Mayors of Mansfield

Mansfield was established in 1808, but was not incorporated as a town until early in the spring of 1828. When Mansfield was incorporated, the eligible male voters of the town were then empowered to meet and elect a city council on the first Monday of March annually, which would consist of one mayor, one recorder, and five trustees, all of whom must also be eligible male voters, and who would have a term of one year.

In the incorporation decree as reported in the newspaper, the duties of the mayor are described as follows:

6. That the mayor shall be a conservator of the peace within the limits of said corporation, and shall have the jurisdiction of a justice of the peace therein, both in criminal and civil cases; and in all his acts, as justice of the peace, he shall be governed by the laws defining the duties of justices of the peace, and shall be entitled to receive the same fees as justices of the peace are entitled to receive for similar services; he shall give such bond and security as is required by law of justices of the peace; he shall be authorized by law to hear and determine all cases arising under the laws and ordinances of the corporation, and to issue such process as may be necessary to carry into execution such laws and ordinances; and an appeal may be made from any final decision of judgment of the mayor to the court of common please of the county aforesaid, in the same manner as from that of a justice of the peace.”

Mansfield Gazette and Richland Farmer (Mansfield, OH), 27 February 1828, page 4.

Two prior (incomplete) lists of Mansfield mayors served as the initial sources and inspiration for this list. They are abbreviated as “Carrothers” and “Graham,” but the full citations are as follows:

John C. Carrothers, “Mayors of Mansfield,” Mansfield Daily Shield, 11 May 1919. Page 10, column 2.

A. A. Graham, History of Richland County, Ohio: Its Past and Present (Mansfield, Ohio: A. A. Graham & Co., 1880), p 520.
Both of these lists were published well after the initial names listed, and neither identifies any sources for their listings. Writing in 1880, Graham states that a full list of the Mansfield mayors was not possible, because the early city records (prior to 1846) had been lost, so it is unclear how Carrothers compiled his own partial list in 1919, which went as far back as 1835.

Thanks to the preservation of area newspapers, mayors back to the first Mansfield mayor, Simeon Bowman, in 1828 are able to be identified here, with some reliance on Carrothers and Graham. Where possible, these entries have been verified in local newspapers or directories. Where entries agree, they are simply both cited; if entries differ, most commonly when a first name was abbreviated in one listing but not the other, the more complete is used, and any differences are noted.

This is a living list. As more information is found, it will be updated and refined. If you have any information to be added to the list, please contact us!

  • 1828: Simeon Bowman

    Mansfield Gazette and Richland Famer, 30 April 1828, page 2, MRCPL Advantage Preservation; First name “Simeon” taken from Graham

  • 1830: Jacob Lindly [Lindley]

    Mansfield Gazette and Richland Farmer, 31 March 1830, page 3. MRCPL Advantage Preservation.

  • 1832: E Hedges

    Western Sentinel (Mansfield, OH), 11 April 1832, page 3. MRCPL Advantage Preservation.

  • 1835: J G Gilkerson

    Carrothers

  • 1836: Joseph Berry

    Carrothers

  • 1837: B. W. Burr

    Carrothers

  • 1839: C. T. Sherman

    Carrothers

  • 1841: S. C. Coffenberry

    Carrothers

  • 1843: Job Hildreth

    Carrothers

  • 1845: T. H. Ford

    Carrothers

  • 1846: Joseph Lindley (Joe)

    Carrothers; Graham

  • 1846: T. H. Ford

    Graham

  • 1847: Frederick Cook (Fred)

    Carrothers; Graham

  • 1848: S. J. Kirkwood

    Carrothers; Graham

  • 1849: P. P. Hull

    Carrothers; Graham

  • 1850: Hubbard Colby (in Carrothers: “H Colbu”)

    Carrothers; Graham

  • 1851: N D McMillen (in Carrothers: ” N D McMullen”)

    Carrothers; Graham

  • 1852: Perkins Bigelow

    Carrothers; Graham

  • 1854: Andrew Poe

    Carrothers; Graham

  • 1855: Isaac Gass

    Carrothers; Graham

  • 1856: George F. Carpenter

    Carrothers; Graham

  • 1857: Stephen B Sturges

    Carrothers; Graham

  • 1857: Wilson M. Patterson

    Mansfield Herald, 30 September 1857, page 3; Graham

  • 1858: Isaac W. Littler

    Mansfield City Directory; Graham; listed as 1859 in Carrothers

  • 1860: William A. Moore

    “New Mayor Sworn In,” Mansfield Herald, 11 April 1860. Page 3, column 3; Graham; Carrothers

