History of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, 1887

Mansel Family - JAMES MANSEL Biography

Among those residents of Lycoming county who have filled ably and faithfully the offices of honor and responsibility to which they were called by the votes of their fellow-citizens none ranks higher than James Mansel, of Williamsport. He is the son of William Beason and Rebecca (Southard) Mansel, and grandson of James and Hannah (Beason) Mansel, of Chester county, Pennsylvania.

William Beason Mansel (father) was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania. About 184.o he moved to Lycoming county, same state; he was a poor man and worked as a laborer, but being economical and thrifty finally succeeded in accumulating sufficient capital to purchase a farm in Eldred township, whereon he resided until his death. He married Rebecca Southard, of Lycoming county, and there were born to them two sons and a daughter : George, who resides in South Williamsport; James, mentioned at length hereinafter; and Hannah, who is the wife,of Hiram Mostellar, of Eldred township.

James Mansel, son of William Beason and Rebecca (Southard) Mansel, was born May 20, 1847, in Hepburn township. He received his early education in the public schools of his native, township and in those of Lewisburg, afterward attending Dickinson Seminary. At the same time he assisted his father in the labors of the farm, the latter following his trade of shoemaking in connection with agricultural pursuits. At the age of seventeen young Mansel began to teach public school and continued three years, and with his earnings was able to attend Dickinson Seminary. In order to become familiar with mercantile business he accepted a clerkship in a store, and later engaged in the grocery business on his own account in Williamsport. About 1873 he was compelled by ill health to dispose of his business and take a vacation of a year. At the expiration of this period of time he engaged in the commission business, buying and selling produce, and continued the same for two or three years. During a portion of this time he was in partnership, but after the retirement of his partner conducted the business alone. For a time lie was connected with the Standard Nail and Iron Company. In 1876 he accepted a position with Cochran, Bubb & Company, wholesale grocers, with whom he remained two years, and about seven years he was connected with Cochran, Richards & Company in the lumber business. He was then associated for about three years with Thomas Lundy under the firm name of Lundy & Company, after which they dissolved and Mr. Mansel continued alone in the lumber business. In this enterprise he was very successful, buying, selling and manufacturing, and dealing mainly in hard woods.

Mr. Mansel has always been a good citizen, but never an officeseeker. He is ever ready to lend his aid in all philanthropic enterprises, and takes a special interest in the Boys' Industrial Home. He is an ardent worker in the temperance cause, and in 1896 was elected mayor of Williamsport on the Prohibition ticket. His administration was such as to deserve the respect of all good citizens and to give much satisfaction to his constituents.

He has been the treasurer of the Williamsport Board of Trade since its organization, and a member of the board of directors, also a member of the board of directors of the Boys' Industrial Home. Mr. Mansel is first vice-president of the American Assurance Company of 14 South Broad street, Philadelphia.

Mr. Mansel married, in 1874, Margaret Hartswick, daughter of John Hartswick, of Centre county, Pennsylvania, and they have two children : Bernard Hartswick, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, a D. D. S., and Harry Southard Mansel, who is a bookkeeper for his father.

Source: Genealogical and Personal History of Lycoming County, John W. Jordan, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1906.

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