Wellington H. Gallagher

Jeff Wyeth

Wellington "Wink" H. Gallagher (8/15/1902 7/13/1971) was born in Belmont County, Boston, Ohio. He was the younger brother of James (Jimmy) Walter Gallagher, who preached 72 years for the Lord's Church, and the son of John and Mary "Minnie" (Mossburg) Gallagher. Wellington and Jimmy had ten brothers and sisters and a half brother, Hila Carpenter, who still lives in Barnesville, Ohio, at the age of 92.

Hila, being the only one left of the family, says "... Wink grew up as a Catholic, coming from a poor family, and since his mother did not have the ability to pay tithes they had to leave the Catholic church." Wellington's father died in 1906, and his mother married Clem Carpenter. Hila was born in 1913. The family then began attending the Boston Church of Christ. Hila said, "Wellington told my wife and me, after our marriage ceremony that he performed, that we should never go out separate, never have nights out alone. He called it a Halloween and said when this occurs so can marriage problems."

Wellington began preaching at Fairview, Ohio, at the Church of Christ in about1925 and preached for about 45 years. On September 4, 1929, he married Sylvia Opal Keylor (9/27/1904 4/21/1979), the daughter of Joseph Oscar and Nellie Mae (Hannahs) Keylor at the Marietta Church of Christ, known as Sixth and Washington Street Church of Christ. Evangelist Oliver Johnson married them.

Wellington and Sylvia had two children during their 42 years of marriage: Twila Mae (Gallagher) Wilson (9/4/1933 1/20/1994), who died in Zanesville, Ohio, and Paul Orban Gallagher (4/1/1937), who was born in Hundred, West Virginia.

Wellington preached in Hundred, West Virginia, in the 1930's and in 1942-1946 he preached at Sistersville, West Virginia. Then he preached at Isleta and Newcomerstown, Ohio, from 1946-1951. The family spent one year in West Pittston, Pennsylvania (1951-52), and returned the following year for a brief stay in Wooster, Ohio, (summer of 1952). From there they went to West Lafayette, Ohio (1952-53), and on to New Lexington, Ohio from 1953-54. His next move was to Danville, West Virginia (1954-56) and then finally from 1956-1960 to Zanesville, Ohio (information from Ray and Rosa Lee Coss), at the Woodlawn Church of Christ, where he preached in that area for about 6 more years after retiring from full-time preaching and bought a home, remaining here until his death following his second stroke. Evangelist Eugene Carroll officiated at his funeral service. Sylvia, his wife, died five years later of cancer, and both are buried at Friends Cemetery in Quaker City, Ohio.

Most of Wellington H. Gallagher's family lived around Barnesville, Ohio. His hobbies included coon hunting and listening to the Friday night fights on the radio sponsored by Gillette razors, and he loved singing. He appeared to be closer to his older brother Jimmy Gallagher who preached in and around Belmont County, Barnesville, Ohio, for many years. In fact, Irene Gallagher of Jerusalem, Ohio, said, "Wellington performed the wedding ceremony for Jimmy (whose wife Lucille had passed away in 1965) and Irene Straight on January 23, 1971, at his own residence in Zanesville." I spoke to Irene personally at Belmont County, Jerusalem, Ohio. I also received information from Wellington's son, Paul Gallagher of Ft. Myers, Florida, and granddaughter, Debbie (Gallagher) Bonilla of Coalinga, California. Brent Gallagher, a distant cousin to Jimmy and Wellington, preaches in Fairmont. 367 South Main St., Philippi, WV 26416.


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