Mansfield, TX and Its Interesting History
If you look back far enough, you can find something unique about any town in America, and the same can be said for Mansfield, TX. This Texas city has a pretty interesting history from how it was founded, to how it survived and even where its name was derived from. This city has a long history behind it, and one we’ll be digging into to show just how intriguing it really is.
Settling the Cross Timber Country of TX
Back in the 1840's during the shift westward, the Cross Timber country located in the north-central region of Texas was settled by pioneer farmers mostly of Scotch-Irish descent. They transplanted from other southern states to start up farms in the area. However, the region was already home to Native Americans. The Comanche tribe, in particular, posed a major threat to these new settlers. So, to protect the newcomers, Fort Worth was established in 1849.
Because of the Army base at Fort Worth, the area just south of it was well protected and gathered a sizable population by the 1850's. This area brought in families that eventually built homesteads northwest of what would soon be modern-day Mansfield.
Mans and Feild
Ralf S. Man and Julian Feild came to the area to build a mill at a crossroads that would one day become the city center of Mansfield back in 1856. Julian Feild purchased 540 acres in the region and completely built up a three-story mill with the help of Man between 1856 and 1859. The grist mill they built operated on steam power and was the first of its kind in north Texas. The technology used to build the mill was set about in a prime location. It served citizens from San Antonio to Oklahoma.
Around the same time the mill was built, Feild opened a general store and an inn that also housed his family. In 1860 he established a post office at which he was the postmaster. Because of his efforts, the core of Mansfield was established.
Prospering During the Civil War
During the Civil War many businesses and cities in the south were in trouble, however the Man and Feild mill were exempt from this. Due to the mandatory 10% tithe on what they produced, their mill supplied goods to the Confederate Army. They shipped flour and meal from as far as Jefferson, Missouri and Shreveport, Louisiana even up to Fort Sill in Oklahoma.
Naming and Renaming of Mansfield, TX
As the community around the Man and Feild mill prospered, they took on the name Mansfeild, which combined the names of the two founders. However, due to constant misspellings over time, the name was adopted to Mansfield to match the conventional spelling.
Then and Now
Now the city of Mansfield, TX has been thriving for over a century, and their historic downtown is undergoing an evolution with its unique vibe drawing in a whole new generation while still paying homage to the pioneers and old Man and Feild Mill that started it all.