By Thomas Palmer

Today’s Galion History Corner focuses on a framed photograph of a middle aged man.

This is an image of Bishop William Andrew Leonard, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio from 1889 to 1930. It was Bishop Leonard who elevated a young William Montgomery Brown, then Rector of Grace Church in Galion, to the position of Archdeacon of Ohio, putting him on a trajectory to become, in due course, Bishop of Arkansas.

Amazingly, over thirty years later it was this same Bishop Leonard who read the sentence of deposition after Bishop Brown was convicted of heresy. “It is the judgment of this court that you, William Montgomery Brown, should be deposed from the sacred ministry.”

Brown’s trial was the first of its kind in church history.

After all of that, Bishop Brown was quoted in Time Magazine as saying this about the man who had initially been his mentor, “I love Bishop Leonard with an eternal love.”

This very photograph of Bishop Leonard belonged to Bishop Brown and hung at Brownella. It was likely a present from Leonard to Brown. I acquired it at a Brownella yard sale in the very early 1990s, before I joined the Galion Historical Society Board.

I suspect that Bishop Brown would have considered this to be one of his most valued possessions.

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