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Hanby HouseTour the family home of composer Benjamin Hanby (1833–1867), who wrote "Up on the Housetop" and "Darling Nellie Gray"
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    Contact Information
  • Admission
    • Adult: $3.00
    • Children (5-17): $1.00
    • Seniors: $2.50
    • AAA Members: $2.50
    • OHC Member: Free
    • Children under 5: Free
    • Tour group minimum: $10/adult


    May–September (Sat & Sun) : 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Group and private tours available by appointment

  • Historical Topics
    • The Arts
    • American Indian History
    • Central Ohio
    • All Audiences


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.

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