Although not a coal producing area, Mansfield was important to the coal industry as a shipping and receiving point, as it was located on a Junction of the East-West Rock Island Railroad, and the North-South St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad. Coal was shipped out, and machinery and supplies were shiped in.|
Mansfield was and is an agricultural and trading center, and still remains a shipping point for pulp shavings from the Didier Lumber Company Sawmill. Mansfield applied for incorporation in 1887, with the incorporation being approved early in 1888.
According to area natives, and to Vol. I: Folklore of Romantic Arkansas, by Fred W. Allsopp, and according to an article published in "The Invincible" (A Mansfied High School Newspaper) in the 1920's, Mansfield received it's name when a railroad engineer ended his survey down in some "man's field" and the name stuck. There is also version that Mansfield was named after a W.W. Mansfield, who was a famous Arkansas Jurist in the 1880's. We have been unable to find any early documentary evidence to back this up.
The Post office at Chocoville, a trading post located about a mile and a half West of Mansfield, was moved to Mansfield in the 1880's, and John M. Paule served as Mansfield's first Postmaster.
Mansfield lies in two counties, Scott and Sebastian, though the original town was subdivided and incorporated in Sebatian County.
Mansfield, like other area towns, flourished with the coal industry, and suffered when the coal industry declined.