Hanby House

Tour the family home of composer Benjamin Hanby (1833–1867), who wrote "Up on the Housetop" and "Darling Nelly Gray"

Hanby House

160 West Main Street, Westerville, OH, USA

June- September
Saturdays, 1 - 4 p.m.

For special programs check the website www.westervillehistory.org To schedule a tour outside the above hours contact [email protected] or call 614-891-6289
All - Donations are appreciated


The home where the Hanby family lived from 1853–1870, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, contains furniture and personal items from the Hanby family, including a walnut desk made by Benjamin Hanby, original plates for the first edition of Benjamin Hanby’s song Darling Nelly Gray and a large collection of sheet music and books. Average visit time: Allow 1+ hours


Benjamin Hanby was a man of many titles, including minister, abolitionist, student and teacher, but we know him primarily as a musician and composer. Hanby was born in 1833 near Rushville, Ohio. In 1847, his father, William Hanby, helped establish Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, which eventually led the family to relocate to Westerville.

Benjamin Hanby composed over 80 songs in his lifetime. Among his most popular and best-known are Up on the Housetop, Darling Nelly Gray and Who is He in Yonder Stall. He died of tuberculosis in 1867 at the age of 33 and is buried in Otterbein Cemetery in Westerville.

The Hanby House is managed locally by the Westerville Historical Society. To schedule an appointment to tour the site outside of normal operating hours, please email [email protected] or call 614.891.6289.

  • Audiences: K-5th Grade Students, 6-8th Grade Students, 9-12th Grade Students, Higher Education Students, Educators, Families, Government, Specialists, Tourists, Community Groups, History Enthusiasts & Sports Fans
  • Historical Topics: African American History, The Arts & Daily Life
  • Regions: Central Ohio
  • Site Activities: Self-Guided & Guided Tours
  • Museum & Site Type: Ohio History Connection Site

Upcoming Events at Hanby House