This timeline is a quick sprint through the history of Mansfield, including events in the state and nation that helped shape the city and its residents.
1900 – city population is 700
1901 – Mansfield Academy is opened.
1901 – President McKinley is assassinated. Theodore Roosevelt becomes President of the USA.
1902 – The neighboring town of Lillian is started.
1903 – Wright brothers first flight.
1904 – First town marshall hired.
1905 – R.S. Casals was awarded a 25 yr contract to build and operate a lighting plant in town.
1905 – Joseph Edwards installs the first telephone lines in town. The switchboard was located in the McKnight buildling.
1906 – Mansfield State Bank is chartered.
1906 – Ralph Man passes on Nov. 18th.
1909 – The Mansfield Independent School District is incorporated. In September, the first classes of the new District are held in the old Mansfield Academy buildings which were purchased by MISD.
(Image from Museum collection.)
1910 – On October 11th, the city passes an ordinance to prevent autos from exceeding 10 miles per hour and also prevent persons from riding their bicycles on the sidewalks. (Stock image)
1914 -Mansfield is a bustling small town, with buildings designed in the current most popular architectural style. Many small towns in Texas, with surviving historical downtowns, look very similar in style.
1917 – The USA enters into World War I in April.
1917 – Mr. Milton Farr builds the first electric light plant and installs the first electric lights on Water Street (future Main Street). He rents a building in downtown and opens the Farr Best Theater. The theater features Saturday afternoon kiddy matinees, a movie on Friday night and a matinee and night movie on Saturdays
1922 – A terrible flood hits Mansfield and surrounding cities, leaves 13 dead and 35 missing in the area. In Mansfield, flood waters pushes Walnut Creek totally out of its banks. It destroys bridges, tracks and many rail cars, but the railroad bridge by North Street is left intact. (Image from Museum collection.)
1924 – The cornerstone is laid for the new MISD school in September. When completed, the school houses white students grades 1-11 until 1953, when a new elementary school is built. The building was then occupied by grades 9-11. (Image from Museum collection.)
1924 – Famous singer Ella Mae Morse born on Sept. 12.
1924 – Texas elected its first woman governor, Miriam “Ma” Ferguson.
1925 – The sewage treatment plant is built. That location now is used as the north soccer field in Hardy Allmon park.
1926 – Mr. Farr installs Mansfield’s first sewer system, and natural gas was supplied to business and residential area of town. (Stock image)
1927 – The first movie with synchronized dialogue is released. It is dubbed a “talkie”.
1929 – The city library is established.
1929 – The Stock Market Crash (or financial collapse) in October signals the beginning of the ten-year-long Great Depression in the USA and in all Western industrialized countries.
1930 -1940 The decade of the Great Depression
1940 – In May, construction begins on The Rock Gym, as W.P.A. project # 40541. It is budgeted for $18,238.00, including a gym and two class rooms for Mansfield High School. (Image from Museum collection.)
1940 – State Highway 34 was changed to Highway 287.
December 7, 1941 – Japan attacks the American naval and air bases at Pearl Harbor, HI. The next day, America declares war on Japan and so enters World War II.
1945 – Crowds take to the streets on V-E Day, May 8th, celebrating Germany’s surrender in World War II.
1949 – Dial telephones are introduced. (Stock image)
1952 – The City Council hires a night watchman for $150/month.
1953 – Railroad depot closes. Mr. W. E. Marshall, the second and last depot agent, locks the doors for the last time.
(Image from Museum collection.)
1954 – The US Supreme Court rules on segregation in the landmark Brown vs Board of Education case.
1954 – The fine for driving without a license was raised from $5 to $10
1954 – The Mansfield City council hires its first Police Chief. It is a low-paying job and the Chief has to furnish his own car.
1956 – The city purchases its first police vehicle, a 1956 Chevrolet 4–door sedan, for $1542. A few months later, the police radio is installed. Dispatching was done out of the Chief’s home, by his wife.
1956 – The Mansfield Desegregation Incident leads to the passage of Texas desegregation laws in 1957.
1956 – A page from a local news broadcast carries the story of the new Mansfield City Hall and fire station. This City Hall is built on the site of the original Man & Feild feed mill (corner of Broad Street & Main Street, now a restaurant).
1958 – Kow Bell arena is established. (Aerial view, c. 1958, from Museum archives.)
1958 – On September 8th, the City Council votes to change the name of Water Street to Main Street.
1960 – 1970 City population reaches 1375.
1963 – A new high school is built. Grades 7 and 8 remain in the old school building. President Kennedy is assassinated on November 22.
1967 – MISD integrated.
1968 – Two Mansfield firefighters lose their lives fighting the fire at the Red Ball gas station in Kennedale. Photo shows the remains of the 10,000 gallon gas storage tank that exploded.
1969 – Neil Armstrong sets foot on the moon.
1974 – As the Dallas-Fort Worth area grew, the population of Mansfield increased from 1,375 in 1961 to 5,000 by 1974, when employees working in the larger neighboring cities transformed the town from a rural community into a modern suburb. Civic leaders promoted Mansfield and allowed graduate students from the Institute of Urban Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington to renovate the downtown area in the early 1970s
1980 - 1990 –City population reaches 8,000.
1990 - 2000 –City population reaches 15,615.