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The land that was to become Mansfield, Missouri was purchased by F.M. Mansfield and George H. Nettleton in 1881. The railroad extended its tracks through Wright County in 1882, and Mansfield became the mail and freight distribution point for towns north to Grovespring and south to the Arkansas line, and a post office was established in Mansfield that year, along with three general stores. In 1883, a school was built and the Presbyterian church built a sanctuary there in 1884, the year that Mansfield was incorporated as a village. Due to the establishment of mining operations in the area, Mansfield’s population grew rapidly in the 1890s, and Mansfield was incorporated as a fourth-class city in 1900. Mining continued to be a significant contributor to the city’s economy until about 1920 when the Mansfield Mining and Development Company began disposing of its land to be used for farming. The city’s first major industry was the Tobin-Hamilton Shoe Company, which moved from St. Louis to Mansfield in 1955. Today, a significant portion of the city’s economy is based on tourism, as Mansfield was the last home place for Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House series, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum brings in about forty thousand visitors a season, and other events based on the author also serve to promote tourism. Mansfield is situated south of US Highway 60, west of Macomb, east of Cedar Gap and Crabbs, and north of Bryant.



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