The sawmill of John Mordan, the first built in the early days of settlement, gave Mordansville village its name. For a time the place was a thriving spot, due to the woolen mills built here in 1856 by Joseph E. Sands and Thomas Mather. In 1860 Mr. Sands became sole proprietor. At first the farmers brought their wool to the mill to be carded, then spun and wove the cloth at their homes, returning the material to the mill to be fulled and pressed. Later Mr. Sands installed the necessary looms and for many years did a fine trade with the mining regions of the State. In 1881 he died and his son, Charles L. Sands, took charge, introduced improved machinery and increased the capacity of the mills. In 1886 he took into partnership William R. Hagenbuch and M.J. Elder, calling the firm C.L. Sands & Co. In 1898 Mr. Elder retired, and in the year 1905 the mills were burned. They were never rebuilt. The capacity of the mills had grown from 6,000 to 25,000 pounds of wool per year.
Joseph E. Sands established the first store there and was the first postmaster, the office being at first called Bear Run.
The old Sands home was converted into a hotel, operated by Harry W. Johnson. Previous owners of the property were E. B. Hagenbuch and, before him, Joseph E. Sands.
John McCaslin, a native of Missouri, opened a store here in the old Frank Kindt home in 1914. The village blacksmith was R. C. Kindt. The Susquehanna, Bloomsburg & Berwick railroad (later owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company) ran through the village.