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Hughes House

Hughes House or the Phillip Hughes House in Liberty Twp., east of the junction of Ohio 4 and Ohio 747, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. The web site of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office (OHPO) of the Ohio Historical Society says "this building with its bellcast gable roof, clapboard siding, and tiered porches, all elements of eastern colonial construction and derived from the Dutch Colonial style, is architecturally unique in this area. This building is a major local landmark in Butler County, being associated with prominent families from the Butler County area and also the site of early tavern trade." OHPO says "sources indicate that prior to 1809, a tavern known as the Cummins' Stand was operated on this site by a man named Andrew Christy. In 1809, Major Pierson Sayre purchased the tavern which then became known as the Crossed Keys Tavern. Sayre was born in Providence, N. J., in 1761 and was a soldier in the Continental Army under Gen. Lord Sterling. After his discharge he settled in New York City where he learned the trade of carpenter and joiner, and married Miss Catherine Lewis of New York. They came to Butler County in 1809 when they purchased the tavern [at what become Ohio 4 and Ohio 747]. It is possible that as a master carpenter, Sayre was responsible for the present Dutch Colonial style of the building. The best known examples of this style are in New Jersey and New York and so he would have been familiar with it. However, there is no documentation to support this supposition. Sayre later sold the property to Miley and the property continued to change hands until it was purchased by Phillip Hughes (born 1820). An engraving in the 1875 Atlas of Butler County shows the building at the time of Hughes' ownership and it appears much today as it did then. Hughes was a prominent citizen in Liberty Twp., holding the office of township clerk for two terms, trustee for several years and member of the school board in both Fairfield and Liberty townships. Initially he was a farmer and remained so until 1847 when he devoted himself to breeding livestock."

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