Like many other towns in Ohio, Galion started as a small pioneer settlement in Wyandot Indian territory. The Leveredge family was the first family to settle in what is now Galion. They were also joined by the Hosfords, Ruhl, and Riblet families, among others, in being the first to settle the area. The settlement started with just some log cabins, a stagecoach, and a tavern. Soon the settlement expanded to include a blacksmith shop, a tannery, a livery, and general stores. The name Galion was chosen in 1826 and the town was officially platted in 1831. The flux of immigrants moving west from the East Coast populated our tiny town and we continued to grow.
The addition of the railroad to Galion in 1851 greatly attributed to the growth of Galion over the next century. Not only did the railroad bring great employment opportunities to our community but it connected Galion to the supply chain necessary for our businesses and industries to thrive. By the early 1900s, Galion was home to the largest hub, spoke, and wheel factory in the state. We also manufactured toys, brooms, furniture, buggies, hearses, tile, bricks, steel vaults, and more; our community boasted over 200 retail businesses and we printed two daily newspapers!
Despite our rural location, Galion remained an industrial ‘boom town’ through the mid- to late-1900s. We became known for our ‘Galion’ brand road machinery made by the Galion Iron Works, dump trucks manufactured at Peabody Manufacturing & Perfection Steel Body Co., and switch boards and telephones manufactured by the North Electric Company. Our thriving economy led to a strong Galion City school system, civic and fraternal organizations, and a strong sense of community pride that birthed longstanding traditions and festivals such as the Pickle Run and Oktoberfest.