  • 1861: B. S. Runyan [Runyon]

    Richland Shield and Banner, 3 April 1861, page 2; Graham; Carrothers

  • 1862: James Cobean

    Mansfield Semi Weekly Herald, 12 April 1862. Page 4; Carrothers

  • 1864: Darium Dirlam

    Carrothers; Graham

  • 1866: Abner Slutz

    Mansfield City Directory; Graham

  • 1869: A. C. Cummings

    Mansfield City Directory; “Cummins” in Carrothers; Graham

  • 1871: John B. Netscher

    Mansfield City Directory; Carrothers; Graham

  • 1875: Isaac W. Gass

    Carrothers; Graham

  • 1875: Jas. R. Richardson [Likely James]

    Mansfield City Directory; Carrothers; Graham

  • 1879: James G. Craighead

    Carrothers; Graham

  • 1881: C. G. Stough

    Mansfield City Directory; Carrothers

  • 1885: George A. Clugston

    Mansfield Herald, 9 April 1885, page 6; Mansfield City Directory; Carrothers

  • 1887: R. B. McCrory

    Carrothers

  • 1891: J. Newlon

    Mansfield City Directory; Carrothers

  • 1893: Fred Black

    Mansfield City Directory; Carrothers

  • 1895: R. B. McCrory

    Mansfield City Directory; Carrothers

  • 1897: J. P. Henry

    Mansfield City Directory; Carrothers

  • 1899: Huntington Brown

    Mansfield City Directory; Carrothers (Carrothers has 1901)

  • 1901: Thomas R. Robinson

    Bellville Messenger, 5 April 1901, page 7; Mansfield City Directory; Carrothers

  • 1903: Huntington Brown

    Mansfield Daily Shield, 7 April 1903, page 2

  • 1905: William F. Voegele, Jr.

    Mansfield City Directory; Carrothers

  • 1907: Huntington Brown

    Mansfield Daily Shield, 6 November 1907, page 1; Carrothers (1909)

  • 1911: W. E. O’Donnell

    Carrothers

  • 1913: F. S. Marquis

    Carrothers

  • 1915: George H. Lowrey

    Carrothers

  • 1917: Henry G. Brunner

    Carrothers

  • 1923: Carl H. Stander

    Mansfield News, 8 November 1923, page 1; Mansfield City Directory

  • 1925: Captain J. Earl Ports

    Mansfield News, 4 November 1925, page 1; Mansfield City Directory

  • 1929: Arliss F. Porter

    Mansfield News, 3 Jan 1929

  • 1930: C. S. Moore

    Mansfield City Directory

  • 1932: Charles M. Lantz

    Mansfield News, 4 September 1932, page 2; Mansfield City Directory

  • 1935: E. A. McFarland

    Mansfield News Journal, 6 November 1935, page 1; Mansfield City Directory

  • 1937: Claude M. Hunter

    Mansfield News Journal, 3 November 1937, page 1

  • 1938: E. A. McFarland

    Mansfield City Directory

  • 1939: C. M. Hunter

    Mansfield City Directory

  • 1939: William J. Locke

    Mansfield News Journal, 8 November 1939, page 1; Mansfield City Directory

  • 1946: Roy B. Vaughn

    Mansfield City Directory

  • 1949: Thomas B. Wright

    Mansfield News Journal, 9 November 1949, page 1; Mansfield City Directory

  • 1955: Robert S. Lemley

    Mansfield News Journal, 9 November 1955, page 1; Mansfield City Directory

Henry Brunner, Mayor of Mansfield

This item was recently brought into the Sherman Room. It is a flyer from the original Armistice Day in Mansfield, a holiday which celebrated the end of World War I and which later became Veterans Day in the United States. The item inspired me to take a deep dive into Mayor Brunner, who issued the proclamation to close the city for a celebration on November 11, 1918.

Henry (“Heinie”) G Brunner’s parents were Henry Brunner Sr and Catharine (also spelled Catherine or Katharine) Kuhn, who both came to the United States from Germany in 1881. Henry (Heinrich) Brunner Sr was born in Germany to Margaret Daum on the 28th of June 1862 [1]. The pair were married in Richland County on 14 August 1883. Henry G Brunner Jr was born on 30 July 1884.

