By Thomas Palmer

It was an exciting summer in Galion back in 1931 as the city took several days to celebrate one hundred years of existence.

Pageants and parades were set. Fireworks were readied. Uptowne windows were decorated with historical displays and exhibits of local manufacturing and industry. The welcome mat was set out as hundreds arrived from out-of-town, including several Galion ex-pats in other areas of the city and world.

It was a handful of years after his heresy trial, and Bishop William Montgomery Brown and his wife Ella were enjoying their retirement years living at Brownella. They had been connected with Galion for almost 50 years at the time.

The Galion Inquirer featured several column inches of print over several days to tell the story of the city’s past and speculating about its future. Included among these pages were words of greeting from Galion leaders and industries.

These included Bishop and Mrs. Brown.

While Brown’s writings (to the extent which they were actually authored by him) filled books and other documents, treatises and essays. He rarely wrote or talked about Galion, however, which makes the Browns’ comments in the August 6, 1931 Centennial edition of the Inquirer all the more striking. It read:

Fellow Citizens of Galion, Ohio.


We are rejoicing with each other over the growth of our dear little city within the first one hundred years of its existence.

We all are gratefully remembering the pioneer men and women who endured the privations and toil connected with the first beginnings of the settlements on lands that they cleared out of a dense forest which issued in a four corners, then a village, next a town and finally a city.

We two citizens have an everlasting and boundless love for Galion because during nearly fifty years it has been the scene of the happiest days of our lives. For about half of this period our duties called us away from October to June, but we are always sorry to leave and glad to return.

We all join in good wishes for the many future generations of Galion, and in most thankful and affectionate remembrance of its few generations who have passed into the rest and peace and immortality in history.

Bishop and Mrs. William Montgomery Brown

“…[T]he many future generations of Galion.” They were talking to us, of course. In just seven years, Galionites will be marking the city’s bicentennial.

Each Saturday, we post about local history. We call this series “Galion History Corner,” and we will be sharing not only stories about our shared heritage but also updates on history news here in southeast Crawford County.

This series is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Bernard M. Mansfield, whose “Your Historical Galion” was a fixture in weekend editions of the Galion Inquirer. Dr. Mansfield was a friend and family physician, and he inspired the current generation of Galion historians to continue his work.

Image: 1831Galion