The Bissman Company, originally a wholesale grocery distributor, set it’s stakes in the “Flats” of Downtown Mansfield, Ohio in the early 1870’s. The original building stood where the Carousel stands today. In 1886, the current Bissman Building was constructed utilizing the same local Architectural firm Alexander & Dow, that design/engineered the famous Mansfield Reformatory in the same year. Peter Bissman, the founder of The Bissman Company, came to America from Hesse, in Darmstadt, Germany on a sailing ship with his Mother and father and multiple brothers and sisters. The trip lasted 65 days.
Our history in the United States really begins in 1853, when young German immigrant, Michael Bissman, brought his family over in a steam ship from Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. Michael was the father to Peter Bissman, who would later grow to be Mansfield's wholesale grocery, tobacco, and alcohol distributing tycoon.
As a young boy, Peter, worked just up the hill from where the Bissman Wholesale Grocery Co. now resides, for The Tracy & Avery Co. Later Peter decided he would open his own wholesale grocery business. Where the Richland Carousel now resides, is where the original Bissman & Co. warehouse resided.
In 1885 Peter decided it was time to expand his business into a giant, airy, 50,000 square-foot distribution center with easy railway, and trolley car access in the flats of Downtown Mansfield, Ohio. The beautiful building was built by local contractors, Hancock & Dow, who also built the Ohio State Reformatory and Hancock & Dow building on 4th street in Downtown Mansfield. The building would contain the most beautiful architectural properties from different style including Romanesque and Romantic Gothic.
The Bissman Building was completed in 1886, and is now 132 years old, and still going strong!