Henry G Brunner (Jr) worked as a mail clerk before becoming an insurance agent in 1911. Shortly after switching careers, on 11 April 1911, Brunner married Beatrice Wolff, who was, according to the Mansfield News, “one of the best known young women of Mansfield where she has always lived” [Mansfield News, 12 April 1911, p 7]. In the same year, Brunner planned to make his first campaign to be mayor, but ultimately withdrew his petition for candidacy when the Democratic party instead chose to nominate the county treasurer, Pierce J Wigton, as their candidate for mayor [Mansfield News, 7 August 1911, p 3]. This might not have been the best strategy for the Mansfield Democratic party, as Wigton lost the mayoral election to W. E. O’Donnell [Mansfield News 11 May 1919].

After withdrawing from the election in 1911, Brunner continued to work as an insurance agent and also took on new or expanded roles in the community and his family. In the fall of 1911, he became the secretary for the Mansfield Baseball Club [Mansfield News 24 October 1911], and in 1912 he had his first son. In 1915, he was selected as chairman of the local Liquor Board [Mansfield News 30 Jul 1915].

After O’Donnell, the next mayor of Mansfield was Frederick S Marquis, who was elected to two terms but died shortly after taking office for his second term. As President of the City Council, George H Lowrey served as acting mayor for the remainder of Marquis’s term, and in 1917 ran for election for a full mayoral term of his own.

Apparently not one to give up on an ambition, Brunner returned to the political arena in 1917 and again pursued the role of mayor. This time the Democratic Party did choose Brunner from among several individuals to be their candidate for mayor running against acting mayor Lowrey [Mansfield News 26 May 1917 p 5].

According to the Mansfield News, the Republican party were pleased that Brunner was the Democratic candidate selected, and seem to have expected that Lowrey would win the election without too much effort on their part. As one measure of this confidence, when the candidates reported their expenses, Brunner had spent $236.70 on his campaign while Lowrey had spent $139 [Mansfield News 17 November 1917, p10]. On the right is one of Brunner’s campaign posters.

Brunner won the election in 1917 by a margin of 274 votes [Mansfield News 7 November 1917, p 3], and had during his term an almost entirely Democratic city council, with only one Republican elected to serve.

Although he did not win a majority of the votes in 1917, Brunner proved to be a popular mayor during his term. When he ran for re-election in 1919, once again facing off with Lowrey, he won by an “exceptionally strong vote” with a majority and a margin of 942 votes [Mansfield News 5 November 1919, p 2]. Brunner served as mayor for six years, in total, and was succeeded by Carl H Stander in 1924[Mansfield News 30 Dec 1923].

Look for more materials about Mayor Brunner’s life after his terms as mayor and a guide to the mayors of Mansfield on the Sherman Room Digital Archives and blog in the upcoming weeks!

  1. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XZTS-8SN : 8 March 2021), Henry Brunner, 03 Jan 1942; citing Mansfield, Richland, Ohio, reference fn 5554; FHL microfilm 2,023,979.

Get to Know Your Mayors: Huntington Brown

Huntington Brown was born in Trumbull County, Ohio on December 30, 1849, to James Monroe and Mary (Hicks) Brown.  His grandfather was the Hon. Ephraim Brown, who, along with Thomas Howe, was the original owner of Bloomfield Township, Trumbull County, Ohio.  Ephraim Brown built the first saw-mill in that vicinity in 1815 and the first flour-mill in 1823.  In addition to this, he assisted in the founding of the town library and worked in the Ohio legislature to secure a good common-school system.  This hard work was passed down to Huntington and his other grandchildren, all of whom made their way to Mansfield, Richland County, Ohio in the 1860s and 1870s.

Bloomfield1856

Bloomfield Township, Trumbull County, Ohio 1856

James and Mary’s first child, Ephraim, was born on April 1, 1845, and died in infancy at the age of 1 Month, 8 days.  Their next child, James Ephraim, born on March 21, 1846, arrived in Mansfield around 1878 after gaining employment at the Aultman-Taylor Company as the assistant to M. D. Harter, his sister’s husband.  The eldest sister, Mary Lucinda, was born on December 21, 1847, and would go on to marry the Hon. M. D. Harter on March 4, 1869.  That same year, the couple would move to Mansfield, Ohio where Harter had secured a position managing the Aultman-Taylor Company.  Huntington’s twin brother, Hicks, would arrive in Mansfield, Ohio around 1875.  Hicks would go into business with John Staub opening a flour-mill.  In a short time, the partnership was dissolved and the Hicks Brown Company was created.  Hicks was a senior partner in the company until his untimely death of typhoid fever on December 17, 1884.  One other sister, Annie, born on August 18, 1856, died at the age of 8.

