John Mercer Langston House

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John Mercer Langston House
John Mercer Langston House.jpg
Front of the Langston House, 1968 HABS photo
John Mercer Langston House is located in Ohio
John Mercer Langston House
John Mercer Langston House is located in the United States
John Mercer Langston House
Location207 E. College St., Oberlin, Ohio
Coordinates41°17′28″N 82°12′36″W / 41.29111°N 82.21000°W / 41.29111; -82.21000Coordinates: 41°17′28″N 82°12′36″W / 41.29111°N 82.21000°W / 41.29111; -82.21000
Arealess than one acre
Built1855 (1855)
Architectural styleLate Gothic Revival
NRHP reference #75001464
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMay 15, 1975[1]
Designated NHLMay 15, 1975[2]

The John Mercer Langston House is a historic house at 207 East College Avenue in Oberlin, Ohio. Built in 1855, it was home to John Mercer Langston (1829-1897), attorney, abolitionist, diplomat, US Congressman and college president, who was one of the first African Americans elected to public office in the United States. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975.[1]

Description and history[edit]

The John Mercer Langston House is located on Oberlin's east side, on the south side of East College Avenue opposite the Eastwood School. It is a two-story frame structure, with a side gable roof and clapboarded exterior. The house is not particularly architecturally distinguished, although historic photos show it having a Gothic Revival porch, and its current entrance surround includes some Gothic elements. The current porch is a 20th-century alteration, with a hip roof and metalwork supports.[3]

The house was built in 1855, and was from 1856 until 1867 the home of John Mercer Langston. The son of a slave woman and her white owner, Langston was raised in Ohio, attending Oberlin College and then reading law because no law school then accepted African Americans. In 1855, Langston won election to the position of town clerk in Brownhelm Township, the first known electoral victory of its kind by an African American in the United States. He later served as a recruiter of African Americans for military service in the American Civil War, and helped found the Howard University Law School, where he was its first dean.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ "John Mercer Langston House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2008-01-19. Retrieved 2008-06-16.
  3. ^ a b "National Historic Landmark nomination for John Mercer Langston House". National Park Service. Retrieved 2018-03-04.

External links[edit]