Recent Events


McGuffey House and Museum Program and Meeting

Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 3pm
Invitation requests to attend the meeting should be sent to Sherri Krazl at

McGuffey House and Museum’s program and monthly meeting will feature speaker Rick Costello, who will present: “So You Think You Know Miami’s Campus? Think Again: My 25 Years Documenting Places & Spaces.” Costello is an Engineering Designer in the Department of Planning, Architecture, and Engineering in the Physical Facilities Department of Miami University. He came to Miami University in October of 1996 after working for seven years in the environmental consulting field as a cartographer and field technician. Before that he was employed as a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Specialist in the pre- engineered metal building industry. Mr. Costello now has nearly 35 years of experience in the CAD, mapping and engineering fields.

The program is free and open to the public and will be offered in a virtual format. Following the program, a brief business meeting will be held. For information contact Steve Gordon at 377-3818 or Wendy Owens at 529-1887.

Panics, Pandemics, and Progressive Reform

Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 7pm 
For a Zoom invitation, email Michael Case at

McGuffey House and Museum, in collaboration with the Oxford Museum Association, is pleased to present “Panics, Pandemics, and Progressive Reform.” The program will be presented by Allan Winkler, Distinguished Professor of History, Emeritus, Miami University. In his remarks, Dr. Winkler will place the current economic crisis into perspective, deal briefly with the Spanish Flu, and then talk about 20th century reform, especially the New Deal. This program will be virtual.

Allan M. Winkler is University Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at Miami University. He has also taught at Yale University and the University of Oregon and, for one year each, at the University of Helsinki in Finland, the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands, and the University of Nairobi in Kenya. A prize-winning teacher, he is author of eleven books of his own, which include Home Front U.S.A.: America during World War IILife Under a Cloud: American Anxiety about the AtomFranklin D. Roosevelt and the Making of Modern America, and “To Everything There Is a Season”: Pete Seeger and the Power of Song, and co-author of the college textbook The American People: Creating a Nation and a Society and the high school textbook America: Pathways to the Present. In retirement, he enjoys playing folk music in retirement homes, and to audiences around Ohio and the United States.


Annual McGuffey House and Museum Field Trip

Vintage view of downtown DaytonTuesday, June 2 at 8:00am to 4:30pm
Oxford/Dayton, OH

All are welcome! We will carpool from Oxford to Dayton. Contact Sue Gambrell, Miami Art Museum, at 513-529-1887 or to RSVP or request a ride.

Itinerary: Dayton Historic Sites, with a stop for lunch

Robert Hamilton Bishop and William H. McGuffey: Adapting the Scottish Enlightenment to the American Frontier, 1803-1873

Robert BishopTuesday, April 7 at 2:00pmWilliam McGuffey
Art Museum
801 S. Patterson Ave., Oxford, OH 45056
CANCELLED; RESCHEDULED FOR Tuesday, October 5,2021 at 2pm

Lecture by Dr. Stephen Millett, (MU ’69)

Where is Junkin Hall?

Scott ParkinsonSaturday, May 2, at 3:00pm

Scott Parkinson, History Professor, Ball State University

Oxford Museum Association and McGuffey House and Museum

The Oxford Museum Association and McGuffey House and Museum meeting planned for March 18th at the Knolls of Oxford is being cancelled this year.

The Novel Coronavirus is creating quite a disruption to the Oxford Community. As a result of the classroom closures on Miami campus and students leaving, the live chorus entertainment portion of our program is not available. In addition, the Knolls of Oxford campus has restricted some visitors and the large group meeting such as ours is not available.

Lastly, considering the health and well-being of our members and guests we do not want to expose you to an increased risk.

Our priority is to protect you.

Robert Carmean, President
Oxford Museum Association

Myaamia Ribbonwork

Tuesday, February 4, 2020
3:00 p.m.
Miami University Art Museum

Exhibition tour by Jason Shaiman, Miami University Art Museum


McGuffey House and Museum's Annual Holiday Music Program

Vignette of McGuffey House on a snowy day

Tuesday, December 3, 2019
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Miami University Art Museum Auditorium

You are invited. Bring your best singing voice!

The featured guest will be Jens Bartel, a junior at Talawanda High School. Jens will be performing a variety of holiday favorite compositions and carols. Currently he runs Cross Country and Track and is involved in numerous clubs. He has taken piano lessons since third grade and since eighth grade has been a student at Jon Sanford’s Oxford Music Academy. Recently, Jens provided background music for Oxford Empty Bowls at the Oxford Community Arts Center.

