his first term as Governor of Ohio.

On that evening, Hayes spoke to a meeting of the “Grant Club,” a gathering of Republican party leaders also known as a “Union Republican Meeting.” Hayes’ speech that night took place in Miller’s Hall, the city’s first large speakers and performance venue. His appearance was something of a surprise; it had been announced just the day before. More…

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: Buffalo Bill

21 Jul , 2021  

NOTE: This post in our “When Mansfield Welcomed” series has been updated with recently-discovered information.

By 1812Blockhouse

It was a brilliant Saturday in July, 1896 when Buffalo Bill came to town. Not just Buffalo Bill, mind you – his famous “Wild West Show” was in tow and put on two performances in a lot on East Fourth Street. This was not his first visit to Mansfield, nor would it be his last.

Buffalo Bill, born William Frederick Cody in 1846, grew up on the frontier and loved every aspect of that way of life. As he grew older, some of the titles he earned, or at least ascribed to himself, including buffalo hunter, U.S. Army scout and guide, and showman, as well as Pony Express Rider, Indian fighter, and even author. Whatever Cody’s titles, he was destined for fame. More…

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