90+ Years of Tygers, Now Available Online!

It has been an ongoing project of the Sherman Room to digitize and make accessible the Mansfield Senior High School yearbooks in our collection, up to the year 2000. We are delighted to announce that we have completed the work! From 1907 to 2000, with a few exceptions, the Mansfield Senior High School yearbooks are now available online here: https://shermanroom.omeka.net/yearbooks

We need your help to eliminate those exceptions! We do not have Mansfield Senior yearbooks from 1975, 1976, and 1991. We also need Mansfield Senior yearbooks from 1973, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1988, and 1989 to scan, because our copies from those years were too damaged to scan. If you have a Mansfield Senior High School yearbook from one of these years and are willing to donate it or loan it to the Sherman Room to allow us to scan it, please contact us at 419-521-3115 or at genealogy@mrcpl.org.

If you have family history of your own you are interested in digitizing, check out the Family History Digitization workshops this winter on our event calendar! Register here, or check back later for workshops in January and February.

We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone who has donated yearbooks and other materials to the Sherman Room. Your generosity allows us to preserve our community history and keep it alive and open to all.

Mansfield Senior High School

Mansfield Senior was at West Fourth and Bowman until around 1928, when a new building was built at West Park Boulevard. The building at West Fourth and Bowman was then used to house John Simpson Junior High School. The inaugural yearbook in 1907 has several photographs of the building, so let’s take a tour!

Yearbook Names Over the Years

The earliest Mansfield Senior High yearbook in our collection is from 1907, and in that first year the yearbook was called “The Oracle.” From 1908 to 1923, the default yearbook name was simply the “Annual,” with a couple of years having special names. In particular, in 1917, the yearbook was called the “Red and White,” as a patriotic reference to America’s involvement in World War I and the young men who went to fight. Likewise, in 1919, the yearbook was called “La Victoire,” in honor of the victory in World War I.

It was not until 1924 that the yearbook gained its own unique name that continued on through the years: Manhigan. The inaugural Manhigan explained the unusual name as a shorthand for “Mansfield High Annual.”

Interesting Tidbits

There are some interesting bits of history in the Manhigans! Find just a few to explore here, and then go exploring the others and let us know what interesting history you are able to discover!

Other School Materials Available

In addition to the Mansfield Senior High yearbooks, there are other materials available digitally through the Sherman Room archives (and even more available in person in the Sherman Room!). In particular, one such resource is our collection of student newspapers. Although they did not contain as many photographs as the yearbooks, the student newspapers show much of the humor and interaction of the classes and a more frequent and casual insight into the day-to-day life at Mansfield Senior High. Take, for instance, these few tidbits from the Moccasin, an early newspaper at Mansfield Senior High School.

Other schools for which we have newspapers include Johnny Appleseed, John Simpson, Malabar High School, and St. Peter’s High School. One example of the St. Peter’s High School, the Key, features local Sherrod Brown during his time as State Representative. Find the full listing of newspapers available, and which are available online, here: https://shermanroom.omeka.net/schoolnews

We also have Class Day and Commencement programs from Mansfield Senior High School as early as 1867 available through the digital archives. Explore the commencement programs here!

Have a favorite piece of Tyger history? Let us know what it is! And as always, feel free to stop in to the Sherman Room Monday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or contact the Sherman Room at 419-521-3115 or genealogy@mrcpl.org with any questions!

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Central Methodist Church

A new church is usually created out of some major disagreement or a change in religious doctrine in which a portion of the congregation does not agree.  This doesn’t appear to be the case when the Central Methodist Church was created in 1905.  Methodism had been growing so fast that it was necessary for a second church to be erected in Mansfield.  The only hint of unhappiness is mentioned on March 8, 1905, in which a small article in the News Journal mentions a second meeting at the home of Edward S. Nail, being called for the First Methodist Church. “The meeting is said to have been precipitated at this time by the passing of resolutions at a recent meeting of the church trustees to expend a large amount of money in completely remodeling the present church edifice.”[1]

First United Methodist Church Before Renovation

Things moved quickly after this initial meeting at the Nail home.  On March 21, 1905, organizers for the new church attended a school board meeting and arranged for the use of the high school auditorium, for $17.50 a month,[2] to conduct devotional services.[3]  On March 23, the members leaving First Methodist met for the last time at a Thursday evening prayer meeting.  It appears there were no hard feelings. Towards the end of the meeting, the members leaving were asked to stand and L. A. Palmer was called upon to offer a prayer to them. Next, those staying were asked to stand and Mr. C. L. Van Cleve prayed for those individuals.  The meeting came to a close with the two groups singing “Blest Be the Tie That Binds.”[4]

Van Cleve, also superintendent of the Mansfield Public Schools, took charge of the new congregation. At a meeting on May 25, 1905, members decided to purchase the lot in the corner of Park Avenue West and Sycamore Street for $7,420.[5]  The lot was once part of the recently razed John Sherman estate.  In October of 1905, the North Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church was held in Shelby, Ohio.  The Rev. Stephon K. Mahon, from Massillon, was appointed pastor of the young congregation.[6]  Vernon Redding, local architect, was hired and plans were accepted in February of 1907.[7]  On June 3, 1907, the Cotter Transfer Company began excavation of the site[8] and, on September 22, 1907, the cornerstone was laid.[9]