BROWN_Huntington - Centennial Bio

The Brown family moved to Massillon, Ohio when Huntington was young and it was there that he attended public school.  He would later go on to attend Nazareth Hall, a Moravian academy in Pennsylvania.  It’s believed Huntington arrived in Mansfield, Ohio around the same time as his sister, Mary, in 1869, shortly after his father’s death in 1867.  The first time he is mentioned in local Mansfield newspapers is on October 22, 1873, where it was reported he went to Fulton County on a hunting trip with J. C. Burns, V. Gutzwiler, Jr., Richard Smith, and Prosecuting Attorney McCrory.  He first showed up in city directories in 1873, living at 236 West Market St.  Huntington, like his brother James, was employed at the Aultman-Taylor Company andm by 1879m was superintendent of the company.  He stayed there until around 1888 when he became one of the owners and the manager of the Hicks Brown company.

hicks brown

It was during this time, in 1887, that Huntington Brown became involved with the Mansfield Electric Street Railway, helping to erect the first electric streetcar line in the city.  He would become Vice President of the company.  It was around 1895 that Huntington Brown retired from active management of business, but he still maintained a presence on many boards and committees, including the Mansfield Savings Bank.  Brown was very popular and very well-liked in the city, a member of numerous lodges including the Freemasons.  In 1899 he was elected Mayor of Mansfield running as a republican against democrat J. P. Henry.  Brown was one of two republicans elected that year in the normally democratic city, speaking to his reputation and ability to speak to both parties.

dowie1898

Shortly after his election to office, Mansfield was thrown into chaos.  In August of 1899, a traveling apostle and faith healer by the name of Cyrus Fockler was arrested after Dr. Boles said he interfered with his care of the two-year-old child of Frank D. Calver.  The Calvers were members of John Alexander Dowie’s Christian Catholic Church of Zion, which believed that all that was needed to cure the sick was prayer and faith in God.  Things got worse in July of 1900 when a six-week-old child who was “being treated with prayer” died.  The resulting riots quickly threw Mansfield and Mayor Brown into the national spotlight.  Fockler was run out of town, barely escaping with his life.  Two other church elders were painted blue from head to toe and two more were later tarred.  Dowie said Brown and Ohio Governor Nash were doing nothing to protect his church elders and suggested the national guard be sent to “Devils” field, as he called it,  to do the job local officials refused to do.  It became a weekly parade of Dowieites being escorted through the town to the train depot by police and Mayor Brown with mobs of hundreds and at times thousands of citizens throwing stones and spoiled produce.  For a full account of the riots check out Robert Carter’s book The Mansfield Riots of 1900.

brown leaves of healing

In 1901, Mayor Brown lost reelection to democrat Thomas R. Robinson but regained the office in 1903 by beating former mayor Robert McCrory by 119 votes.  Robinson would go on to later become Prosecuting Attorney.  In 1905, Brown again lost reelection to William F. Voegele, Jr.  Brown was again chosen by republicans to run in 1907, this time defeating Voegele by 131 votes.  Brown again defeated Voegele in 1909, this time by 151 votes.  Huntington Brown lost the republican primary in 1911 to S. F. Bell.  Bell would go on to lose the election to William E. O’Donnell by only 46 votes.

After his retirement from politics, Huntington Brown’s health began to decline.  He made trips to health springs and Europe in order to ease his suffering and at times his spirits appeared to improve.  On January 20, 1914, while returning from a business trip in Philadelphia, PA, he fell suddenly ill.  He was taken to the home of his sister-in-law, Mrs. Carrie Brown, in Massillon, Ohio.  Brown lapsed into unconsciousness and died on February 8, 1914.  Huntington Brown never married and in his 40 plus years in Mansfield, lived in hotels or lodged in others’ homes.  The 1900 and 1910 census shows him lodging with Melissa A. Barbour, the mother-in-law of John C. Burns, who was one of his companions on his 1873 hunting trip.  Brown’s body was brought to Mansfield so citizens could pay their respects, then returned to Massillon to be buried in Massillon City Cemetery.