If a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, one of the most prolific early “writers” of and about Mansfield was John H. Burkholder.
Originally from Holmes County, Burkholder first came to Richland County around 1873 when he moved to Bellville from Navarre, in Stark County. He stayed in Bellville for about five years before moving to Mt. Vernon, where he operated a very successful studio for about seven years before moving to Mansfield in about 1885. In Mansfield, he opened a photography studio and photographic supplies shop on Main Street across from the post office. [Baughman, Centennial Biographical History of Richland County, page 376-7]
In addition to his studio photography, Burkholder was a strong proponent of in-home photography, and posted several advertisements in the local papers to advocate for this form of portraiture. As such, it is maybe not surprising that we have pictures of the interior of the Burkholder home surviving today, as seen below.
Burkholder operated his studio and shop in Mansfield from 1885 until 1918, with his brother George Burkholder serving as general assistant. In 1918, R. A. Spratt bought the shop from Burkholder.