327 N. Second Street - Hamilton OH 45011 - 513-896-9930

The Benninghofen House

The Benninghofen House

The structure today known as the Benninghofen House is named for the family that lived in it for nearly three quarters of a century. Interestingly, they were not the first family to live within its Italianate walls.

The house was origionally constructed for Noah McFarland during the first half of the Civil War (1861-63). Some time later, the home was sold to Major John Phillips who defaulted on his tax payments. In 1874, John Benninghofen, a Prussian immigrant, bought the house for $13,000.

John Benninghofen was a prominent Hamilton industrialist. He and fellow opportunist Asa Shuler operated the Shuler & Benninghofen Woolen Mills. The factory produced blankets and woolen felt used in the local papermaking market, and by the late 1800s, wider distribution allowed them to supply 80% of the felts use in Western paper mills.

Most architectural elements of the Benninghofen House are intact. This is because the home was continuously lived in before becoming a museum in 1949. The house and all the funishings represent the lifestyle of a family of means during the Gilded Age. Furniture dates from the mid 19th into the 20th century. Several pieces belonged to the Benninghofens.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the house was presented to the Butler County Historical Society in 1947 by Pauline Benninghofen (daughter of John Benninghofen). Through generous contributions to the 50th Anniversary Fund, extensive interior refurbishing and other Projects have been completed.

Are you interested in visiting the Benninghofen House? Please call us at (513) 896-9930 for additional information.

Latest Blog Posts

Historical Society Sets New Hours for Public Visits

The Board of Directors of the Butler County Historical Society has established new hours of operation for 2017 for its Benninghofen House Museum, Randall Research Center and Emma Ritchie Auditorium for 2017. The society’s facilities are located at 327 North Second Street, Hamilton, and will be open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00…

Historical Society Opens New Broom Making Exhibit

The Butler County Historical Society has opened a new exhibition showcasing how local workers manufactured brooms, one of the early items made in the county as early as the 1830s. Using natural stiff grasses such as broomcorn made from the sorghum plant, local artisans fashioned brooms in many locations throughout Butler County during the 1800s…

Explore “the other side” of the Benninghofen House, Oct. 22

Ever wonder if the Benninghofen House is haunted? Now’s your chance to find out! On Saturday, October 22, we will be running two special tours for beginning or advanced ghost hunters at the Butler County Historical Society. The tour will start with an introduction to the “spirits” that are said to inhabit the BCHS complex,…

Ice Cream Social Considered a Success

More than 160 people visited the historical society’s old-fashioned ice cream social held in the Emma Ritchie Auditorium on Saturday, September 10. Many of them said they were first-time visitors and dozens of people toured the Benninghofen House Museum and many others saw the Native American Indian Exhibit which opened last June during the Ohio…