May 17, 1888
Henry and Elizabeth Newman, who owned land that had been surveyed and platted by a local civic leader the year before, dedicated the streets of a town called Minersville in Independence County. The town, which was renamed Cushman when it was incorporated in 1906, was the center of a valuable manganese mining industry. Manganese is considered a critical material in the manufacture of steel and was especially in demand during World Wars I and II. At one time, ore worth more than a million dollars was shipped from Cushman. Because of a shortage of laborers during World War I, Italy, an ally of the United States, sent 900 soldiers to Cushman to mine the ore that was critical to the production of weapons.