NOTE: This post in our “When Mansfield Welcomed” series has been updated with recently-discovered information.
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…
He was considered by many to be the greatest English actor of the nineteenth century. Yet underneath the veneer of accomplishment was someone who, it is said, never actually liked performing on the stage.
And on Thursday, March 30, 1916, he visited the city of Mansfield for the only time in his career. His performance that night was one in a series of highly significant moments in the worldwide history of theatre. More…
NOTE: The story, first published in 2018, has been updated with newly-discovered information about this groundbreaking concert. See below.
Did you know that Mansfield is one of the places where American musical history was made?
In fact, it was made over 148 years ago, on November 29, 1871. More…
In 1872, entertainment history was made when the first large circus to travel by rail appeared in small and mid-sized communities across the Midwest. America’s Greatest Showman was behind the entire endeavor.
On June 22, that tour included a stop in Mansfield. The Greatest Show on Earth – a slogan used for the very first time in publicity for that very trip – came to town for three shows. Actually, it was more fully known as “P.T. Barnum’s Great Traveling Museum, Menagerie, and World’s Fair – consisting of museum, menagerie, aquarium, polytechnic institute, international zoological garden, and Dan Castello’s chaste and refined circus.” More…
William Henry Harrison is perhaps best known as an answer to a trivia question as to which President of the United States has had the shortest term. This is unfortunate, as Harrison had a busy and successful career in military service long before his short tenure in office.
It is also the answer to the question “Which US President first visited Mansfield at some point in his life? On at least two instances, he made a visit here — the second about 28 years after the first.
Born in Virginia, Harrison is often claimed by Ohio to reinforce its “Mother of Presidents” claim. He did settle in Ohio and was elected from here. More…
It is said that the winter of 1867-1868 was a uniformly cold one, though a late season snowstorm wreaked havoc on the eastern part of the country.
It was during that winter that a man arrived in Mansfield and checked in at the Wiler House hotel. The establishment was frequented by travelers arriving via coach in the city. It had been established about 1820 at the corner of North Main Street and Dickson Avenue, not far from the current Richland Carrousel Park.
When registering, the man put down the name “Ralph Waldo Emerson” in the guest registry. More…
We continue our series of baseball stories this week in celebration of Opening Day week for many MLB teams. Cleveland launches its 2021 season on Thursday, traveling to the Motor City to play the Detroit Tigers.
It would be difficult to overestimate the storied reputation of Honus Wagner in the world of professional baseball. Over 100 years after winning his eighth and final batting title – a National League record which remains in place to this day – Wagner is also well-known for the record prices set by the sale of his baseball cards. He was also, for a short time, a Mansfielder. More…
Here’s a trivia question for you – when was the last time that the Ohio State 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…
The competition was fierce early last century as Columbus, Alliance, Marietta, Toledo, Fostoria, Marion, and Mansfield vied for the prize – host city for the 1914 Ohio State Corn Show. At the 1913 show in Lima, the winner was announced, and Mansfield was chosen.
Amazingly, both the 1913 and 1914 Corn Shows took place in the dead of winter – mid to late January. Still, thousands attended such events. More…
One hundred years ago this past November, women voted in a US Presidential election for the first time.
The road to the point was a long and difficult one. Some of the leading proponents of women’s suffrage are now well-known names from history — Susan B. Anthony in the United States, Emmeline Pankrust in England, and others.
One activist for women’s suffrage was certainly just as vocal and, at an important point in her crusade, was a visitor to Mansfield.
It was in July, 1912 when Rosalie Gardner Jones and her friend, Mrs. Elizabeth Freeman, made it to Richland County. More…
A man once described by Winston Churchill as “Scotland’s greatest ever ambassador” included Mansfield among places he visited during his storied career.
At the time of his March 1916 visit, Harry Lauder was already the highest paid performer in the world. His visit took place at a time of increased anxiety in America, as the county was involved in arming the Allies in World War 1 but was still several months away from joining the fray. More…
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…
John Philip Sousa was a musician whose reputation remains strong almost a century after his death.
The scene must have been extraordinary that late October evening in 1892, over 125 years ago, when Sousa came to town. The venue was the brand-new Memorial Opera House, a 565 seat auditorium situated in what was later the site of the Madison Theatre, and is now the parking lot of the Solders and Sailors Memorial Building on Park Avenue West. More…
Richland Countians love their cars.
The role of the automobile in daily life was a relatively new one, however, on February 24, 1917, the day that Mansfield’s very first automobile show opened its doors.
Just nine years after the Ford Motor Company launched its signature Model T, and just four years after the company’s integrated moving assembly line revolutionized manufacturing, the car owners in north central Ohio decided to hold a show at the brand-new building of the Cotter Transfer & Storage – then, as it still is 100 years later, at 40 West Third Street. More…
2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the tragic death of an American actress, a lady with a very familiar last name and who paid at least one visit to Mansfield and Richland County.
It was on the night of June 28/29, 1967 that Jayne Mansfield and her attorney were killed on a car trip from Biloxi, Mississippi to New Orleans, Louisiana. More…