Volume Three  Issue Seven  May 2018
The History Center on Main Street
 83 and 61 North Main Street
Mansfield, PA
The Museum of Us
The History Center on Main Street
Director- Joyce M. Tice: President - Deb Talbot Bastian: V.P - Amy Welch
Mansfield Heroes from 1940
We've been digging around in 1940 census and newspapers this past winter and spring and we've discovered some noteworthy anecdotes to pass on to you. We've been coordinating the 1940 census of Mansfield, Richmond, and Sullivan with our genealogy database of local people and have uncovered no shortage of bravery in the stories of their lives. The 1940 census is the most recent census to have been released to the public. It gives us a detailed picture of who was here and what they were doing. Following house to house in the census records is like a visit to that time.
Phyllis Priest was a seven year old student at the Mainesburg School in 1940 living with her parents Jessie and Edith Wood Priest on a farm in Sullivan Township. She had two younger brothers at the time of the census with a third born in 1941. By 1943, the family had moved to Lancaster.
Sacrifices Life to Save Brothers
PHYLLIS L. PRIEST, 10, her clothing in flames from a kitchen stove oil explosion, thought only of the safety of her three brothers, pictured here with her, and led them from their home in Lancaster, Pa., before she attempted to save herself. After rolling in water to extinguish the fire that had enveloped her, she aided her father to fight the blaze in the house, then collapsed and died soon after being received at a hospital.

Phyllis was buried in Prospect Cemetery April 1943.
Brothers are Ted, Ed, and David.
Rosa May Donald 1889-1967
Fifty year old Rosa Donald lived with her mother, Sarah Garlick Donald, on East Elmira Street. Rosa worked at the State Teachers College as a "serving room girl." Yes, women of any age were called "girls" in 1940 particularly if they had jobs considered low status.
The Virgil and Annabelle Makinster Stout family lived in a rented house on First Street in April 1940 with four children under the age of five. Virgil worked on a W.P.A. bridge project. Baby Grace Louise was only a few months old. Less than a year later, the family had moved to East Elmira Street near Virgil's brother, Elmer Stout. Annabelle made a trip to the nearby grocery store leaving the children alone. The following news article tells the sad story as well as the heroic action of Rosa Donald.
Child Lost Life in Fire Monday
Stout Home at Mansfield Burned With Its Contents - Other Children Rescued
Left with her two brothers and a sister in her home at Mansfield while her mother went shopping for groceries, 17-month-old Grace Louise Stout lost her life Monday afternoon when fire destroyed the house. Trapped on the second floor were the children, Otto, 5, John, 4, and Ethel May, 3, until a passer-by heard their screams, entered the house and let them out on a second-floor porch from which they were rescued. Injured in her attempt to save her youngest child was Mrs. Annabelle Stout, 26, who rushed into the house upon her return, only to be trapped on the second floor. She was given first aid and taken to the Blossburg Hospital. 

Cause of the blaze was undetermined but the theory was advanced the children had been playing with matches. Flames were said to have started on the second floor. There was no stove on that floor, firemen said. First to notice the fire was Miss Rosa Donald, as she passed by the Stout home, located between Corey Creek and Elmira Street, opposite the Mansfield laundry. She was attracted by the screams of the children, who were seeking to leave the second floor and enter the porch. Miss Donald was reported to have gone into the house and let the children out on the porch, then rushed to safety back down the stairs to summon help. Neighbors secured a ladder and rescued the children. In the meantime the alarm was sounded.

