Galion, Ohio

Galion is a city in Crawford, Morrow, and Richland counties in the U.S. state of Ohio. The population was 10,512 at the 2010 census. Galion is the second-largest city in Crawford County after Bucyrus.

Galion, Ohio
The Galion Theatre located on Harding Way West in uptowne Galion, Ohio
Location of Galion, Ohio
Location of Galion in Crawford County
Coordinates: 40°43′59″N 82°47′19″W
CountryUnited States
CountiesCrawford, Morrow, Richland[1]
  MayorMayor Tom O'Leary
  Total7.63 sq mi (19.76 km2)
  Land7.61 sq mi (19.71 km2)
  Water0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
Elevation1,171 ft (357 m)
  Density1,381.3/sq mi (533.3/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
  Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)419
FIPS code39-29162[6]
GNIS feature ID1064699[3]

The Crawford County portion of Galion is part of the Bucyrus Micropolitan Statistical Area. The small portion of the city that is located in Richland County is part of the Mansfield Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the portion extending into Morrow County is considered part of the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Galion was laid out in 1831.[7] The etymology of the name Galion is uncertain.[8] A post office called Galion has been in operation since 1825.[9]

Galion was the scene of a spectacle lynching. On Friday, April 28, 1882, Barbara Rettig accused Frank Fisher of raping her. On Sunday, April 30, 1882 a mob took Fisher, an African American, from Galion's jail and hanged him.[10][11] They left Fisher's body on display for several days after the lynching.[12] A newspaper correspondent at the scene reported a crowd of "at least two thousand people, men, women and children."[12] He concluded his article on the lynching with this summation: "The lynching of Frank Fisher, In broad daylight, upon Sunday, by unmasked men, was one of the boldest affairs that has ever transpired in this county. While the affair is to be regretted the crime was such that he has not a particle of sympathy from anyone who has heard the particulars of the crime for which he has so dearly paid with his life."[12]


Galion is located in the southeastern corner of Crawford County at 40°43′59″N 82°47′19″W (40.733164, -82.788586).[13]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.63 square miles (19.76 km2), of which 7.61 square miles (19.71 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.[2]

The Olentangy River begins near and runs through Galion, and then winds southward toward Columbus and eventually empties into the Scioto River.


Historical population
Est. 20189,962[5]−5.2%

2010 Census

As of the census[4] of 2010, there were 10,512 people, 4,484 households, and 2,797 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,381.3 inhabitants per square mile (533.3/km2). There were 5,192 housing units at an average density of 682.3 per square mile (263.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.6% White, 0.5% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.

There were 4,484 households of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.6% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size as 2.89.

The median age in the city was 39.7 years. 24.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.6% were from 25 to 44; 25.7% were from 45 to 64; and 17.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.1% male and 52.9% female.

2000 Census

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 11,341 people, 4,791 households, and 3,090 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,286.5 people per square mile (882.8/km²). There were 5,150 housing units at an average density of 1,038.3 per square mile (400.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.28% White, 0.22% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.35% from other races, and 0.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.93% of the population.

There were 4,791 households out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,513, and the median income for a family was $38,554. Males had a median income of $32,517 versus $19,792 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,113. About 11.9% of families and 14.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.6% of those under age 18 and 11.3% of those age 65 or over.


Galion has a Mayor-Council government: it is governed by an elected city council and mayor.[17] Thomas O’Leary has served as mayor since 2013.[18][19]


The Galion City School District encompasses the entire city of Galion, graduating about 150 students annually.[20] There are a handful of neighborhoods outside of Galion that are also included in the school district, including Blooming Grove.


Galion and neighboring communities are served by a semi-weekly newspaper, the Galion Inquirer.[21]


The Erie Railroad also ran through Galion and established large rail yards here, making the city an important rail center. In April, 1851 the Cleveland Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad, later known as the "Big Four" and eventually the New York Central, began operating regular service between Columbus and Cleveland, stopping at Galion along the way.[22] Prior to the end of the 19th century, Galion became a division headquarters for the line.

Galion once boasted two large railroad depots, the Big Four Depot on Washington Street, and the Erie Depot on South Market Street, which was torn down in 1986 due to its poor condition, after having served as a maintenance office for Conrail. With the move of the Erie yards to Marion in the 1910s, the railroads declined, although the city remained a passenger rail center into the 1960s. The Big Four Depot was abandoned; however, it has since been acquired by the City of Galion and is undergoing a slow but thorough restoration.

