GALION — The oldest business in Galion marked a huge milestone Thursday.
Longstreth Memorials celebrated its 150th year in the monument business during an open house at its facility on Ohio 598. The company was founded Jan. 6, 1868 by T.W. Longstreth, after he returned from battle in the Civil War.
T.W. came back from the war and apprenticed at Webber Monuments in Mount Gilead prior to founding his own business located on Harding Way West.
“He chose that location based upon the close proximity to the graveyard, that was located on North Union St, the lot of the former Galion High School,” Sean Longstreth noted.
Family has always been and continues to be at the forefront of the Longstreth business model. After 150 years, it is obvious that family has not failed them yet.
The next family member to run the business was Homer Longstreth, son of T.W., who came into the business upon the death of his father to help his mother during that difficult time.
Homer and his father never operated the business together.
That was not the case for Homer’s son Merle, who worked with his father and learned the family business.
It was during these early years of Longstreth Memorials that the family members lived above the shop. Merle Longstreth, grandfather to Sean who now runs the business, and his wife were the first to move out of that space and turn it into apartments for rent.
Longtime Galion residents might recognize the name of Merle Longstreth. He served as mayor for the City of Galion in the 1970s.
It was Sean’s father Phil who purchased Mansfield Monuments, and that was to be the first expansion for the family business, which was followed soon after by the acquisition of Bucyrus Monumental Works.
The acquisitions and expansions have continued steadily in the years since.
After many years working with both his father an grandfather, Sean Longstreth took the helm of the company in 199, with his wife Terri alongside him as office manager and retail sales manager.
Currently, their son Adam works at their satellite location in Mansfield.
Last summer, Sean and Terri took a big leap and moved the business to its current location on Portland Way North, in the city’s industrial park.
“We had been looking for a few years, but just hadn’t found a place that fit our need. When this building became available, it was just an ideal fit for us,” Sean Longstreth said.
The new building has provided much needed office space, showroom area, as well as work and storage space for all of their employees.
“We are blessed with an incredible crew of tenured employees who genuinely care for our customers and understand what they are going through,” Longstreth stated.
The company currently employs 22 individuals, which is almost double the staff they carried in just 2012.
At Thursdays open house, guests were invited to tour the new facility and watch demonstrations of the monument building process. Those in attendance were also treated to food from Carle’s in Bucyrus as well as door prizes from local Galion businesses like H&K Watkins and The Candi Bar.