Following Bartel’s program, light refreshments will be served. The program is free and open to the public. For information, contact Steve Gordon at 513-377-3818 or Sue Gambrell at 513-529-1887.


Singers with song sheets People sing carols near the piano as Jens Bartel plays
People sing carols near the piano as Jens Bartel plays Jens Bartel sits at the piano as the group poses together
Jens Bartel at the piano Singers stand near the piano as Jens Bartel plays

Women Artists of the McGuffey Era

Tuesday, November 5, 2019
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Miami University Art Museum Auditorium

Jason Shaiman
Curator of Exhibitions, Miami University Art Museum

In the age of William Homes McGuffey, few women artists gained the national recognition afforded to their male counterparts. The lack of notoriety was largely a product of the time and not an indication of a lack of gifted women artists. Some women found success abroad, while others found Boston and Cincinnati to be progressive cities that offered women opportunities to excel in the arts. Artists featured are Harriet Hosmer, Dixie Selden, Elizabeth Nourse, Mariah Longworth Nichols Storer, Mary Tanner Waldack, Emma Bepler, and Emma Stebbins, among others.

Jason Shaiman, Curator of Exhibitions at the Miami University Art Museum, has worked in the museum field for the past 19 years. He is a graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelors in Art History, and the University of South Carolina where he received a Masters in Art History and a degree in Museum Studies.

He spent the first ten years of his career working at USC’s McKissick Museum as both Curator of Temporary and Traveling Exhibitions, and Chief Curator of Exhibitions. In addition to curatorial work, he has taught undergraduate art history courses at the university level as well as exhibitions development in USC’s Museum Studies Program.

Since arriving at Miami University in August 2010, Jason has curated and organized more than 30 exhibitions. Topics of the exhibitions he curated, include observations of personal and collective identity in art, a 2-part survey of women in art, expressive arts therapies, and U.S. propaganda in WWI.

Between 2015 and 2017, Shaiman led a team of scholars in the development of Telling A People's Story: African-American Children's Illustrated Literature that was on display during the Spring 2018 semester. This first-of-its-kind exhibition featured original children’s book illustrations depicting African-American cultural and historical identity. He is busy promoting the traveling panel version of the exhibition, which is reaching public schools, public libraries and public universities and colleges across the country.

19th Century Parlor Music

Tuesday, October 1, 2019
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Miami University Art Museum Auditorium

David Palmer, Musician

Annual McGuffey Birthday and Blocker Fund Program

Meeting Agenda

October 1, 2019

McGuffey Museum Docents Meeting & Celebration of McGuffey's Birthday
Miami University Art Museum Auditorium
3:00-5:00 p.m.

Dr. Robert S. Wicks, Director
Miami University Art Museum

Introduction of Guest Speaker
Mary Jane Roberts

19th Century Parlor Music
David Palmer, Ph. D.

Emma Gould Blocker Fund Report and Opportunity to Donate
Stephen Gordon

Food and Fun
Celebration of McGuffey’s 219 th Birthday

McGuffey Museum Docents Business Meeting

Featured guest David Palmer will perform 19th Century Parlor Music at the McGuffey House and Museum’s October meeting. Palmer holds a bachelor’s degree in Theory and Composition from Ball State University, a master’s degree in Piano Pedagogy from West Chester University, and a Ph.D. in Music Theory from the Eastman School of Music. He taught music for 14 years at Pfeiffer University and Davidson College in North Carolina. He has worked as a church musician for decades, including three years in Bolivia where he met and married his wife, Sara Palmer, rector of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Oxford. David Palmer has taught piano in Nevada, Michigan, Bolivia, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, and Ohio.

Since moving to Ohio, he has worked as organist at Groesbeck United Methodist Church, played for middle school and high school choirs and musicals, and taught courses for Miami University's Institute for Learning in Retirement. He is active in the Oxford-Hamilton-Cincinnati music scene as a jazz and rock musician.

David also writes prose and poetry; has written several articles for The Living Church, Musicae Scientiae, and Progression; and has released fifteen CDs of his compositions.

Following Palmer’s performance, the public is invited to participate in the annual celebration of William Holmes McGuffey’s birthday.

The program is free and open to the public. For information, contact Steve Gordon at 513-377-3818 or Sue Gambrell at 513-529-1887.

