Buchy chosen to be next statue on Art Trail


By Ryan Berry


GREENVILLE — Darke County Center for the Arts (DCCA) and the Darke County Parks (DCP) are teaming up again for another attraction of the Darke County Art Trail. Last summer, the organizations unveiled the Tecumseh Statue at Shawnee Prairie. This year, they plan to honor a living legend with a statue in an area held by his family since the late 1800s. A statue will be erected of Jim Buchy along the Buchy Mile of the Darke County Parks’ Tecumseh Trail and across from Garst Museum. The monument will feature Buchy looking out over the property he and his family had owned through several generations.

Buchy is an icon in West Central Ohio and especially in his hometown, Greenville. When asked if he would be willing to allow the statue, he said he took the request to his family. “When my kids said do it, do it now before they decide not to do it,” he said. The comment was similar to what he believes his late wife, Sharon, would have said, “But, did they make a mistake.” Even though she stood with him throughout his career in several different areas, he said she had a way of making sure he didn’t “get a fat head.”

Roger Van Frank, director of the DCP, said, “I can’t think of a more deserving person to receive such an honor than Mr. Buchy. I have known Jim for almost 40 years, and he is the most dedicated of public servants. I am anxious to see this project come to fruition. Congratulations Jim!”

Andrea Jordan, executive director of DCCA, echoed the praise, “As patrons and supporters of DCCA Jim & Sharon Buchy shared their commitment to the importance of the arts in our community, which continued through Jim’s work in the Ohio House of Representatives.”

Buchy served 24 years in the Ohio House of Representatives, but he got his start in serving the community closer to home. In the early 1980s, he was appointed to the Greenville City Schools Board of Education. He later was one of the top two vote-getters to earn a term on the board. The work he did to help balance the district’s budget was noticed by Bob Netzley, a long-time state representative who had served Darke County prior to the early 1980s. When re-districting occurred, Netzley encouraged Buchy to run. He did and beat out two others in the primary and then won the general election to serve his first of 12 terms.

Even though it has been a few years since Buchy was fighting for West Central Ohio residents on the house floor, he continues to fight in other ways. It’s the people that live in the stretch from Van Wert County to Butler County that mean the most to Buchy. “In my opinion, there’s no better place to live in the world than West Central Ohio. We’re agricultural based, we’re family based and we still have a high percentage of people that go to church. We believe in God and we have the best schools. We have the best place to live.”

Buchy is currently working to bring programs like FFA and 4-H to inner cities because he wants them to be able to experience the same things that are available in West Central Ohio. He is also working with LifeWise Academy to expand its reach. “LifeWise Academy is going to be in Cincinnati Schools next year,” he said. “West Central Ohio runs on three things, faith, family and freedom. If we can do it, why can’t we do it in other places?” he asked. “That’s how we are going to turn the culture around in the cities where it is needed the most.”

Jordan shared, “The Buchy Bench is an art installation and sculpture meant to inspire hope while standing in quite reflection of remembering the past, recognizing the goodness and beauty around us, and striving to work together towards a brighter future.”

Buchy pointed out the 14-acre property where the Buchy Packing House once stood was donated to the Darke County Parks and Darke County Historical Society (Garst Museum).

Who will be creating the statue honoring Jim Buchy? We’ll take a look at Joshua Shepherd next week.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

No posts to display