Museum News

McGuffey House in 1960

McGuffey House on a snowy day

Photo by Arthur F. Conrad. Courtesy of Calvin Conrad.

Images of the McGuffeys

Daguerreotype of William Holmes McGuffey with photographer's folder

Learn how the McGuffey House and Museum is taking steps to preserve rare daguerreotypes of the McGuffey family. Images of the McGuffeys

Fall 2019 in Review

Jens Bartel and McGuffey supporters pose at the Annual Holiday Program

We enjoyed music and fellowship, welcomed enthusiastic visitors, and learned about fascinating local history from distinguished guest speakers. Fall 2019 Highlights

Hubei University Delegation Visits

Delegation from Hubei University poses in front of McGuffey Museum

Faculty & staff from Hubei University in Wuhan, China recently visited Miami. Their itinerary included a tour of the museum.

McGuffey Descendants Visit the Family Homestead

Ben Ross and Kathy Queitzsch visit the McGuffey house

Kathy Queitzsch and Ben Ross, descendants of William Holmes and Harriet McGuffey, enjoyed a lengthy visit to the museum. Each year McGuffey House and Museum welcomes several descendants of the McGuffey and Hepburn families.

Love and Honor

Lindsey Family

Steve Lindsey, MU '69, his daughter Shana and her children after a tour of the museum. Steve is a fifth generation Miamian and former Oxford resident.

Collection Curiosities

Boot Jack

Boot Jack

Note: A fascinating aspect of everyday household objects is how they frequently incorporated contemporary fashion with function. This column shares one of McGuffey House and Museum’s many collection curiosities.

It is winter 1833. Oxford’s weather is rainy and raw. Professor McGuffey enters through the front door of his new house on Spring Street after a long day teaching and preparing class lectures in Old Main. Careful not to track in mud from the unpaved walks and street, not to mention the ire of Harriet McGuffey, William Holmes McGuffey pauses over a simple yet invaluable household object. It is a bug-like artifact by the fire place known simply as a boot jack. Produced by numerous local foundries during the 19th century, boot jacks were used to easily remove boots hands free. Read more about the boot jack »

From our collections

Unidentified Portraits

Portrait of a womanPortrait of a man

? John Insco Williams (1813-1873)

These portraits depict two unknown individuals, believed to have been residents of Richmond, Indiana, during the early 1830s. The female subject, seated in a Queen Anne chair, is distinguished by her Apollo hairstyle, diamond earrings and black dress. The male subject, presumably her husband but possibly a brother, wears a black wool coat, cravat and tie pin. Both subjects may have been painted by John Insco Williams (1813-1873) an itinerant painter in eastern Indiana from 1832-1835.

Information on the unidentified couple is welcome! Contact Steve Gordon

Bishop Sideboard

Bishop Sideboard

Mahogany, 1790–1815

This sideboard belonged to the first president of Miami University, Robert Hamilton Bishop. Brought to Oxford by the Bishops in 1824, it stood in the entry hall of the Bishop home until the 1930s.

In 1991, Dr. Jonathan S. Bishop donated the sideboard to Miami University and the McGuffey Museum.

Octagonal table

McGuffey's octagonal table, possibly where he wrote the first 4 Readers

It is thought that McGuffey wrote the first four books in the series in this house, very possibly on this table.

1840s pie safe

Pie Safe Cupboard

Poplar with pierced tin panels, 1840–1850

Cupboards of this type were used for food storage. The pierced tin panels allowed air circulation without letting rodents and large insects foul the foodstuffs.