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Mansfield is a city in the U.S. state of Ohiomarker and the county seat of Richland Countymarker . The municipality is located in north-central Ohio in the western foothills of the Allegheny Plateau, approximately 80 miles (129 km) southwest of Clevelandmarker and 66 miles (106 km) northeast of Columbusmarker.

It was founded in 1808 on a fork of the Mohican River in a hilly region surrounded by fertile farmlands, and became a manufacturing center owing to its location with numerous railroad lines. After the decline of heavy manufacturing, the city's industry has since diversified into service economy, including retailing, education, and healthcare sectors.

The population was 49,346 at the 2000 census. In 2008 Mansfield had an estimated population of 49,579. According to the US Census 2008 estimate, the Mansfield, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area has a population of 124,999 residents, while the Mansfield-Bucyrus, OH Combined Statistical Area has 168,695 residents.

Mansfield's official nickname is "The Fun Center of Ohio". It is the largest city in the "Mid-Ohio" region of the state, the north-central region which is generally considered to extend from Marionmarker, Delawaremarker, Knox, Morrowmarker, Crawfordmarker, Ashlandmarker and Richlandmarker counties in the south, to the Firelands area south of Sanduskymarker in the north. Mansfield is also known as the "Carousel Capital of Ohio" and "Racing Capital of Ohio".


Mansfield was first settled in 1808 and was named for Jared Mansfield, the U.S. Surveyor General who directed its planning. The village of Mansfield was incorporated in 1828, and in 1857 Mansfield was chartered as a city. During the War of 1812, the first courthouse, jail, and church of Richland County was served in one of two blockhouses that were located on the public square until 1816. In 1908, the blockhouse became a symbol of Mansfield's heritage during its 100th birthday celebration, and in 1929, the blockhouse was relocated to its present location at South Park. The railroads came to the city in 1846, followed by the first road across America, the Lincoln Highway in 1913, smoothing the path for economic growth.



Aerial photo with points of interest
Mansfield is located at (40.754856, -82.522855) , directly between Columbusmarker and Clevelandmarker, however, the city lies in the western foothills of the Allegheny Plateau, and its elevation is among the highest of Ohio cities. The highest point in the city (1,492.66 feet or 454.96 meters above sea level) is at the Woodland reservoir in southwest Mansfield. The elevation of Central Park in downtown Mansfield is 1,242.66 feet (378.76 m) above sea level.

Mansfield is bordered by Madison Townshipmarker to the east, northwest and southwest, Franklin Townshipmarker to the north, Weller Townshipmarker to the northeast, Washington Townshipmarker to the south, Troy Townshipmarker to the southwest, Springfield Townshipmarker and the suburban city of Ontariomarker to the west.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.9 square miles (77.5 km²). All of it is land and, aside from the small lake in North Lake Park, none of the area is covered with water.


Mansfield has a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa), typical of the Midwestern United States, with very warm, humid summers and cold winters. Winters are usually cold and dry but with frequent thaws and temperatures rarely drop below 0°F (–17°C). January averages a high temperature of around 32°F (0°C), and an average low temperature of around 16°F (–9°C). Snowfall is lighter than the snowbeltmarker areas to the northeast, but is still somewhat influenced by Lake Eriemarker, located 38 miles (61 km) north of Mansfield. Mansfield Lahm Regional Airportmarker generally averages 45.0 inches (1,143 mm) of snow per winter. Springs are short with rapid transition from hard winter to warm, sometimes humid and muggy summers. Summers tend to be warm, sometimes hot, with an average July high temperature of around 82°F (28°C), and an average July low of around 60°F (16°C). Temperatures reach or exceed 90°F (32°C) about seven times each summer, on average. Fall usually is the dryest season with many clear warm days and cool nights. The all-time record high temperature in Mansfield of 105°F (40°C) was established on July 21, 1934, and the all-time record low temperature of –26°F (–32°C) was set on January 15, 1929.


Welcome sign
Mansfield has several distinct neighborhoods. The Boulevards is an early 20th century residential neighborhood (now a historical preservation district). It has about 130 homes (some on double lots) located just south of Park Avenue West about a mile west of the city center. Glenwood and Parkwood Boulevards are main streets. Until 1937, the Boulevards was served by the Park Avenue West electric street car line.

Woodland, in the southwestern part of the city, is the largest residential neighborhood. Laid out as Woodland Farms in 1920 by its developer, James M. Dickson, it began to develop just before the Great Depression. Westinghouse opened its appliance demonstration model, the Home of Tomorrow, on Andover Road in February 1934. Dickson Park, adjacent to Woodland Elementary School on Davis Road, honors the developer. The Woodland reservoir (1928), at the southwestern edge of the neighborhood, is on Mansfield's highest elevation. The Mansfield Art Centermarker, founded in 1945, is at the northwest edge of the neighborhood. Woodland is home to Woodland Elementary School which is part of the Mansfield City School District and serves students from both the woodland area and students all across the city of Mansfield, Ohio.


As of the census of 2000, there were 49,346 people, 20,182 households, and 12,028 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,649.8 people per square mile (637.0/km²). There were 22,267 housing units at an average density of 744.6/sq mi (287.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.77% White, 19.65% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.63% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.56% from other races, and 2.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.23% of the population.

There were 20,182 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.4% were non-families. 34.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 98.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,176, and the median income for a family was $37,541. Males had a median income of $30,861 versus $21,951 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,726. About 13.2% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.5% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those age 65 or over.

Government and politics

Mansfield Municipal Building
Mansfield has a mayor-council government. The mayor who is elected every four years, always in November, one year before United States presidential elections and limited to a maximum of three terms. Mayors are traditionally inaugurated on or around the first of December. The current mayor is Donald Culliver, a Democrat who is currently in his first term. Culliver is the city's first African-American mayor to be elected.

Mansfield city council is an eight-member legislative group that serve four-year terms. Six of the members represent specific wards; two are elected city-wide as at-large council members. Democrat Phillip Scott has been Mansfield's council president since November 2007.

While Mansfield and Richland County have historically supported the Republican Party for decades, other parts of Ohio like Clevelandmarker and parts of Northeast Ohio have historically supported the Democratic Party. During the 2008 Presidential election, although Barack Obama carried Ohio, John McCain carried Richland County.

Regional Representatives

Mansfield is currently represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by Jim Jordan (R) and in the U.S. Senate by George V. Voinovich (R) and Sherrod Brown (D), in the state senate by Bill Harris (R), and in the state house by Jay Goyal (D). As of January 2007, Mansfield and the rest of the State of Ohio, are served by Ted Strickland (D) as governor, who replaced two term-limited Governor Bob Taft (R).

Industry and business

Mansfield's greatest period of industrial development led by the city's stove manufacturing industries, including Westinghouse Electric Corporation and the Tappan Stove Company. By the late 1920s, Westinghouse had become the city's largest employer, specializing in electric lighting, industrial heating and engineering, and home appliances.

However, like many cities in the rust belt region of the Midwest, Mansfield saw a large decline in its manufacturing and retail sectors. Beginning with the steel Recession of the 1970s, the loss of jobs to overseas manufacturing, prolonged labor disputes, and deteriorating factory facilities all contributed to heavy industry leaving the area. Mansfield Tire & Rubber Company, Ohio Brass Company, Westinghouse, Tappan and many other manufacturing plants were either bought-out, relocated or closed, leaving only the AK Steel Plant in Mansfield and the General Motors Fisher Body Stamping Plant (Mansfield-Ontario Metal Center) in neighboring Ontariomarker as the last two remaining heavy industry employers. The AK Steel Mansfield Works production facility, formerly Armco Steel, was the location of a violent 3-year United Steelworkers Union lock-out and strike from 1999 to 2002. On June 1, 2009, General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced that its Ontario stamping plant (Mansfield-Ontario Metal Center) will close in June 2010.

With the loss of the jobs, locally owned businesses in downtown Mansfield closed, as did much of the retail built in the 1960s along Park Avenue West (formerly known as "The Miracle Mile") and Lexington Avenue. New big-box retail, shopping strips and franchise restaurants have been built in the adjacent suburban city of Ontario, which has replaced Mansfield as the retail hub for Richland County and north-central Ohio.

The machine shop of The Gorman-Rupp Company.
The city has a sought to diversify its economy to become less dependent on its struggling manufacturing sector. Remaining manufactures in Mansfield include steel manufacturer AK Steel, Honda Supplier Newman Technology Incorporated, generator manufacturer Hyundai Ideal Electric Company, thermostats manufacturer Therm-O-Disc, pumps manufacturer The Gorman-Rupp Company, plumbing manufacturer Crane Plumbing. and carousel manufacturer The Carousel Works.

Mansfield's healthcare industry includes MedCentral Health System, the city's largest employer and the largest in Richland County. The hospital is the city's primary provider of health care and serves as the major regional trauma center for north-central Ohio.

Mansfield is also home of three well-known food companies. Isaly Dairy Company (AKA Isaly's) was a chain of family-owned dairies and restaurants started by William Isaly in the early 1900s until the 1970s, famous for creating the Klondike Bar ice cream treat, popularized by the slogan "What would you do for a Klondike Bar?". Stewart's Drive-In is a chain of root beer stands started by Frank Stewart in 1924, famous for their Stewart's Fountain Classics line of premium beverages now sold world-wide. The Jones Potato Chip Company, started by Frederick W. Jones in 1945 and famous for their Jones Marcelled Potato Chips, is headquartered in Mansfield.

Film industry

From the 1950s through the 1970s, Mansfield was the home of the infamous Highway Safety Foundation, the organization that created the controversial driver's education scare films that featured gruesome film photography taken at fatal automobile accidents in the Mansfield area. The films include Signal 30 (1959), Mechanized Death (1961), Wheels of Tragedy (1963), and Highways of Agony (1969). In addition, the Highway Safety Foundation produced other controversial education films including The Child Molester and Camera Surveillance (both 1964). In 1962, The Highway Safety Foundation loaned camera equipment to the Mansfield Police Department to film the escapades of some of the city's homosexual men, who met for sexual relations in an underground public restroom deep in the bowels of Central Park. An ugly chapter in the city's history, the men filmed were charged under Ohio's sodomy law, and all served a minimum of one year in the state penitentiary. The resulting footage, combined with overdubbed audio commentary by officials of the Mansfield Police Department, was eventually compiled by HSF as the film Camera Surveillance. Video artist William E. Jones of Massillon, Ohio, obtained copies of the original footage shot by the Mansfield Police Department. Jones transferred the grainy color footage of the original police surveillance films to video and removed the police commentary, presenting it as a silent piece entitled Tearoom (2007).(Tearoom is a gay slang term referring to a venue where public sex occurs.) Jones' film was featured in an exhibit at the Whitney Museum in New York in 2008. Ironically, there exists today an eatery called The Twisted Fig Tea Room on Main St. in Mansfield, located just a few blocks from Central Park.

Mansfield has also been used as a location for several big-budget Hollywood movies; among the most notable of these were The Shawshank Redemption, Air Force One, and Tango & Cash, all of which featured the Ohio State Reformatorymarker as a backdrop in pivotal scenes.

Robert F. Simon (1908-1992), an American character actor who appeared in film and on television from 1950-1985, was born in Mansfield.


Annual events and fairs

The Mansfield/Mehock Relays, an annual two-day invitational track and field meet for high school boys and girls, held in April since 1927 (except for Second World War years), began on the initiative of Harry Mehock, track coach at host Mansfield Senior High Schoolmarker.

The Miss Ohio Pageant (Miss America preliminary), hosted by Mansfield since 1975, is staged annually at The Renaissancemarker.

The Richland County Fair is also held in Mansfield, at the Richland County Fairgrounds. The fair is held in the beginning of August. The fair started on October 26, 1889. In the late 1800s, Mansfield also held the Ohio State Fairmarker. At the fair there are several rides, and much livestock, that will be judged.

Historical structures and museums

Mansfield is home to the old Ohio State Reformatorymarker, constructed between 1886 and 1910 and designed by architect Levi T. Scofield of Clevelandmarker to resemble a German castle. It is located north of downtown Mansfield on Ohio 545, and has been the location for many major films, including The Shawshank Redemption, Harry and Walter Go to New York, Air Force One and Tango & Cash. Most of the prison yard has now been demolished to make room for expansion of the adjacent Mansfield Correctional Institution and Richland Correctional Institution, but the Reformatory's Gothic-style Administration Building remains standing and due to its prominent use in films, has become a tourist attraction. The building is used during the Halloween season each year as a haunted attraction known as the "Haunted Reformatory." Many people visit Mansfield to take part in the haunted tour, some from as far as Michigan and Indiana.

Located in the heart of downtown, the Mansfield Memorial Museum, built in 1887, and opened to the public in 1889, is a museum of many different exhibits.Oak Hill Cottagemarker, located amongst the ruins of Mansfield's once mighty industrial district, is a Gothic Revival brick house, built in 1847. One of the most perfect Carpenter Gothic houses in the United States, it is operated by the Richland County Historical Society. Located in the Woodland neighborhood, the Mansfield Art Centermarker, opened in 1945, is a visual arts organization. The Living Bible Museum (aka "Bible Walk") opened in 1987, is Ohio's only life-size wax museum.

Parks and outdoor attractions

Mansfield has 33 parks ranging in size from the 1/2 acre Betzstone Park to the South Park. There are also several public golf courses within the city. These include Coolridge Golf Course, Forest Hills, Oaktree, Twin Lakes and Wooldridge Woods Golf & Swim Club.

Located in downtown Mansfield's Historic Carrousel District is the Richland Carrousel Park, opened in 1991. It is the first hand-carved indoor wooden carousel to be built and operated in the United States since the early 1930s. It was built by Carrousel Works Inc. Kingwood Centermarker, a estate and gardens, is the former home of Ohio Brass industrialist Charles Kelly King. The Mansfield Motorsports Parkmarker (formerly Mansfield Motorsports Speedway), a half-mile automobile race track, hosts the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series once a year and features a regular weekly series of modified and stock car racing. Southwest of Mansfield near Lexingtonmarker is the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, a road course auto racing facility that hosts major racing events. Malabar Farm State Parkmarker, located southeast of the city, is the former home and farm of Mansfield native and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Bromfield. It served as the location of Humphrey Bogart's wedding to Lauren Bacall. Snow Trails Ski Resort is Ohio's oldest ski resort, opened in 1961, and highest at . With 16 runs, it is one of the few skiing locations in Ohio.

The Richland B & O Bike Trail, opened in 1995 and operated by the Richland County Park District, is a paved hiking and bicycle trail laid out on the abandoned Baltimore & Ohio rail branch line from Butler via Bellvillemarker and Lexington to North Lake Park in Mansfield.

Performing arts

The Renaissancemarker, built in 1927 and opened in 1928 as the Ohio Theatre, is a historic 1,600 seat movie palace theatre located in downtown Mansfield which hosts a range of performances. The downtown area is the home of the Mansfield Playhouse, Ohio's second oldest, and one of its most successful, community theatres.


Mansfield is served in print by the Mansfield News Journal, the city's only daily newspaper.

Mansfield's first AM-radio station (1926) was WLGV (later WJW Mansfield). The Mansfield studio and transmitter were on the ninth floor of the Richland Trust Building. (WJW moved to Akronmarker in 1932 and the WJW call letters were later reassigned WJW, now in Clevelandmarker). Among Mansfield's current radio stations are WOSV (91.7FM) NPR News and classical music station, WVMC (90.7FM) Mansfield Christian music station, WYHTmarker (105.3FM) pop/rock (clear channel), WMAN (1400AM) news/talk (clear channel), and WVNOmarker (106.1FM) adult contemporary.

Mansfield's local television station is WMFD-TVmarker.


Mansfield Public Schools enroll 4,855 students in public primary and secondary schools. The district administers 10 public schools including four elementary schools, three intermediate schools, one middle school, one high school, and one alternative school. Other than public schools, the city is home to two private Catholic schools, St. Mary's Catholic School and St. Peter's High Schoolmarker and two Christian schools, Mansfield Christian School and Temple Christian School. The Madison Local School District serves eastern parts of Mansfield, neighboring Madisonmarker, and Mifflinmarker townships.

Mansfield is home to three institutions of higher learning. The Ohio State Universitymarker has a regional campus at Mansfield, North Central State Collegemarker, a community college that shares the Mansfield Campus with OSU, and MedCentral College of Nursing, a private institution that offers programs of study in nursing.


Mansfield/Richland County Public Library, the main branch in downtown Mansfield.
The Mansfield/Richland County Public Library (M/RCPL) has been serving residents of north-central Ohio since 1887. The system has nine branches throughout Richland County including the main library in downtown Mansfield and locations in Bellvillemarker, Butlermarker, Crestview, Lexingtonmarker, Lucasmarker, Madison Townshipmarker, Ontariomarker, and Plymouthmarker.



Three railroads previously served Mansfield, but currently only two, the Norfolk Southern and the Ashland Railway, provide service in the area.

The Mansfield and Sandusky Railroad opened in 1846 and became part ofthe Washington-Chicago main line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B & O) and then later part of a B & O branch line from Newarkmarker to Sanduskymarker. In 1849 the Pittsburgh and Fort Wayne Railroad (later Pennsylvania Railroad mainline) reached Mansfield, and in 1863 the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad (later Erie Railroad mainline) reached Mansfield. After the B & O branch line was abandoned, the section from Butlermarker to North Lake Park in Mansfield was opened in 1995 as the recreational Richland B & O Bike Trail. The former B & O track from Mansfield to Willardmarker combined with a piece of the abandoned Erie Railroad east of Mansfield to West Salemmarker to form the L-shaped Ashland Railway (1986). A spur of the abandoned Erie Railroad leads west five miles (8 km) to Ontariomarker to serve the General Motors metal stamping plant there.


Mansfield is located on a major east-west highway corridor that was originally known in the early 1900s as "Ohio Market Route 3". This route was chosen in 1913 to become part of the historic Lincoln Highway which was the first road across Americamarker, connecting New York Citymarker to San Franciscomarker. The arrival of the Lincoln Highway to Mansfield was a major influence on the development of the city. Upon the advent of the federal numbered highway system in 1928, the Lincoln Highway through Mansfield on Park Avenue East and Park Avenue West became U.S. Route 30.

On September 1, 1928, the Lincoln Highway was marked coast-to-coast with approximately 3000 concrete posts set by the Boy Scouts of America. Each post featured a medallion of Abraham Lincoln's profile. One of these concrete markers was erected at curbside in front of Central Methodist Episcopal Church, 378 Park Avenue West. Today, a replica marker stands in downtown's Central Park, on Park Avenue's center divider.

Mansfield is well connected to the Interstate Highway System. Three highway exits from Interstate 71 connect travelers to Mansfield from Louisville, Kentuckymarker, Cincinnati, Ohiomarker, Columbus, Ohiomarker and points southwest, and from Cleveland, Ohiomarker and points northeast.

Two limited-access highways serve Mansfield. U.S. Route 30, which carries the Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway along its length through the city has several local highway exits from U.S. Route 30 that connect travelers to Mansfield from Portland, Oregonmarker, Cedar Rapids, Iowamarker, Fort Wayne, Indianamarker and points west, and from Atlantic City, New Jerseymarker, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvaniamarker, Canton, Ohiomarker and points east. Ohio 309, which connects travelers from the major shopping area of the suburban city of Ontariomarker and points west, and continues east into Mansfield before it merges into U.S. Route 30.

The city has several arterial roads. U.S. Route 42 (Ashland Road and Lexington Avenue), Ohio 13 (North Main Street and South Main Street), Ohio 39 (Springmill Street, Mulberry Street, 5th Street, Park Avenue East and Lucas Road), Ohio 430 (Park Avenue East and Park Avenue West), and Ohio 545 (Wayne Street and Olivesburg Road).

Public Transportation

The Richland County Transit (RCT) operates local bus service five days a week, except for Saturdays and Sundays. The RCT bus line operates 12 fixed routes within the cities of Mansfield and Ontariomarker. Mansfield Checker Cab operates local and regional taxi service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Mansfield Lahm Regional Airportmarker (IATA: MFD, IACOmarker: KMFD, FAA LID: MFD), a city-owned and operated, joint usage facility with global ties, located 3 miles (5 km) north of downtown Mansfield.

The 179th Airlift Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard is located at the airport. It uses huge C-130 aircraft, and sponsors an annual air show in July.

Special interest

From the Native American uprising during the war of 1812.

Sister cities

Mansfield has two sister cities:

Public Safety

Law Enforcement - Mansfield Police Department

Fire & EMS - Mansfield Fire Department

See also


  1. Mansfield, Ohio Fact Sheet. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2007-01-13.
  2. Retrieved on 2007-01-28.
  3. Monthly Averages for Mansfield, OH. The Weather Channel. Retrieved on 2008-11-09.
  4. Leip, David. 2008 Presidential General Election Results. Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved on 2008-11-09.

External links

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