McGuffey House and Museum’s State of the Museum Meeting

Tuesday, September 3, 2019
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Miami University Art Museum Auditorium

Special Guest Speaker: Andrew Offenburger, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of History, Miami University

Culture and Capital: American Expansion in the McGuffey Era

Light Refreshments Provided

RSVP: or 529-1887

Annual McGuffey Field Trip

Glendower Historic Mansion, Golden Lamb and Harmon Museum & Art Gallery, Lebanon, OH

Tuesday June 4, 2018
8:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Annual McGuffey Museum summer field trip to historic Lebanon, OH.

More details about the field trip »

Nineteenth Century Music

Annual Appreciation Day

David Palmer
Saturday, April 27 | 3:00 p.m.

Architecture as Significant Landmarks

Amazing Ohio: History of Heart of it All

Steve Gordon, Administrator, McGuffey House and Museum
Thursday, April 18 | 7:00 p.m.
Oxford Lane Library

Annual Meeting and Robert T. Howard Lecture

Presented by The Oxford Museum Association and The McGuffey House and Museum

Knolls of Oxford’s Commons Auditorium
Wednesday, March 13th at 6 :00 p.m.

Review of OMA & McGuffey House/Museum Activities

James McBride

Robert T. Howard Lecture at Approximately 7:30 p.m.

James McBride of Hamilton, Ohio: Entrepreneur, Steward of Miami University, and Historian and Archaeologist of the Miami Valley

Terry Barnhart

Presenter: Dr. Terry A. Barnhart
Professor Emeritus of History at Eastern Illinois University

Bring salad, casserole, or dessert along with table service
Main course and drinks and provided

All are welcome!

RSVP at 513-523-8005 or


Musical Favorites and Traditions

Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Christmas and Holiday Program

Walking Tour of World War I Veterans

October 6, 10:30 a.m.-noon, Oxford Cemetery

A Centennial Remembrance of the 1918 Armistice includes guided walking tours of selected WW I veteran burials and the Oxford Cemetery Vault. The Remembrance is sponsored by McGuffey House and Museum, Smith Library of Regional History and the Oxford Historic & Architectural Preservation Commission. The tour is free and open to the public.

Recent Archaeology at the McGuffey House

October 2

McGuffey House and Museum will hold its monthly docent meeting featuring Jeb Card, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Miami. Dr. Card and his students will discuss the findings of Phase 1 archaeological excavations and surveys conducted at the McGuffey House during Spring 2018. Artifacts will be displayed. The event is free and open to the public.

Annual William McGuffey Birthday Celebration

Ohio Open Doors 2018 Guided Tour: Uncommon Vernacular: The Architectural Evolution of the McGuffey House, 1833-1958

Saturday, September 15, 1:00-5:00 p.m., McGuffey House, 401 E. Spring Street, Oxford. Details

Ohio Open Doors 2018 Guided Tour: Lorenzo Langstroth House | The Nation's Beekeeper

Saturday, September 8, 1:00-3:00 p.m., 303 S. Patterson Avenue, Oxford. Details

On the Edge of Wisdom: Reflections on an Academic Life

Tuesday, September 4
3:00-5:00 p.m.
Miami University Art Museum Auditorium

Robert S. Wicks. Annual State of the Museum

Annual McGuffey Field Trip

Veraestau Mansion and Hillforest Museum, Madison, IN

Wednesday June 6, 2018
8:15 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Annual McGuffey Museum summer field trip to historic southeast Indiana.

Event Photos

Exterior of Lanier MansionDetail of ironwork at Lanier MansionTour group at Lanier MansionCarol Hennessy takes a break on the steps of Lanier Mansion

More details about the field trip »

Salute to Pioneers

May 20, 2:30-4:30 p.m., Indian Creek Pioneer Church & Burial Ground

Dr. Sue Jones, McGuffey docent, presented "The History of Quilts in America."

Miami Myths and Mysteries

April 28, 3 p.m., Miami University Art Museum

Donna Boen and Steve Gordon

McGuffey House and Museum’s 15th Annual Appreciation Day

Interesting Women of Oxford

April 3, 3 p.m., Miami University Art Museum

Sharon Bogan

Museums of Miami

March 6, 3 p.m., Miami University Art Museum

Learn about Miami and Oxford's amazing free museums


February 6, 3 p.m., Miami University Art Museum

Dr. Jim Shiveley, Condit Professor, Miami University


Annual Holiday Program

Music by McGuffey docents and Miami students. Share your favorite family holiday memories.

