Mansfield That Was reprinted from the News Journal of Mansfield, Ohio

| July/August 1984

  • Gaar Scott 12 HP
    Courtesy of Willard F. James, R.R. 3, 602 S. Jefferson Street, Mahomet, Illinois 61853.
    Willard F. James

  • Gaar Scott 12 HP


Mansfield's industrial life has been closely associated with the farming industry almost since the city was founded.

There were good reasons for the city's fine reputation as a manufacturer of flour, harvesting equipment and other farm equipment. Mansfield is located in a rich farming area. The railroad facilities, necessary to the success of a farm machinery maker, were good, and there was an adequate supply of hardwood nearby.

Over a period of more than 80 years, Mansfield was a leading producer of steam engines, harvesting equipment and machinery for cultivating the soil.

Soon after Mansfield and Richland County were founded there were mills turning out flour and cornmeal. These mills were located along the larger streams because they were powered by huge water wheels. When steam power became popular, these mills were increased in size and output. The development of steam power also opened the way for new industries which produced steam engines.

One of the first of these large industrial plants here was the Mansfield Machine Works on North Main Street. The plant, founded around 1840, turned out steam engines and mill equipment. As the firm grew, it moved to more spacious quarters on North Diamond Street.


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