The Galion Historical Society and Fairview Cemetery Association worked together to conduct a live production of cemetery walk Sunday afternoon.
Groups walked about a half mile in the beautiful weather to eight different stations throughout Fairview Cemetery. The first stop was Ida Howard Barr portrayed by Nancy Green. Barr was born in 1888 and died in 1969. She was born on the corner of South Boston at Atwood streets, in a house known as the Howard house to Adam and Sarah Howard. Her father had a successful buggy company that went through 10 years of legal matters that destroyed his business. Her parents would travel to Germany and bring back items for the house and they only wanted the finest craftsmanship on their home. She graduated from Galion high school and Miss Mason’s School for Girls on the Hudson, before marrying Frederick Barr, a local pharmacist. They they never had children, but Barr’s life was spent taking care of her sick family members.
The second stop was Galion Historical Societies President, Andee Wildenthaler. He was happy to welcome everyone to the cemetery walk. The third stop was a veteran, Walter F. Williams, Jr., portrayed by Rick Elwell. Williams graduated from the GHS in 1940 and served in World War II with the US Army air Corps, 91st 325 bomb group. He took his training in Texas with the Iron Fortress then sailed on the Queen Mary spending four days on the ocean to Scotland and then to England where he was shot down January 11, 1945. The Germans captured him and he became a Prisoner of War for 16 months then was liberated with the 4,620 other Prisoners of War by General Patton. Williams returned to Galion to become an International Plished Magician with Ring 189, The Knights of Magic. His six books can be found in the Galion Public Library today.
The third stop was Walter Goshorn portrayed by Rich Henry. Goshorn also graduated from Galion high school in 1928 and then he went to Wooster College where he played football. He came home and took a job at the Galion Inquirer with his father who owned the business. He started as a reporter and in 1935 he became the editor and sports editor. In 1952 he became the General Manager of the Galion Inquirer until he died in 1978. The paper was his life and he loved it.
“I love Galion, I love history and I like to study all the people here. My ancestors have been here for many generations. They came here shortly after Galion was founded. My mom’s side my dad side, I’ve got a whole cemetery full of ancestors here and I’ll never run out of people to do,” Henry’s Goshorn said.
The fifth stop was Floyd Steffee, born in 1909 to 1983 and was portrayed by Sean Woerlein. Steffee had the Tuxedo feed store and was also service director for the City of Galion. He was an outdoorsman who loved to fish. Some grandchildren of Steffee were on the cemetery walk, their names where Rick, Tim and Debbie.
“A generation skipped is a generation lost,” Woerlein’s Steffee said.
It was an emotional moment for them as they watched the skit of their late grandfather. The sixth stop was Elizabeth “Betty” Bloomer Cox born in 1904 and died in 1991. She was portrayed by Cathy Moneysmith. Bloomer was the daughter of Will Bloomer and Grace Lundy Bloomer.
Bloomer went to Kent State and in 1925 married attorney Albert Cox. After teaching for three years at Galion Public Schools, she spent a lot of time working in her husband’s office. Later on down the road, they had a set of twins, but her husband Albert died when they four years old.
The seventh stop was Dr. Bernard P. Mansfield born in 1892 and died in 1976. He was one of four doctors in the family. Mansfield came to Galion in 1904 and graduated from the high school in 1912. Mansfield then went to the Chicago College of Osteopathy in 1918, entered the army in World War I as an infantry soldier and then joined the Galion Police Department in 1958 serving in the disaster unit. Later on in his life he became the Crawford County Coroner and passed away approximately one month after he retired. “Doc” Mansfield was proud to serve his community of Galion, Ohio as well as his Country.
Finally, the Union Green Cemetery with Shane Shipley, Manager of operations for Fairview Cemetery, gave a presentation on the cemetery. In 1882, the cemetery applied for their license and in January 16, 1883, the first burial at Fairview Cemetery took place. The cost of an open and closed grave is now $800 where as a long time ago it was $4 for an unlined grave and $6 for a brick lined grave. There are 76 acres with 42 developed now. Some of the gravestones are printed in German because Galion was a German settlement. Shipley said it is a non-profit organization and will accept donations to keep the grounds and sites up.
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