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Mansfield University... Developing Tomorrow's Leaders Time Line


1800s


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.

1860

Reverend Landreth resigns, and Reverend Holt succeeds him under some protest.

1861

April, Rev. Edwin Wildman succeeds Rev. Holt as principal of the Seminary.

Joseph S. Hoard organizes a company of volunteers to prepare for the Civil War called the Tioga Mountaineers. Mansfield Soldiers Aid Society holds dinner for the Mountaineers in the Seminary dining hall before their departure to Harrisburg in late October.

Simon B. Elliott in the State Legislature in January offers the resolution upon which the State is finally, in April to arm the state militias to protect and defend the Union.

The Civil War begins!   

Edinboro is recognized as a State Normal School.

John P. Charlton of Philadelphia invents America's first postcard. Julius Sturgis opens America's first pretzel bakery in Lititz, Pa.

1862

S.B. Elliott makes application for Mansfield Classical Seminary to become a State Normal School. It is accepted in December as the third state normal school in the 5th District of Pennsylvania.

Battle of Antietam occurs with 23,582 American casualties. Both sides lose an equal number of men.

Mansfield borough passes an ordinance prohibiting the piling of waste in the streets, hitching horses to shade trees, shooting fire crackers or guns, horse racing, and driving or leading horses or cattle on the sidewalks.

1863

Reverend Wildman ceases to be principal, and Reverend Taylor assumes the job for a period of one year.          

The Battle of Gettysburg takes place with over 50,000 casualties.

The Honorable John Magee loans Mansfield State Normal School $6500 to help with its debt.

1864

July, Professor Fordyce A. Allen becomes principal of the Normal for a period of five years.

The first student organization, The Normal Literary, is organized at the school.

April 22, "In God We Trust" appears on U.S. coins for the first time.

1865

The Civil War Ends on April 2nd. The 13th Amendment is ratified. President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated just six days after Lee's surrender.

Lewis Carol publishes Alice's Adventure in Wonderland.

1866

Kutztown is recognized as a State Normal School.

Lizzie Ames is the first graduate of Mansfield State Normal School, along with 14 other students. Sarah Woodruff is the first graduate to pass away -- one month after graduation.

Mansfield Normal's first gymnasium is built.

Mary Walker becomes the only woman to receive the Medal of Honor for her work as a Civil War surgeon.

1867

Mansfield's Soldiers Orphan School is organized by Fordyce A. Allen.

The St. James Episcopal Church is chartered.

The Normal School baseball team plays its first game ever against a Wellsboro team.

U.S. purchases Alaska from Russia for $7 million.

Gustave A. Dentzel builds the nation's first carousel in Philadelphia.

1868

Prof. Allen builds large home directly across from the Normal school on Academy street.

The Normal School Alumni Association is organized and holds its first reunion at the home of Prof. Allen and his wife in the fall.

1869

Professor Allen steps down as principle in the spring. Prof. J.T. Streit assumes position, but would pass away in November. Prof. Charles Verill assumes the post.

Mart King started his Furniture Factory.

The Suez Canal Opened on November 17th.

Transcontinental Rail Service begun in the United States.

The Athenean Literary Society is organized at the Normal.

The Waffle Iron is patented by Cornelius Swarthout.

1870

The St. James Church was built on a large lot donated by Dr. J.P Morris.

1871

The Bank building is built on the south east corner of Main Street and what will become Rt. 6

West Chester is recognized as a State Normal School.

The Mansfield State Normal School Alumni Association charter is signed.

Sarah P. Lewis, a graduate of the Normal, becomes the first female county school superintendent in the state of Pennsylvania.

1872

The new methodist church opens on the corner of Rt.6 and North Academy Street. S.B. Elliott designed the building. The first normal school graduation held off campus is held in the church.

The first Arbor Day took place on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska. It is the brain child of Julius Sterling Morton.

1873

The Normal Literary Society hires Susan B. Anthony to lecture at Mansfield.

The newspaper Mansfield Advertiser begins publishing in January.

The Pitts Bros. store is built on the south west corner of Main Street and Rt. 6

The new Orphan School Building is built on the Northwest corner of Main Street and Route 6.

Shippensburg is recognized as a State Normal School.

Prof. J.N. Fradenburg is elected Principal of the Normal.

1874

The Ladies Dormitory is built at the Normal at a cost of $15,000. It will soon be named North Hall.

A typhoid epidemic, caused by a contaminated well, hits the Normal School, resulting in the death of several students.  

California is recognized as a State Normal School.

Charlie Ross of Germantown, age 4, was the first picture of a missing child to be used in America.

1875

The Presbyterian Church is built at a cost of $1350.00.

Indiana is recognized as a State Normal School.

Prof. Charles Verrill is elected Principal of the Normal for a second time.

1876

The Battle of the Little Big Horn is fought in Montana. It will become known as "Custer's Last Stand."

Tioga County celebrates the United States Centennial in the town of Tioga.

Reconstruction ends.

President Hayes removes federal troops from the South.

Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone.

Root Beer is introduced by a Philadelphia druggist, Charles E. Hires.

1877

The first street lamps are erected in Mansfield.

A track for racing horses is built on Island Park, which is today's Smythe Park.

The Smythe Park Association is organized.

Lock Haven is recognized as a State Normal School.

Thomas Edison invents the phonograph. 

Prof. Fordyce A. Allen is again called to take over control of the Normal School.

1878

The Allen block is constructed on the corner of North Main and East Wellsboro Streets.

1879

Thomas Edison invents the electric light. 

The first of many of the Great Mansfield Fairs occurs in Smythe Park.

1890

The Eiffel Tower is completed in Paris.

1891

Construction begins on the new North and Central wings of the old North Hall.

Yellowstone becomes the first National Park.

Spring football is introduced at Mansfield Normal School with a game between a Wellsboro town team and the Mansfield Normal Boys.

Whitcomb L. Judson of Meadville invents the modern "zipper" on October 5th.

1892

Ellis Island opens in New York to help control the flood of immigrants into the country.

The new dining hall seating 500 opens in the new North wing of North Hall for Thanksgiving dinner.

At the Great Mansfield Fair electric lights are installed and a game of football is played between Mansfield Normal and Wyoming Seminary, ending in a draw. It is later recorded as the first night football game played in the United States.

Prof. Samuel H. Albro becomes principal of the Normal.

1893

East Stroudsburg is recognized as a State Normal School.

Thomas Edison uses the world's first three wire electrical transmission system to light the City Hotel in Sunbury.

1894

The first fraternity is organized at the Normal. It is formed from the Ladies Literary Society. It will later become the Epsilon Chapter of the Agonian Fraternity organized at Geneseo, NY. It is believed to be the first fraternity in the State Normal School System.

The new north and central wings of North Hall are completed. The south wing is put on hold.

1897

The first school publication The Normal School Quarterly is published. Electric lights are installed in North Hall.

1898

The Spanish American War breaks out. Former Mansfield Normal athlete George Walbridge enlists in the Military while at Cornell University and serves in Puerto Rico during the war.

Mansfield Normal football team plays a game against the University of Pennsylvania Football Squad. Penn is coached by former Normal Graduate George Woodruff, class of 1883.

1899

Prof. Albro resigns position as Principal of the Normal. Dr. Andrew Thomas Smith is elected the new Principal.

The Agonian Womens Fraternity dedicates their rock on Normal Hill in what would be called Agonian Grove for the planting of trees on Arbor Day.