Galion Historical Society Spotlight

December 27, 2013

Muncie, Indiana may be where Doug Osborne was born, but Galion is where he calls home. In 1958, his father employed with the Galion Iron Works moved the family, including young Doug, to Galion. Doug followed in his father’s footsteps and was employed with the Galion Iron Works for 29 years. He began his career in the production department and worked his way up to Parts Manager. As the Parts Manager, Doug was responsible for inventory successfully reaching the 200 distribution centers located throughout the country. While working at the Galion Ironworks, Doug met his future wife, Jerry. Doug and Jerry have two grown sons; one a teacher in Baltimore Ohio and one, after serving in the United States Air Force for 22 years, is now a civilian supplier.

As a young boy, Doug realized he was mechanically inclined and his inquisitive mind naturally sought out anything with moving parts; taking apart and putting together what he found. His interest in tinkering honed in on clockwork after he was given a clock his Grandfather found in an attic. The clock was originally owned by Doug’s Great, Great Grandfather and obtaining the Civil War discharge papers for this same relative began his journey of researching the provenance of clocks throughout history. Doug has parlayed his 45 year fascination with the inner workings of various clocks into a clock repair hobby located in his home.

Doug’s affiliation with the Galion Historical Society spans 30 years and came about through his interest in history and antiques. Many of those years, Doug served on the Board of Directors, either as president or vice president. During his tenure as president, the historical society office was located in a small house behind the library. Renovations for the addition to the library progressed, resulting in the removal of the siding from the small house. To everyone’s surprise, beneath was revealed a log cabin. The structure was relocated to Heise Park; where it remains today. Doug proudly recounts of a program held at the cabin many years ago, where volunteers reenacted the daily life of a family living in the cabin during the Christmas season in 1840. Over the years Doug has given educational presentations on ‘The History of the American Clock’ and ‘Pills, Petticoats and Plows: the history of the general store,’ to name a few.

Besides his work with the historical society, Doug teaches adult Sunday school class with the Christ United Methodist Church where he is also active with Club 130 which is an after school program for roughly 35 students offered by the church. Club130 provides students with a snack, activities and one on one tutoring for a few hours one evening a week.

Many years ago, while working with the Galion Iron Works, Doug and Jerry were offered a chance to move to Chicago. They thought they would at least take a trip there to see if the city could feel like home for their family. Doug states they visited a few shops, walked along the streets and very few people acknowledged them or offered a hello. This was enough to convince them and they returned home to Galion. As many others can attest, the small town, neighborly atmosphere Galion offers is an experience that stays with you. If you move to a larger and sometimes less neighborly city, it’s easy to find yourself longing for the casual hello from a stranger as you cross the streets of the town square; or being greeted by name as you approach the counter of any number of businesses here. Just as Doug and Jerry Osborne were glad to come home to Galion; the Galion Historical Society is glad Doug has unselfishly given so much to our history.