December 5, 3 p.m.-5 p.m., Miami University Art Museum

Welcome: Lois Cocanougher, Docent Chair
Program: Holiday Memories & Slide Show
Musical Entertainment:Members of Sigma Alpha Iota, Miami Music Club
Elaine McLean, McGuffey Docent
Docents Business Meeting

Warriors on the Field and in the Trenches

Robert Miller, Kent State University

November 14, 3 p.m., Miami University Art Museum

Dressing for the Occasion: American Clothing, 1860-1915

Diana Royer, Professor of English, Miami Hamilton

October 3, 3 p.m., Miami University Art Museum

Also: Happy 217th Birthday, Professor McGuffey!

McGuffey House and Museum Program and Ice Cream Social

Friday, September 15, 2017
McGuffey House and Museum’s Annual State of the Museum Meeting
Free and open to the public

Featured speaker Curtis Ellison discussed McGuffey Museum & the Sense of the Past in Miami’s ‘National University’ Era. At the conclusion of the program, ice cream, cookies and lemonade were served.

Curtis EllisonThis year marks Curtis W. Ellison’s 47th year at Miami University. He currently is director of programming for Miami University Regionals Development, chair of the Miami Regionals Appalachian Studies Committee, and Miami Emeritus Professor of History & American Studies. From 2001 to 2009 he directed the William Holmes McGuffey Museum. Earlier he served as Dean of Miami’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies (Western College Program) for 17 years, Interim Dean of Miami’s School of Education & Allied Professions for three years, and for a year was Interim Dean of the School of Fine Arts. He edited Miami University, 1809–2009: Bicentennial Perspectives, wrote Country Music Culture: From Hard Times to Heaven in 1995, co-edited two earlier studies of 19th c. African-American literature, and was an interviewer for the Miami Stories Oral History Project. He is a trustee of Lane Public Library, a member of the Hopedale Unitarian Universalist Choir, and lives in Oxford.

Annual McGuffey Field Trip

Veraestau Mansion and Hillforest Museum, Aurora, IN

Tuesday June 6, 2017
9:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Annual McGuffey Museum summer field trip to historic southeast Indiana. 

Event Photos

View from Veraestau
Overlooking the Ohio
Group photo, McGuffey Field Trip

About Veraestau Mansion

Veraestau Mansion

Set high above the Ohio River in Aurora, Indiana, the landmark home captures a long sweep of Indiana’s architectural history and exemplifies the historic preservation practiced by generations of two families—the Holman/Hamilton clan and the O’Brien/Gibson family.

Holman’s son-in-law Allen Hamilton bought Veraestau and added to it in 1838. His daughter Margaret Vance Hamilton enlarged it again in 1913. After nearly 125 years of ownership, the Holman/Hamilton family sold the estate to industrialist and early preservationist Cornelius O’Brien in 1933 as a country retreat. The O’Briens added their own stamp, expanding the home in 1936 and planting thousands of trees.

His daughter Mary O’Brien Gibson nominated Veraestau to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. In 2004, Indiana Landmarks received the 116-acre property as a gift from the Cornelius and Anna Cook O’Brien Foundation.

About Hillforest

Hillforest Museum

Hillforest, overlooking the Ohio River, was the home of industrialist and financier Thomas Gaff and his family between 1855 and 1891. Shipping and riverboats were significant elements of the Gaff business and are reflected in the architecture of the home. Note the third floor belvedere resembling a pilot house. The style is Italian Renaissance, completely symmetrical and characterized by broad overhangs, ornately carved brackets, arched windows and graceful balconies and porches. Hillforest is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992.

Historic Preservation Tour

Historic Preservation Tour group in front of Whitcomb-Kronholm HouseThe May 2017 Historic Preservation Tours of Oxford area neighborhoods were a success. The tours were planned, prepared and given by local sponsors McGuffey House and Museum, the Historic and Architectural Preservation Commission of Oxford, and the Smith Library of Regional History. Tours will again be given on Saturday mornings in May.

In May 2017, the annual May Historic Preservation Month tour visited the Whitcomb-Kronholm House on E. Church Street, Oxford, Ohio. This significant and well-preserved Arts and Crafts style house was based on a “Ten-Room California House” featured in The Craftsman magazine, September 1910.

McGuffey Garden Clean Up

May 2, 2017
McGuffey Museum, 10 a.m.

14th Annual Appreciation Day

April 29, 2017

Caring for Your Books, Paper, and Photographic Collections

April 4, 2017
Harry Campbell, Book and Paper Conservator, The Ohio State University Libraries

Harry Campbell

Free and open to the public

Attendees are encouraged to bring personal books, papers, or photographs for evaluation as time permits.

