Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Mansfield reached its pinnacle of high society at the end of the 1800’s and early 1900’s. The editor of the DeSoto Democrat Newspaper on April 26, 1895 made the statement that Mansfield should have a first class opera house. This statement evidently put the proverbial “Bee” under Mansfield’s “Bonnet” for with two years the Belle Taylor Opera House formally opened.

Miss Belle Taylor contracted B.F. Jenkins to build a two story “Business House” on her lot where the post office stood in September 1896 at the southwest corner of Polk and Jefferson Streets. The new two story building would house the post office and a store on the lower floor and the public hall or opera house on the second floor. The proposed 75 foot by 30 foot structure would be of red brick. By mid-December 1896 Johnson Brothers had moved into the lower floor and finished final touches for the post office and upper floor opera house.

The Editor of the Mansfield Journal Newspaper on February 5, 1897 reported that Miss Taylor had secured the very popular New City Hoyt Opera Company for one week opening the opera house. The next week the paper reported that a “large and appreciative audience” had attended the formal opening.



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