11 Things You May Not Know About Mansfield

Mansfield may not be the best known city in the United States, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an interesting one.

In order to prove that point, we’ve gathered 11 interesting tidbits about the town that you might not know. Take a look:

  • The city’s official motto is “The Fun Center of Ohio.” You be the judge of whether or not that’s accurate.
  • Though the city was founded in 1808 by James Hedges, Joseph Larwell, and Jacob Newman, it was named after United States Surveyor Genera Colonel Jared Mansfield, the same man who directed its planning.
  • The first house built in Mansfield was owned by Samuel Martin, who was chased from the country for illegally selling whiskey to Native Americans.
  • The town was officially incorporated as a village in 1828, then as a city in 1857. At the time, it had a population of just over 5,000 people.
  • Railroads helped the city’s population explode, tripling by the year 1890.
  • The first road across America was the Lincoln Highway, and in 1913 is crossed through Mansfield, meaning that for a time Mansfield was literally part of the network that connected the whole country together.
  • In the early 20th Century, manufacturing was the heart and soul of the town, led by Westinghouse Electric Corporation and the Tappan Stove Company. Westinghouse alone had 8,000 employees and made home appliances and other electric products.
  • In the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, Mansfield was the home of the Highway Safety Foundation. That may not sound familiar, but their films will: this is the group that produced those horrific driving safety films you saw as a kid when you were in school.
  • Movies about highway fatalities aren’t the only ones filmed here. Portions of Tango & Cash, The Shawshank Redemption, and Air Force One were also filmed here.
  • The Miss Ohio Pageant, which is a preliminary pageant for Miss America, is held in Mansfield at The Renaissance.
  • Johnny Appleseed isn’t an American legend. He was actually a real person. His real name was Johnny Chapman, and he had a tree nursery right here in Mansfield.

Interesting stuff, isn’t it? Just goes to show that our sleepy little community is a lot more interesting than people realize!