Welcome to the official site for the Hanby House State Memorial. Located in Westerville Ohio, Hanby House is the former home of William and Ann (Miller) Hanby. Built in 1846 at the corner of Main and Grove Streets, the Hanby family occupied the house from 1853-1870. It has been moved twice, most recently during the 1930s, to its present site which is just one block west of the original location.
William Hanby was the 15th Bishop of the United Brethren in Christ Church. He served as editor of the church newspaper, The Religious Telescope. He was an abolitionist and opened his home as a station on the Underground Railroad. Bishop Hanby was co-founder of Otterbein University. He also worked in the early Temperance Movement against the use of alcohol.
Bishop and Ann's oldest child, Benjamin Russel Hanby, was in the second graduating class of Otterbein University in 1858. He was a United Brethren preacher, a teacher, an abolitionist and a composer. During his short life, he composed over 80 songs including Darling Nelly Gray, Up on the Housetop, and Who is He in Yonder Stall? The latter is included in the current United Methodist Hymnal.
The house is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also designated as a United Methodist Heritage Landmark. In 2011, the National Park Service Network to Freedom recognized Hanby House as a significant Underground Railroad site.
The home contains furniture and personal items from the family. There are two chairs made by Bishop Hanby and a walnut desk made by Benjamin Hanby. The original plates for Benjamin's favorite version of Darling Nelly Gray and a large collection of sheet music and books are at the site. The house is managed by the Westerville Historical Society under agreement with the Ohio Historical Society.
Looking for Volunteer Guides
Do you have a few extra hours a month or can you volunteer for special occasions? Contact site manager Pam Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 614 891-6289. Training is provided. No special talents or experience needed other than enjoying history and sharing it with others.
Friends of Freedom
The United Methodist Church as a Heritage Landmark
National Park Service as a Network to Freedom Site
National Register of Historic Places