Ohio’s leaders in town for Buchy Bench dedication


By Ryan Berry


GREENVILLE — One of the most influential leaders in Ohio government – legend and icon and self-described bologna peddler. That is how Greenville native Jim Buchy has been described. On Friday, Oct. 6, Buchy and his family were honored when Darke County Center for the Arts (DCCA) and Darke County Parks unveiled the Buchy Bench. The statue is the most recent stop on the Darke County Art Trail.

Because of Buchy’s influence in Ohio politics, special guests included some of the biggest names in Ohio’s government, including Governor Mike DeWine and wife Fran, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Ohio Auditor Keith Faber, Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman and numerous past and present legislators from across the state.

Upon the unveiling, Buchy thanked those in attendance, but concentrated on his family and his beliefs in his remarks. He gave his parents, George and Amba Buchy, credit for laying the foundation for him and his brothers. “We were blessed to be reared by parents who taught us love of family, love of God, love of country. The first thing we learned was God. There are six generations of Buchys who have been baptized in St. Paul Lutheran Church. We have a tremendous faith in our entire family.”

Buchy explained that faith in God, family, honesty and freedom guided his life. “If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you say you’re not going to do something, don’t do it. Sometimes you suffer the consequences. Stay true to your word,” he said.

The Buchy Bench statue looks over the 14-acres where the Buchy Packing Company once stood. The company was started by Buchy’s great grandfather and continued through several generations. He pointed to some of the people that helped his company and said they were examples of what makes a community successful. W.D. Brumbaugh was the attorney who helped incorporate the Buchy Packing Company. According to Buchy, Brumbaugh is the biggest benefactor of the Garst Museum. Fred Coppock was his son-in-law. He called Coppock his hero. Coppock’s family continues to give to the community several generations later. “That’s the kind of example people here set. You work hard, you become successful, and you give back so that we get to make it better,” he said.

“I was privileged for 24 years to work for you,” said Buchy. “I knew that every two years you could say, okay, Buchy you’re hired or Buchy you’re fired. I never forgot that.” He pointed to the 20 schools in the 84th House District that he served and noted that of the 20 schools, 13 are in the top 71 academically. “Faith in family, faith in God, freedom. That’s what we are in West Central Ohio, Darke County and that’s why I was so privileged to work hard on your behalf.”

Today, Buchy is continuing work on his “real passion.” He said, “What can we do to export Darke County and the rest of western Ohio to the rest of the world. The best way to do it, because of the agriculture background we have, is to concentrate on helping the folks in the city who have not been exposed to agriculture not only learn about it but to help use agriculture through education, 4-H, FFA, church. Put the families back together, become productive and all of a sudden you’ve got more patrons of the arts, more people using the parks and you’ve got more people being successful.” He recognized a group from Cincinnati that was there that he is working with to put agriculture in and out of the schools.

He ended his remarks by pointing to the statue and said, “This is the pinnacle of my entire career.”

Governor Mike DeWine believes the memorial is fitting for Buchy. “Jim Buchy is a great friend. Jim Buchy is everybody’s friend.” He said if Buchy went back to the legislature today, he would once again be the most popular person there. “Jim embodies the values of western Ohio. Someone that you can turn to get something done.” The governor said he called on Buchy during COVID to come up with a plan to have a version of fairs across Ohio.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted said, “Jim Buchy is very deserving of this recognition. He has been a tireless advocate for Darke County, West Central Ohio. He has been a champion of small business, a champion of agriculture, a champion of families in the interest of people in this community. I think it’s really important to recognize people who are selfless and who advocate for the values of your community and support the next generation.”

Locally, Greenville Mayor Steve Willman and Commissioner Larry Holmes presented proclamations honoring Buchy.

DCCA worked with the Darke County Parks to make the installation possible. Roger Van Frank, executive director of the Darke County Parks, said, “I have to tell you, 40 years ago I met this young man down at Hueston Woods State Park. We’ve become great friends. He’s helped me more in my career than I could ever tell you. Great advice and a perfect human being. We can all take a lesson from that.”

DCCA Executive Director Andrea Jordan said her organization was proud to recognize Buchy and his family with the latest sculpture installation of the Darke County Art Trail. “The Buchy Bench is an art installation and sculpture meant to inspire hope while standing in quiet reflection while remembering the past, recognizing the goodness and beauty that is all around us and striving to work together for a brighter future.”

The Buchy Bench joins other stops on the trail, including St. Clair Memorial Hall, Greenville Public Library, Maid Rite gum wall, Tecumseh statue at Shawnee Prairie, Little Turtle statue in Greenville City Park, murals in Union City, barn mural on US Route 127 near Ansonia, statues in Versailles, and two additional murals will be added in the next couple of months in downtown Greenville including the Greetings mural at the corner of Washington Avenue and South Broadway and an Annie Oakley mural on Sure Shot Tap House.

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

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