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

A tour of Hanby House can be scheduled by appointment. Please give us a week’s notice before your desired tour date so that we can schedule a guide. We can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 614-891-6289.

The house will be closed for the winter from December 20, 2023 through March 15, 2024.
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, please email [email protected]

  • 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