Hanby House

PO Box 1063
126 South State Street
Westerville, OH 43086-7063

614-891-6289   |  hanbyhouse.org
Saturday - Sunday, 1-4 p.m.

In 1853, the Hanby family settled into life in Westerville in this house. Bishop William Hanby opened a harness-making business in a barn behind the home where he hid runaway slaves guarded by the family dog Towser.

In 1853, the Hanby family settled into life in Westerville in this house. Bishop William Hanby opened a harness-making business in a barn behind the home where he hid runaway slaves guarded by the family dog Towser.

Bishop Hanby lost the house due to financial reversals. It was moved to Home Street where it became home to other families. In the 1930s, the house was in danger of being torn down; Dacia Custer Shoemaker, a classmate of some of the Hanbys, purchased it and oversaw its move by WPA laborers to the West Main Street site. A fundraising campaign was initiated to repair and restore the home with donations from school children in Kentucky and to lobby Ohio legislators to preserve the legacy of the Hanby family. Today the home is owned by the Ohio History Connection and managed by the Westerville Historical Society.

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Notes for Travelers

Furnished in the style of the 1850s, the Hanby House is one of the few Underground Railroad stops in Central Ohio that are open to the public. Visitors can view a film about the Hanbys and their role in the Underground railroad before touring the house with knowledgeable guides who describe life in the mid-nineteenth century and share the story of the Hanby family's dedication to the abolition of slavery.