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Medina businessman had an unforgettable face

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 December 2013 at 12:00 am


MEDINA – Georgia Thomas remembers meeting William J. Gallagher when she was a little girl. Gallagher was known as a local eccentric, a businessman who liked to portray a clown.

Thomas is an active volunteer with the Medina Historical Society, which runs a museum in an 1841 house at 406 West Ave. I stopped by yesterday as part of Medina’s Old Tyme Christmas celebration.

The museum has a large framed portrait of Gallagher, hamming it up for the camera as a clown. Gallagher appears to be missing his front teeth in the photo and his hair is wild. He has a wide grin and expressive eyes. Thomas said the photo was likely taken in the 1930s.

Gallagher’s name lives on in Medina today. A hill near his former farm on Route 63, just a little south of Boxwood Cemetery, is still known as Gallagher’s Hill. The barn also bears his name: WM J. GALLAGHER.

There is a lot of good stuff in the museum, and I will have upcoming features on some other pieces of their collection. I wish more museums had pictures of people. I tend to like people stories. I would encourage everyone, as gift to your family, to get your photograph taken showing your true personality.