William Hanby marker

The William Hanby marker details his exploits.

MOUNT VERNON -- The story of Westerville’s historic Bishop Hanby family and the Hanby House Museum will be presented at the Dec. 5 meeting of the Knox County Historical Society.

The Wednesday meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Society’s Museum, at 875 Harcourt Road in Mount Vernon.

The program will be presented by Pam Allen, longtime volunteer and now Site Manager of the Hanby House Historic Site, located at 160 W. Main St. in Westerville.

As a young man William Hanby had become active in Ohio’s underground railroad movement in Rushville during the 1830’s prior to his appointment as Bishop of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ in 1845. Soon after he became one of the co-founders of Otterbein College and in 1854 he moved his family to Westerville, where he continued his crusades in the temperance and underground railroad movements.

His oldest son, Benjamin, was a minister, teacher and musician, who is known for his compositions, “Up on the Housetop” and “Darling Nellie Gray.” Another family member, Bertha Hanby, married newspaperman, Franklin Harper, later editor of the Democratic Banner in Mount Vernon.

The program is free and open to the public, and all persons interested in local history are invited to attend. The Museum will then close for the winter months, and will reopen on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.

For more information, call 740-393-5247 or check the website at www.knoxhistory.org.

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