Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

Developing Tomorrow's Leaders
Mansfield: 150 Years of History

1850s

1854

In May or June, Joseph S. Hoard  discusses with Dr. J.P. Morris, Rev. H.N. Seaver, Alvin Gaylord and others the idea of building a school of a higher education institution in Mansfield. Only Dr. Morris is in agreement. Finally after several meetings among the townspeople it's agreed upon to construct a building at a cost of $12,000. A charter is written on December 12th.

Dr. Joseph P. Morris builds his home, the Wren's Nest, and sells 6 acres of land on the eastern hill overlooking Mansfield to build the new school.

 
1855

The Mansfield Iron works is under construction.

February 15th, the Classical Seminary is organized at Mansfield under the patronage of the East Genesee Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church of New York.

 
1856

April, Rev. Jabez R. Jaques is hired to be the first Principal. His wife Harriott L. Jaques will be the Preceptress.

On November 28th, 57 citizens petition the court to turn the village of Mansfield into a borough.

 
1857

On January 7th, Mansfield Classical Seminary opens its doors to 105 students.  On February 13th, the Village of Mansfield is incorporated as a borough.

At 10 a.m. on April 22nd, with a foot of snow on the ground, the Mansfield Classical Seminary burns to the ground. There are no injuries. Immediately after the fire the founders vow to persevere and reconstruct an even bigger and better building.

Other 1857 facts.

  • James Buchanan is elected the 15th President of the U.S. 
  • Michael Dietz invents the kerosene lamp, forcing whale oil lamps off the market.
  • Milton Hershey is born.
  • The Normal School Act of Pennsylvania is enacted to create schools for training teachers for the common schools
  • There's a large earthquake at San Andreas.
  • The Panic of 1857 is caused by the collapse of the Ohio Life insurance company in New York.
  • Pleiade and d'arrest comets appear in the skies.
  • The Sharps breach loading rifle is invented.
  • Edinboro Pa. Academy opens. 
  • The National Teachers Union is established.
  • The Atlantic Monthly Magazine and The Journal of Higher Education begin. 
  • Proctor and Gamble begins business.
  • The wax comb foundation is invented for beekeeping.
  • Joseph C. Gayetty of New York City invents "Therapeutic Paper," which later became known as toilet paper.
  • Elizabeth Blackwell is the first American woman admitted to Medical school.
  • The song "Jingle Bells" by James Pierpont makes its debut as a Thanksgiving tune but would soon be adopted as a Christmas carol.
  • The Reverend John Henry Hopkins writes "We Three Kings."
 
1859

Mansfield Classical Seminary rebuilt and reopens November 23 to some 30 students. Rev. James Landreth is elected Principal and Miss Julia A. Hosmer is named preceptress.

Millersville is recognized as the first State Normal School.

First oil well drilled in Titusville by Edwin Drake.  John Brown leads revolt, attacks arsenal at Harpers Ferry.