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Benninghofen House

Benninghofen House, 327 North Second St., Hamilton, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. In recent decades the Victorian house has been the home of the Butler County Historical Society. The house was built in 1861-62 for Noah C. McFarland, who later represented Butler and Warren counties in the Ohio Senate and was a commissioner of the General Land offices in Washington, D.C. McFarland sold the house to Alfred A. Phillips, who served in the Mexican War as a corporal in Company I, First Ohio Regiment, and in the Civil War as a major in the 93rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Phillips also was a deputy before election as Butler County sheriff and sheriff of Butler County. He also owned the Phillips House, a downtown hotel. The Ohio Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio Historical Society says "Phillips made some improvements to the home in 1870 which appear to have been internal. A German artist was active in this area at this time making plaster decorations on ceilings. This artisan may have been hired to decorate the ceilings of the front four rooms of the house."

"April 17, 1874 the home became the property of John W. Benninghofen, a Prussian immigrant to Hamilton, who was to become one of the leading manufacturers of southern Ohio. Along with Asa Shuler, he had formed a woolen goods firm in 1858" [Shuler & Benninghofen, see separate entry].

The home remained in the Benninghofen family until the 1940s. It was presented to the Butler County Historical Society in 1947 by Miss Pauline Benninghofen. The museum features fine architectural details and furnishings of this Italianate-style and collections of 19th century decorative arts, toys and dolls and objects representing Butler County history. Behind the museum/mansion is the Emma L. Ritchie Memorial Auditorium which includes a meeting room and historical displays. (See Shuler & Benninghofen and German Village Historic District.)

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