On April 5, 1908, three years since the church held its first service, enough of the church was completed to move from the high school auditorium to their new home on the corner of Park Avenue West and Sycamore.  Despite not having a proper building in which to worship, the congregation had nearly doubled in size in three years, now having nearly 300 members.[10]  The church was dedicated on August 27, 1911. The total cost of the building, including land, was $55,000 and church membership had grown to 352 persons.  The church is constructed “of Sandusky limestone with trimmings of Bedford white stone, in the old English style of architecture.  The roof is of dark red Spanish tile.”[11]  The church served Mansfield for nearly 100 years until dwindling membership forced the church to disband in the summer of 2003.[12]  Today the church is home to the Bethesda Fellowship Ministry Center.


Sources:

[1] The Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio). 08 March 1905, p. 3.

[2] The Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio). 03 May 1905, p. 3.

[3] The Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio). 22 March 1905, p. 6.

[4] The Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio). 24 March 1905, p. 5.

[5] The Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio). 25 May 1905, p. 12.

[6] The Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio). 16 October 1905, p. 2.

[7] The Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio). 07 February 1907, p. 7.

[8] The Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio). 03 June 1907, p. 10.

[9] The Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio). 23 September 1907, p. 3.

[10] The Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio). 06 April 1908, p. 7.

[11] The Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio). 28 August 1911, p. 5.

[12] The Mansfield News-Journal (Mansfield, Ohio). 27 September 2003, p. 1C

Mansfield Athletes: Wilbur “Pete” Henry

Mansfield Senior High has had many great athletes in its history.  Wilbur Henry left his mark on the football world 100 years ago.  Wilbur Frank Henry was born on October 31, 1897 to Ulysses Sherman Henry and Bertha Frank.  His father, Ulysses, was born in Lucas, Ohio and was a lifelong resident of the area.  Ulysses worked at the Ohio State Reformatory for 32 years and was once attacked with a hammer by inmate Thomas Wardell.  Wardell was reportedly associated with the Chicago Car Barn Bandits, a group of young men who shocked Chicago in 1903 with their criminal exploits and was a known troublemaker.  Despite this, Wardell was employed as a carpenter at the institution and one day attacked Ulysses as he walked through the carpenter shop. Ulysses survived serious injury and was back to work the next day, only because he was so much larger than his assailant.  Ulysses retired from the Reformatory on January 1, 1938 and died a short time later on January 30, 1938 at the age of 72.  Wilbur’s mother was a German immigrant who came to America as a child.  She died on July 31, 1949.

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1912 MHS Football, Henry is second from left in the first row.

Wilbur Henry, or “Pete” or “Fat” as he was referenced in his senior yearbook, got his father’s size and used it to dominate on the field.  He began playing football in the 1912 season as a sophomore.  Only one player returned from the previous year: senior and Captain, Arno Kalmerten, and the young team had a horrendous start to the season being outscored 332-6 in the first 5 games, including an 87-0 loss to Massillon and a 99-6 loss to Akron Central.  Mansfield earned their first win against Marion on November 2, 1912, 13-0 with touchdowns by Henry and junior, Percy Pecht.  The team finished strong winning three out of their last four games.  Henry and eleven others received their letter at the end of the season.

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1913 MHS Football, Henry is seated with “M” on his sweater.

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1913-14 MHS Basketball team, Henry is Second from left in back row.

The 1913 season didn’t end much better.  Captain Percy Pecht and the Mansfield eleven only won 2 games, but the defense played well,  with the only exception being an 88-0 loss to Toledo.  Mansfield’s two wins would come against Galion (45-0) and Medina (46-0), unfortunately, these would be some of the only points scored that season.  Mansfield scored a total of 104 points, while their opponents garnered 187.  There was also a new addition to the team: Henry’s classmate, John Tressel.  Tressel would prove to be a companion to Henry for many years.  It was also in Henry’s junior year that he first participated in basketball.  His size once again proved a valuable asset.  With his 190 lbs. frame, he was a “tower of strength on defense and broke up play after play.”  The team won the Championship of Northern Ohio, losing the state championship game against Marietta.

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1914 MHS Football, Henry in back row fourth from left.

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Henry for 1914-15 MHS basketball

The 1914 football season would be more successful under the new head coach, Harry R. Patton.  Henry was moved to full back under Patton.   The team finished 8-1, their only loss coming from Wooster (9-0).  Wilbur Henry led the team as captain and the defense only allowed 30 points in nine games played, 8 of them played at home, the only away game hosted by Bucyrus.  Henry must have been quite a site stepping onto the field, weighing well over 200 lbs. his senior year when others on the field averaged around 150 lbs.  At the finish of the season, players were given a solid gold pin instead of the traditional sweater with an “M” on it.