At that time, no one knew that the fourth child, Grace Louise, remained in the house. Upon her return, though the fire had made rapid headway, Mrs. Stout pushed through the crowd and dashed into the building. She was trapped on the second floor and rescued by firemen with a ladder. Mrs. Stout suffered burns of the arms, chest and face, and lacerations of the arms and hands. She was treated by Dr. Donald Crittenden before being taken to the hospital. Fireman Harry Rice, equipped with a gas mask, made his way to the rear room on the second floor where Grace Louise was trapped and brought the body out. Indications were, it was said, that the child had suffocated in the dense smoke which filled the house shortly after the fire started.
Arthur Eugene Dewey MHS Class of 1951
Gene is honored at event in Washington D.C. in April
Gene Dewey grew up on a dairy farm between Mainesburg and Sylvania, and attended the Grey Valley one-room school for the first eight grades. (In keeping with our 1940 theme, Gene was a seven year old Gray Valley student in that year in Sullivan Township).
Gene Dewey then went on to graduate from Mansfield Junior and Senior High Schools, finishing in the Class of 1951. Encouraged by his high school math teacher - Max Milliren - and with the assistance of Wellsboro attorney G. Mason Owlett, and his Mansfield uncle Dr. Myron Webster, he secured a Congressional Appointment to the U.S. Military Academy from Pennsylvania Congressman Alvin Bush to enter West Point in 1952.
Upcoming Reunions
So far we know of three class reunions this summer. If there are more scheduled, let us know so we can be part of welcoming you home with free refreshments and a chance to visit the museum.

May 18 - The MHS Class of 1962 will be in town for the memorial service of classmate John McNaney, Jr. It will be at St. James Episcopal Church with a luncheon to follow. At 2 PM the class and anyone else is invited to a presentation of Mansfield Then and Now at the Museum of Us, 61 N. Main Street. In the evening the group will meet at Corey Creek Golf Club.

August 4 - The MHS Class of 1973

August 18 - The MHS Class of 1958 will celebrate 60 years. The Museum of Us will be open that day from noon to 4 P.M. so that the class can visit us and see Mansfield as they remember it.
Update on Our Yearbook Collection
Thanks to Phyllis Swan Zenger (MHS 1956) for sending us the MSNS 1919 yearbook. Now we are missing ONLY 1983 to call that set complete.

Thanks also to Jean Cias for the 1993 Manscript from Mansfield High School. We are now missing only 1986 to 1992 and 1995.
Rte 6 Façade Grant
The Museum of Us will be so pretty now that we have been awarded a grant to spruce up the outside of the building. This includes new signage designed by Tony Cooper at The Sign Shop. The sign will be above the new red matching doors at the front of the building. People will know we are here now. We'll also have new paint and other exterior improvements.

This building was erected in 1849 as the original Methodist Church. It has been used by three other congregations since and was even a furniture store for a short time way back in the late 1870s. It is one of the oldest and most historically important buildings in town having been the site of the first discussions on starting a seminary. That 1857 seminary evolved into Mansfield University.

To take full advantage of this opportunity we need $5000 in donations to match the $5000 from the grant. This is not only an enhancement for us, but also for Mansfield's Main Street. When the buildings look good, the town looks good.  UPDATE: As of May 17, we have $2600 in donations. Thanks very much to all who have helped. We need $2400 more to match the grant.

Please consider contributing to make our facelift possible.
Checks can be mailed to:
The History Center on Main Street
83 North Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933
Or you can donate via PayPal or Credit Card from the button below

We also need volunteers to help with the work.

We are a 501c3 corporation, so donations are tax deductible and we will send you a receipt.
Saturday Hours

The Museum of Us at 61 North Main Street will be open noon to 4 PM on Saturdays from May through September. Stop in for tours, films and classes on historic subjects. On the 19th of May we will show a film on the Orphan Trains and one on Nellie Bly and her expose of mental hospital condition in the 1880s.
Have You Missed Previous Newsletters? 
Some of our 2018 membership notices were damaged in the mail. If you did not get yours or want to become a new member click here. Thanks.
Volunteers and Staff
Thanks to Tom Howe for painting the office at the museum.

Thanks to our regular, every week volunteers: Donna Bentley Davey, Kathy McQuaid, Mary Robinson-Slabey, Linda Rashidi. Thanks also to our volunteer grant writer, Vince Jenkins and our web site helper, Louise Tompkins Casey.
Our spring MU intern, Evan Johnson, and our long-term work study student, Jackie Miller, have moved on. We are fortunate to have three work study students for the summer. Sam Finch has worked with us since his high school project, and Emily Liros and Joshua Johnson are just joining us this week. Welcome all.
The History Center on Main Street
The History Center on Main Street provided no goods or services in exchange for your contribution. Your contribution is deductible to the extent provided by law. The official registration and financial information of The History Center on Main Street, may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement