The Mansfield Savings Bank

The Mansfield Savings Bank & Trust Co. Almanac, 1923


Brief History of Mansfield ... Early Post Office


Source:  Mansfield Savings Bank & Trust Co. Almanac, 1923, pp. 43


The late Hiram SMITH, who is well remembered by many still living in Mansfield, was born at Huron, Ohio, on January 7, 1813, his parents, Asa and Hannah (RICHMOND) SMITH, having moved from Seneca County, N.Y., in the spring of 1810. Owing to the death of his father in 1815, Mr. SMITH moved to Mansfield and made his home with his sisters Mrs. Hugh McFALL, who was the wife of one of the pioneer merchants of Mansfield, the McFALL store having been established in 1820. Mr. SMITH went to the "Big Spring School" on the north side of East Fourth Street, opposite the present Bushnell School, and his first teacher was Alexander BARR. In 1829; Mr. McFALL was appointed postmaster and Mr. SMITH deputy postmaster, the office being in the McFALL store at the corner of Main and Third streets. 

In 1830 there had accumulated a surplus of funds in the office of twelve hundred dollars and Mr. SMITH recieved an order to deposit the money in the Franklin Bank, at Columbus, Ohio. Stages were not yet running. The money being all in silver, the bulk was both large and heavy. Mr. McFALL having been over the road often, explained the way to go and the stopping places. Mr. SMITH says, "My first stop was Fredericktown where I got my horse fed and dinner at Abner AYER's hotel. From Fredericktown there was a new road cut through to Sunbury in Delaware county, which road was very thinly settled. At one place it was five miles between cabins. 

The first night I stopped at Mr. POTTER's Tavern near the west line of Knox county. Mr. POTTER, in taking the saddle bags off of the horse remarked, "Young man, this is very heavy." I explained to Mr. POTTER the contents and requested him to put the saddle bags in a safe place. The next morning I started off all right. As the sun was going down I came to a cross road and learned from the guide board that I was nine miles from Columbus and two from Worthington. I realized that I could not get to Columbus until late in the night, so I went to Worthington, which was a new town, laid out by Colonel Kilbourn, who also entertained travelers. 

When I rode up to the house Mr. KILBOURN came out and took the saddle bags off the horse. He made the same remark that Mr. POTTER had made. The next morning I rode into Columbus and made my deposit in the Franklin Bank, relieving myself and the horse of both weight and worry. I remained in Columbus until the next morning, looking around the city and through the first state house." 

Before the days of canals and railroad Mr. SMITH used to take the stage through to Philadelphia and buy goods for the store, freighting the supplies home in big Pennsylvania wagons at a cost of from five to six dollars for every hundred pounds. Later, with the opening of the Erie canal; the route was to Sandusky, by stage; thence to Buffalo, by steamer; thence by canal to Weedsport and Albany. From Albany to New York the trip was made by the early steamers on the Hudson River. A trip made by this route took from ten days to two weeks and was accompanied by much discomfort. The same route can be traveled today, in palatial cars, in about thirteen hours.