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Westerville

Trip Planner USA  /  Ohio  /  Westerville
(4.8/5 based on 280+ reviews for 4 attractions)
Things to do: parks, fun & games, wineries
Westerville is a city in Franklin and Delaware counties in the U.S. state of Ohio. It is a northeastern suburb of Columbus. The population was 36,120 at the 2010 census.Westerville was once known as "The Dry Capital of the World" for its strict laws prohibiting sales of alcohol.HistoryEarly historyThe land that is today Westerville was first settled around 1810. In 1818, Matthew, Peter, and William Westervelt, settlers of Dutch extraction, migrated to the area from New York. Matthew Westervelt donated land for the construction of a Methodist church in 1836, and the settlement was subsequently named in the family’s honor. In 1839, the Blendon Young Men’s Seminary was chartered in Westerville; Matthew Westervelt was one of its first trustees. The Church of the United Brethren in Christ bought the seminary in 1846, and the next year the seminary was reformed, and renamed Otterbein College after the church’s founder Philip William Otterbein. It continues today in Westerville as the private Otterbein University.Westerville was platted by 1856, and officially incorporated in August 1858. The town’s population in that year was 275.Throughout the Antebellum era, several homes in Westerville were stations on the Underground Railroad. Among these is the Hanby House, located one block from the college. Benjamin Russell Hanby had moved to Westerville in 1849, at the age of sixteen, to enroll at Otterbein University. Hanby went on to write many familiar hymns and songs, among them "Darling Nelly Gray" (inspired by his sympathy for Southern slaves), "Who is He in Yonder Stall?", and the Christmas favorite "Up On The Housetop". His home in Westerville, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was dedicated as a museum in 1937 and is now owned by the Ohio Historical Society and managed locally by the Westerville Historical Society. It is the only state memorial to a composer in the state of Ohio.
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