By LENNY C. LEPOLA News Assistant Managing Editor
January 8, 2014
If the name Hanby rings a bell it should. The Hanby House State Memorial, managed by the Westerville Historical Society, is a stone’s throw away in Westerville.
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 to 1870. It’s been moved twice, most recently during the 1930s, to its present site that is just one block west of the original location.
William Hanby, the 15th Bishop of the United Brethren in Christ Church, was an abolitionist and opened his home as a station on the Underground Railroad. He was also co-founder of Otterbein College (today’s Otterbein University) and worked in the early Temperance Movement against the use of alcohol.
The Hanby House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is designated as a United Methodist Heritage Landmark, and has been recognized by the National Park Service Network as a significant Underground Railroad site.
Son Benjamin Russell Hanby, a member of Otterbein’s second graduating class, was a preacher, teacher, abolitionist and noted composer.
On Tuesday, January 14, members of the Big Walnut Area Historical Society will watch a DVD about the Hanby Family at 7:30 p.m. in the Myers Inn Museum Meeting Room.
The video, From Servitude to Service, is the story of the Hanby Family of Westerville from the Underground Railroad to song writing to Otterbein College.
The Westerville Historical Society made the DVD movie with members of the former Rosecrans Headquarters Unit rounding out the cast.
Pam Allen, Hanby House Site Manager, will introduce the film. Copies of the film will be available for purchase.
All meetings of the Big Walnut Area Historical Society are open to the public; and members of the public are welcome to attend the viewing of From Servitude to Service.
The Myers Inn Museum is operated by the Big Walnut Area Historical Society and is open from 12 noon to 3 p.m. every Thursday, Friday and Sunday; and from and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.
Visit the Big Walnut Area Historical Society website < BigWalnutHistory.org > to learn more about the society and the Myers Inn Museum.
Check the BWAHS website in case severe weather leads to the program’s cancellation. In case of bad weather and cancellation of the program, a notice of cancellation will be on the website by 6 p.m. on January 14.
For additional information about Hanby House go to < hanbyhouse.org >; for additional information about the Westerville Historical Society go to < westervillehistory.org >.