From 1915 to 1923, Galion was on the original route of the Lincoln Highway, America's first coast-to-coast route. In later years, however, the northern route was improved and became US 30 North, although until approximately 1970 the route through Galion was designated as US 30 South. The new, four-lane US 30 opened in 2005, and passes just north of town, giving the community excellent transportation access.

State routes in Galion include 309, which connects Marion to the southwest with Ontario to the east; 598, which originates in Galion and stretches northward; 19, which heads westward toward the county seat and also south toward Williamsport; 61, which goes south towards Morrow and Delaware Counties and north to Lake Erie, and 97, which goes east through Lexington.


The Galion brand of heavy equipment (such as road graders, road rollers, and earthmovers) was manufactured in Galion Iron Works, later purchased by Dresser Industries and then by Komatsu.

Galion was once the home of Peabody Galion, a manufacturer of sanitation equipment, primarily dump bodies, as well as front loading, side-loading and rear loading garbage trucks; rivaling the Heil Company for numbers of units sold throughout the world. For a short time, in the early 1970s, Peabody Galion maintained a manufacturing plant in Durant, Oklahoma, known as "Peabody Galion, Durant Division".

Galion was also once home to North Electric Company, a prime supplier of telephone switching systems for government and international markets. It was also producer of the Ericofon, the first ever one-piece telephone designed by Ralph Lysell and Hugo Blomberg.[23] Founded in 1884 by Charles N. North, the company became part of Ericsson in 1951. It was purchased by ITT in the mid-1970s and operated as ITT PowerSystems until the late 1980s, when it was sold to a private consortium and renamed PECO II (the name is derived from North Electric Company's purchase of Power Equipment Company (PECO) in 1960). Peco II purchased the telecommunications product line and associated assets from ITT in 1988. In 2010, PECO II was acquired by Lineage Power of Plano, Texas and has since closed the plant.

Perfection Cobey was a manufacturer of dump truck bodies and other truck components.

Notable people

  • Julius H. Block, Minnesota State Treasurer, was born in Galion
  • William Montgomery Brown, Episcopal clergyman and author, lived in Galion
  • Florence Kling Harding, First Lady of the United States, lived in Galion with her first husband, Henry ("Pete") DeWolfe
  • Henry David Lee, founder of the HD Lee Mercantile Company, inventors of Lee Jeans, lived in and operated a business in Galion
  • Robert W. Morgan, radio personality, was from Galion.
  • Orville Nave, theologian and chaplain, was born in Galion
  • Robert Waldbauer, writer and performer (as Professor Greenman), lived in Galion.
  • Nathaniel Ivy, TikTok personality. Lives in Galion.


  1. "Subcounty population estimates: Ohio 2000-2008". United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2009-03-18. Archived from the original (CSV) on 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  2. "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  3. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  5. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  6. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. History of Crawford County and Ohio. Baskin & Battey. 1881. p. 444.
  8. Overman, William Daniel (1958). Ohio Town Names. Akron, OH: Atlantic Press. p. 49.
  9. "Post offices". Jim Forte Postal History. Archived from the original on 13 October 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  10. ""LYNCHED!"". Cleveland Leader. 1 May 1882. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  11. "Map of White Supremacy Mob Violence". Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  12. "LYNCHED. Frank Fisher Taken From The Gallon Jail and Hanged". The Highland Weekly News. Hillsboro, Ohio. 11 May 1882. p. 2. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  13. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  14. "Number of Inhabitants: Ohio" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  15. "Ohio: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  16. "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  17. "City Council | Galion, OH - Official Website". Retrieved 2017-08-17.
  18. correspondent, Krystal Smalley, Crawford Source. "Three candidates vie for Galion mayor". Richland Source. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  19. Reporter, Noah Jones, Staff. "Continuity in Galion; Mayor, law director & auditor re-elected". Richland Source. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  20. "Pages - District-Report". Retrieved 2017-08-17.
  21. "About Us". Galion Inquirer. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  22. Murphy, Ared Maurice (1925-06-01). "The Big Four Railroad in Indiana". Indiana Magazine of History. ISSN 1942-9711.
  23. " - Old Case North Electric Ericofons". Retrieved 2017-08-17.
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