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This marker denotes the former location of the Mansfield Soldiers Orphan School, which operated from 1867 to 1889. The school was established by the principal of Mansfield Normal School (now Mansfield University) for the benefit of local orphans. The school was one of several institutions established with state support to provide for the children of Union veterans who had died in the Civil War. Although many of the students were not orphans, their families were destitute following the loss of the family patriarch.


  • The marker can be found on the NW corner of Wellsboro and Main.
  • To learn more about this school and others throughout the state, consider this work from a local educator.

Professor Fordyce A. Allen established the school in a former storefront building located at the site of the current Carnegie library. The school and had 63 pupils in his first year. Allen also instructed students in his home, but as the number of students increased, he was able to secure a dedicated building at this location. Although the building Allen purchased was in poor condition, local residents worked to improve its condition and make it suitable for the school's purpose. 

In 1872, Allen secured a small farm in order to train the male students in various agricultural fields. Female students were also instructed in domestic arts at the farm and at the school. When Allen passed away in 1880, his widow operated the school with the assistance of various faculty members. Following the 1889 school year, the institution moved to Susquehanna County. The former school building became the home of Hotel Allen until 1904 when a fire destroyed the hotel. 

"The Orphans School," Tioga Agitator, July 15, 1868. 

Gold, O. David. Gold, Martha. The Civil War Soldiers' Orphan Schools of Pennsylvania 1864-1889. Pendragon, 2016.