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After the U.S. Army built Fort Worth in 1849 to protect settlers from the native Comanche, the Gibson family established homesteads within miles of present-day Mansfield. Known as the Gibson Community, it included a school and a church by 1860.

It wasn’t until 1856 that the town’s namesakes, R.S. Man and Julian Feild, would arrive. Together they built a gristmill at the crossroads of what is now the center of Mansfield. The three-story brick mill, which produced flour and meal, was the first built in North Texas to utilize steam power. It enjoyed patronage as far south as San Antonio and as far north as Oklahoma. Feild then opened a general store and a post office, forming the nucleus of the future city. The city prospered even during the Civil War when it became a primary flour supplier to the Confederacy. The community, which had grown up around the Man and Feild mill, took on the name of “Mansfeild,” a combination of the names of the founders. Repeated misspellings over the years resulted in the acceptance of the conventional spelling of “Mansfield.”

Starting with only 400 people in 1884, 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. In 1990 it had a population of 15,607 and had grown into Ellis and Johnson counties. Today, there are 58,168 residents in Mansfield—a number expected to reach 76,602 by 2015.

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