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Mansfield's mystery of towns namesake solved

As the story goes, the members of Carmel Land Improvement Company decided to name the new planned community in Newton County after the man who "abstained" from drinking at the celebration barbeque held following the sale of town lots in 1903.

But that wasn’t the story Lillian Simmons Adickes, Eugene Mansfield Simmons and Bonnie Simmons Sherer heard from their grandmother, Roselle.

The town was named after their grandfather because, Adickes told the group gathered at the Mansfield Community Center Wednesday, he held his liquor better than the other town fathers.

“We came here to learn more about our grandfather,” said Adickes, who said he’d died in Columbia in 1922 before his grandchildren were born.

She said after doing Internet genealogical research, she contacted Mayor Jefferson Riley and told him about what they’d learned. On Wednesday, after introducing the Mansfield grandchildren, he turned the michrophone over to Adickes, who revealed her grandfather was Eugene Warren Mansfield.

Sharing the story of Mansfield and his wife, Daisy Whitehead, Adickes said her mother, aunts and uncles were raised in Social Circle. Mansfield, who moved to Savannah after leaving Mansfield, was buried in Social Circle.

A number of audience members, including Council Member Perry Lunsford, began sharing stories about local genealogy. Lunsford said Mansfield was listed on the 1900 census living in Marietta.

At the end of the presentation, Riley presented Adickes, Simmons and his wife Marigene, and Sherer with keys to the city.

A groundbreaking for the new Mansfield City Center was scheduled for 3 p.m., but was cancelled due to a rain storm. The city has budgeted $200,000 for the project and will apply for a $200,000 grant.

The railroad track has been removed, and the trail will be raised and wind through the new city center, park and pavilion. The trail will hook up with the Newton Trail system.

Among the people attending the presentation were Representative Dave Belton, County Chair Keith Ellis, County Manager Lloyd Kerr, Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston and City Manager Leigh Anne Knight, Oxford Mayor Jerry Roseberry and City Manager Bob Schwartz, Porterdale Mayor Arline Chapman, Mansfield City Council Members Chris Fulmer, Lisa Dunn and Lunsford.