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1915 senior photo

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1915 senior photo

In October of 1915, it was announced that Wilbur Henry and his teammate, John Tressel, had made the football team at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pa.  The successful football program was started in 1890 and had a winning season every year except 1910.  In the three seasons before Henry and Tressel’s arrival, the team had gone 28-4 under Coach Bob Folwell.  Henry played and lettered his freshmen year, but was forced to leave school after contracting scarlet fever.  Folwell’s last year at Washington and Jefferson was in 1915, going 8-1-1, and it was rumored that Henry would follow him to the University of Pennsylvania.  Henry and Tressel returned to Washington and Jefferson for the 1916 season putting those rumors to rest.  The team would go 8-2 under new coach Sol Metzger.  1917 brought more success when Henry was elected captain and was named an All-American.  The 1918 season was cut short because of World War I.  Washington and Jefferson only played 4 games, going 2-2.  Henry only played in two of these.  Despite this, however, both Henry and Tressel won All-American honors.

1918 would be Tressel’s final college season.  He and Henry would team up to coach and prepare the team from the Mansfield Sheet and Tin Plate Company before Tressel left to play his only season of professional football for the Massillon Tigers and Henry returned to Washington and Jefferson for his senior year.  Henry’s eligibility was in question for the 1919 season, but colleges agreed to grant students a fifth year due to the shortened season and the Student Army Training Corps requirements, in which all able-bodied men were required to participate.  The University of Pittsburgh was not happy with Henry’s eligibility, even though they played other teams with fifth-year seniors and Henry agreed to sit out the game.  Pitt won the contest 7-6.  Henry would once again be named an All-American.

Wilbur “Pete” Henry would go on to play nine seasons of professional football with the Canton Bulldogs, New York Giants and Pottsville Maroons between 1920 and 1928.  He also served as coach of the Canton Bulldogs in 1926 and the Pottsville Maroons in 1928.  After retiring from his professional career, Henry returned to his alma mater and served as the freshman coach of the football team and head coach of the basketball and track teams.  He served as head coach of the football team in 1942 and 1945 and was the athletic director from 1932 until his death in 1952.  Henry was only 54 at the time of his death which was caused by sepsis due to gangrene in his left foot.  In 1949, his right leg was amputated due to the same ailment.  He was returned to Mansfield for burial and today the gym at Mansfield Senior High School is named in his honor.

Mansfield High School – A Model Structure in 1892

When the Mansfield High School was built in 1891-92 it wasn’t without controversy.  A May 31 1891 article from The Mansfield Evening News reported the new structure was the subject of “street gossip.”  The gossip concerned irregularities and possible favoritism in the selection of the site for the new school, as well as the price paid for the site and manner of payment.   It was also said that favoritism was shown in the selection of architects for the school.  Kramer & Zoll, from Findlay, were selected and much was said about the heating and ventilation system they chose for the school.  The Smead System, as it was called, was reported to reverse the flow of air at times, endangering the health of the students.

Despite this, the school was completed in 1892 and the first class graduated in 1893.  There were six teachers and 19 students in the first graduating class.  The teachers were Miss Martha Barrett (principal), Miss Mary Conrath, Miss Abigail Hill, Mrs. Anna M. Mills, Miss Rossina O. Phillips and Mrs. Helen Campbell.  A June 30, 1892 article from The Weekly News referred to the building as “a model structure”.  There were four floors, including the basement which contained six furnaces, the dry closet system, and the “latest and best improvements for ventilation.”  The laboratory was also located in the basement.  Located on the first floor were five school rooms, the superintendent’s room, which included speaking tubes that were connected to all rooms, and a teacher’s assembly room.  The second floor was roughly the same.  The top floor consisted of an auditorium which seated 532 people, but on special occasions folding doors enclosing four rooms could be opened to accommodate 1000 people.  The bell was the largest in the city at the time, weighing over 40,000 pounds and the clock measured 7 ¾ feet in diameter.  A west wing was added in 1904 and a north wing with a gymnasium in 1923.  The structure was demolished in 1939 to make room for John Simpson Junior High School.  Below are images of the school in 1907 and a video of its demolition.

Class of 1893:

Mary L. DeCamp
Cora Englebrecht
Jessie M. French
Rebecca Grubaugh
Helen Jameson
Grace Jenner
Bessie I. Jones
Lily E McIlvaine
Jessie Mckay
Harriet Martin
Elizabeth Scott
Lida Smith
Anna L. Snyder
Mae Webber
John H. Bristor
Albert S Brumbaugh
Oliver L. Cunningham
John DeCamp
Willis T. Parsons

Below is a video from Prelinger Archives showing the demolition of Mansfield High School, the laying to the corner stone of John Simpson Junior High School, and a track meet.

The Below Images are from the 1907 Mansfield Senior High School yearbook, click on image for a larger view.

The 1893 Commencement Program from Mansfield High School.

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Sources:

Fankhauser, J. L. (1977). History of the Mansfield, Ohio Public Schools (1808-1974).
Mansfield Evening News, 31 MAY 1891, p4.
Mansfield High School Annual, Vol. 2, 1909.
The Oracle, 1907, Mansfield High School Yearbook.
The Weekly News, 30 JUN 1902, p2.