History & Tourism

Richland Roots: Samuel Stambaugh Bloom

10 May , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

In our Richland Roots series, we briefly present the lives of men and women from Richland County — either by birth, or residence — that have made important contributions to American history but who may not be household names. Other posts in our series can be viewed and read here.

Some of these individuals made names for themselves here at home. One such man was Samuel Stambaugh Bloom, who was a state legislator that helped to establish an important institution of higher education.

Bloom was born in Pennsylvania in 1834, and lost her mother shortly after his birth. After his grandfather died when Samuel was 19, he moved west to the then-village of Shelby, a place where his father had emigrated a decade earlier, permanently settling there in 1856. More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: The Tragic Tale Of Beautiful Miss Mansfield

29 Apr , 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.

Occasionally, those tales take a tragic turn. During a film shoot in 1923, an aspiring actress suffered a gruesome fate that cut short what may well have been a brilliant career. This actress not only shared her name with the city of Mansfield, but it was the city that was the source of her professional name – Martha Mansfield. More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: Friedrich Ferdinand Schnitzer

22 Apr , 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. We profile these individuals in our Richland Roots series.

Not exactly a household name in 21st century Richland County, Friedrich Schnitzer was much better known 125 years ago.

Schnitzer, son of and father of two other men with the same name, was born in Bavaria and emigrated to America with his parents in 1859, depending on the source. His European home sat on 200 acres, and it was said that the family descended from minor nobility.

Before leaving Bavaria, he was trained in architecture at the University of Berlin. More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: The Mansfielder Who Became Mayor Of New York City

29 Mar , 2021  

By: 1812Blockhouse

A bit over 120 years ago, a man with strong local roots occupied the position of Mayor of New York City. He was a reformer and set out to improve a corrupt system, a task which did not result in success.

His name was William Lafayette Strong.

1812Blockhouse shares posts in our “Richland Roots” series to reveal stories of the less-commonly known people born here, or who lived here, and then went on to make significant contributions to state, regional, or national history. Other posts in the series are available here. More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: The Would-Be Billionaire, Verner Zevola Reed

14 Mar , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

In our Richland Roots series, we briefly present the lives of men and women from Richland County — either by birth, or residence — that have made important contributions to American history but who may not be household names.

Other posts in our series can be viewed and read here.

Today’s subject may be one of the the wealthiest people that Richland County has ever produced. While that is a difficult concept to measure, in terms of accmuluated wealth for the time in which he or she lived, it would be difficult to beat the financial success of Verner Zevola Reed. More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: The Man Who Followed Lewis And Clark

13 Mar , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

Over the last two centuries, Richland County has produced a remarkable set of individuals who have led lives of discovery. In the nineteenth century, that included men and women who traveled west where they were engaged in the exploration of areas of the country that were not then well known to Americans.

Once such individual was Olin Dunbar Wheeler.

Wheeler was born on May 1, 1852 in Mansfield to a Methodist minister and his wife; he had a twin sister, Ellen, who died when she was six weeks old. Orin excelled in schooling, and in 1874 graduated with a degree in civil engineering from Cornell University. More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: A Photographer Of War And The West: Part Two

5 Feb , 2021  

We’re continuing our look at the life and work of native Richland Countian Stanley J. Morrow, who was born near Bellville in 1843 and who was trained by famed Civil War photographer Mathew Brady.

Stanley Morrow’s studio in Yankton, Dakota Territory did well. So well, in fact, that Morrow soon opened a branch operation across the Missouri River in Nebraska. Still, he had a sense of adventure, perhaps cultivated in his Civil War experience. Over time, that sense led him to leave the family home and studio and travel westward; each time, he left his wife in charge of the local operation which continued to thrive. More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: A Photographer Of War And The West: Part One

30 Jan , 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. Among those is a man who learned his trade under extraordinary circumstances, and then used that training to create an important record that survives to this day.

Born near Bellville in 1843, Stanley J. Morrow’s childhood years were contemporaneous with the rise of photography in the United States. More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: General Franklin Sawyer, A Hero Of Gettysburg

18 Jan , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

In our Richland Roots series, we briefly present the lives of men and women from Richland County — either by birth, or residence — that have made important contributions to American history but who may not be household names.

Other posts in our series can be viewed and read here.

Today, we share a bit about Brevet Brigadier General Franklin Sawyer. More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: The Mysterious Shooting Of Jack Sturges

13 Jan , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

1812Blockhouse shares posts in our “Richland Roots” series to reveal stories of the well-known and less-commonly known people born here, or who lived here, and then went on to make significant contributions to state, regional, or national history.

By all accounts, native Mansfielder John J. “Jack” Sturges lived an adventurous life. It was his demise, however, that still fuels claims of paranormal activity in a most unlikely place – Anchorage, Alaska. More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: Farmer, State Governor, Alaskan Gold Miner

9 Nov , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

Richland County has produced or been the home to a wide variety of individuals that have made important contributions to local, state, or national history. 1812Blockhouse has been sharing their stories in a series called “Richland Roots.” This is a brand new post; for other Richland Roots stories, click here.

Today on 1812Blockhouse we look at the remarkable life of a local man whose life took many twists and turns.

His name was John Whitnah Leedy, and he was born near Bellville on March 8, 1849. His paternal grandfather John Leedy had come to southern Richland County about 1815; his father Samuel Leedy was known as a singer and tavern keeper. More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: Pastor, Educator, Politican, Diplomat: The Life Of Edmund Fairfield

14 Oct , 2020  

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.

Few we have profiled in this series have held the variety of positions that the subject of today’s profile held during his lifetime. Edmund Burke Fairfield was a minister, a politician, a writer, a university executive, and a member of the United States diplomatic corps. More…

History & Tourism

Richland Roots: Lloyd Garrison Wheeler: Part Two

12 Sep , 2020  

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

11 Sep , 2020  

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

A Special Richland Roots Story: Plymouth To Gettysburg, 157 Years Later: With Photos

24 Aug , 2020  

By Thomas Palmer, 1812Blockouse Owner/Publisher

Permit me to share a bit about a family vacation.

Three weeks ago, I made a trip to visit an iconic landmark of American history — the Battlefield of Gettysburg.

This was my third visit there, the first coming when I was nine or ten years old, the second about 15 years ago. The reason for this trip, one taken with all the COVID-related precautions we could muster, was to take a unique tour with eight other members of my family. Three of my siblings, three nephews, and two significant others drove from Ohio to Pennsylvania in about six hours.

Here is what was up. More…

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