OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE
DESCRIPTIVE AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF
PREPARED AND PUBLISHED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF
FALL RIVER NEWS
WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF
HON. ALANSON BORDEN
OF NEW BEDFORD
THE BOSTON HISTORY COMPANY, PUBLISHERS
Retyped for the web by Stephanie Anderson
Mansfield. - [Missing pages 202-203, presuming Mansfield from text.] The making of baskets has
always been a prominent industry and is still extensively carried on by J. A. Blake, Elmer M. Shepard, who buy
largely from small manufacturers and supplies the Boston market; Isaac Hodges, James L. Hodges, who is one of the
largest makers in the town; James E. Paine, C. L. Corey, David Green and Alexander Palmer, at Robinsonville; Benjamin
Treen, at West Mansfield; Fisher Brothers, at the Center. One of the leading interests of the town has been the
manufacture of soap. Fifty years ago Capt. Schuyler Shepard began the business, which is continued by his son,
albert S. Shepard. Other soap manufacturers are J. W. Cobb and the Jinks Soap Manufacturing Co.
Inducements were made which brought to Mansfield, in 1887, from Lynn a large shoe manufacturing business, carried
on by Rumsey Brothers. A large factory was built in 1888 and the business is now conducted by Burpee Rumsey, as
a branch of the Lynn factory. Another shoe manufacturing business has recently been established by the Mansfield
The manufacture of shoe knives and awls has been largely carried on since 1842, when Robert McMoran and Robert
Fulton began the business. Mr. McMoran and his son-in-law, George A. Robinson, and his grandson, william N. McMoran,
established another factory at West Mansfield. This business is now conducted under the name of George A. Robinson
& Co. Other cutlery manufacturers are Matthew George, John Murphy, W. W. Taylor.
Near the line of the railroad Gardner Chilson built a foundry in 1846. It is now operated by the Chilson Furnace
Company. Some years ago William Bird built another foundry, now operated by J. E. and W. H. Rider. Other foundries
in the town are those of the Mansfield Cooperative Furnace Company and Patrick Shields.
The straw braiding business was established in 1835 by John Rogers, but finished goods were not made until 1840.
About ten years later Mr. Rogers built a factory and operated it until 1866, when his son, John W., with J. F.
Comey and D. E. Harding, succeeded, under the firm name of Rogers, Comey & Co. The name was changed later to
Comey & Company who continued the business.
Some twenty years ago John Birkenhead came from Canton and began the manufacture of spindles; he continued several
years. S. W. Card began making taps and dies about fifteen years ago, and later took as partner David E. Harding,
the firm name being S. W. Card & Co. They were burned out in 1890, rebuilt and continue the business. Jewelry
manufacturing has in recen years become a large industry, having originated with Sturdy Brothers, of Attleborough.
They were followed by Merritt & Draper, who began making shell jewelry. This business is now conducted by D.
S. Spaulding, of whom a sketch appears in another part of this work. Mr. Merritt formed a partnership with John
Shepardson in making of plated and solid jewelry, but subsequently removed to Attleborough. Other jewelry manufacturers
now in business are Cobb, Evans & Co., s. A. Evans, C.D. Lyons, and Fred S. Bliss.
The water power for the supply of some of these industries is furnished by Rumford river (sometimes called Ten-Mile
River) and Canoe River. Flint's saw mill, which stands on the site of the old Hartwell thread factory, is operated
by B. K and B. Flint.
Mansfield has two banks, the Mansfield Co-operative Bank, which was organized February 22, 1883; chartered and
began business in the same year. The other is the private banking house of Alfred B. Day & Company (Alfred
B. Day and Charles C. Haggerty), which was established in 1891.
A newspaper named the Mansfield News was established in 1873 by Pratt & Clarke (S. b. Pratt and E. W. Clarke),
the latter being editor. In November of the same year the management changed and Thomas S. Pratt became proprietor,
with E. S. Clarke, assistant editor. In 1881 T. S. Pratt and William White became owners of the establishment,
under the firm name of Pratt & White. This firm was succeeded by the present proprietor and editor, William
White. The paper is an independent Replublican journal and has a large circulation. An edition for Foxborough is
published and call the Foxborough Times.
Mansfield village has six churches, three in West Mansfield, and onein East Mansfield. Those in Mansfield are the
Baptist, Emanuel Methodist, First Universalist, Orthodox Congregational, Society of the New Jerusalem, and S. Mary's
Catholic. Those in West Mansfield are the People's Free Evangelical, Friends' and First Christian. The one in East
Mansfield is the First Methodist.
The new town hall in Mansfield was dedicated in 1883, the town having appropriated $10,00 for the erection of the
structure, and $5,000 having been donated by W. O. Grover, of Boston. The building committee were A. C. Hardon,
E. M. Reed and A. V. Rogerson.
Mansfield has ample railroad facilities, being connected with Boston, Providence, Taunton and Framingham. Electric
roads are contemplated for construction in the near future to many near by points. The village is supplied with
pure water by the gravity system, which was introduced in 1887, the supply being taken from Cate spring, situated
about two miles east of the place.
The Mansfield Public Library was established in 1884 and as about 3,000 volumes. The educational facilities of
Mansfield consist of eight schools and a high school, all of which are liberally supported by the community.
West Mansfield is a small village in the western part of the town and practically connected with Mansfield village.
Most of the prominent industries that have been established there have been noticed. The place contains three churches,
post-office and one store; two blacksmiths, one carriage maker, several basket manufactories, before noticed, a
school house, a cutlery manufactory, etc. On the site of the cutlery manufactory formerly stood the woolen mill
of Marcus Williams. Upon Wading river, which flows through the western part of the town, formerly stood Sweet's
flour mill, long operated by Elbridge Sweet; it was burned and not rebuilt.
East Mansfield is a hamlet in the east part of the town containing a post-office, school house, one church, a basket
manufactory, the planing mill of B. K. & B. Flint, the monumental works of F. W. Burt, and two or three stores.
Robinsonville is a hamlet in the northwestern part of the town with unimportant interests. Whiteville is a small
village in the northeast part of the town, where considerable industrial interest was in existence years ago.
In past years efforts have been made to mine coal and iron in this town, which undoubtedly exist in large quantities,
but the question whether they can be successfully produced is still unsettled. General farming is followed throughout
the town, and market gardening is carried on to some extent. The growing of nursery stock has in recent years become
an industry of considerable importance.