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.