In autumn of 1931 the sign appealing for public humanitarian support was placed at the west side of the Square facing Park Avenue West. Today it can be found at the other end of the Square, high on the Richland Community Service Center facing traffic on Diamond Street.

The Public Square has always been the heart of Mansfield, and throughout the two centuries of our growth that is where matters of the heart and head have been voiced as a community, including those matters of providing for the public good photographed here.

What began in 1920 as the town’s Community Chest—providing funds for humanitarian organizations ranging from Salvation Army to the Playground Association—later became the War Chest raising funds for WWII relief agencies, and eventually becoming the United Appeal. Today it is known as the United Way. 

In 1920 the Community Chest collected $35,000 to fund nine agencies, and last year United Way raised $1,650,155 to support 28 agencies, demonstrating just how strong our heart has grown through the years.


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Timothy Brian McKee is a featured columnist on our site every Sunday with a column titled Native SonEvery Tuesday, he taps into his knowledge and collection of historical photos and bring us Then & Now, a brief glance at the way things were.