Harry Campbell has been working in conservation for 36 years, prior to which he had a brief career as a painter, following graduation from the Cincinnati Art Academy and two years of graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin.

'The Mongrel Ticket': Know-Nothingism & American Politics of the 1850s

Feb. 7, 2017
Matthew Smith, Asst. Director, Colligan History Project

Matthew SmithMatthew Smith, professor of history at Miami University Hamilton will speak at McGuffey Museum’s monthly program on Tuesday, February 7 at 3pm in the Miami University Art Museum, 801 S. Patterson Avenue. Dr. Smith’s program, The Mongrel Ticket: Know-Nothingism & American Politics of the 1850s, profiles a fascinating period in American political history. The program is free and open to the public.


Annual McGuffey Museum Christmas and Holiday Program

Dec. 6, 2016

James McBride: Pioneer and Visionary

Nov. 1, 2016
3 pm | Miami University Art Museum

James McBride

James McBride
(Butler County Historical Society)

Noted Butler County historian Jim Blount will speak at McGuffey Museum’s monthly meeting, Tuesday, November 1 at 3pm in the Miami University Art Museum, 801 Patterson Avenue, Oxford. Blount’s program, James McBride: Pioneer and Visionary, profiles the classic 19th century “self-made” statesman. After helping survey Oxford’s Mile Square at age twenty-one, McBride went on to become a noted public servant, author, businessman and civic booster.

As Hamilton’s first mayor, McBride played a central role in the promotion and design of Hamilton’s first bridge over the Great Miami River. He also served as Butler County’s fifth sheriff and was elected to Ohio House of Representatives and later served as State Commissioner of Public Works. His sketches of prehistoric earthworks in the Mississippi Valley remain a standard reference. Although having little formal education, McBride served Miami University for half a century, first as Secretary to the Board of Trustees from 1809-1820 and from 1821 until his death in 1859 as a member of the Board of Trustees. In 1952, Miami’s Board of Trustees named McBride Hall in his honor.

About Jim Blount

Jim Blount is a veteran newspaperman and Butler County historian. As a long time editor of the Hamilton Journal News, Blount reported stories and events that complemented his deep interest in local history. Today Blount’s articles on Butler County history are posted on Lane Library’s website and available via email subscription. Blount is a native of Hamilton and earned his Masters in History from Miami University. The program is free and open to the public.

McGuffey High School 60th Reunion Tour

Oct. 15, 2016
9 am | McGuffey Museum

McGuffey High School Class of 1956 alumni pose near the statue of William Holmes McGuffey

McGuffey Museum helped host the McGuffey High School Class of 1956 Reunion on October 15, 2016. The 1956 was the last class to graduate from the school, which is now known as Miami's McGuffey Hall.

The class planted a white oak tree and installed a plaque in front of McGuffey Hall to mark the occasion.

Dan Garber plants the white oak tree donated by the Class of 1956

Dan Garber plants the white oak tree

Marker that accompanies tree planting. Text 'Dedicated to McGuffey High School, Class of 1956, The last Graduating Class'

Molly Shera Lampert donated a painting by artist Marston Hodgin to the Museum. The artist's son, Tony Hodgin, is a 1956 McGuffey graduate.

Molly Shera Lampert and Tony Hodgin pose with Marston Hodgin painting

Molly Shera Lampert and Tony Hodgin pose with Marston Hodgin's painting

Annual William Holmes McGuffey Birthday Celebration

Oct. 4, 2016
3 pm | Miami University Art Museum

Madame President: A History of the Women Who Ran Before Hillary

Sept. 6, 2016
3pm | Miami University Art Museum

Kimberly HamlinMiami University Professor to Profile Women Candidates for US President.

Presented in conjunction with McGuffey Museum’s annual State of the Museum meeting. Tuesday, September 6, 3pm, Miami University Art Museum

For the first time in American history, a major political party has nominated a woman for the office of president. What many Americans may not know is there have been many women since the 19th century who have sought to become the nation’s president. Others have been on the ballot for the office of vice-president, most recently in 2008 when Sarah Palin was on the Republican ticket with Senator John McCain.

Kimberly Hamlin, associate professor of American Studies and History at Miami University, will explore this newsworthy topic as part of her keynote presentation at McGuffey Museum’s State of the Museum meeting. Hamlin is a cultural historian who has written extensively on gender and science issues and most recently has published a seminal article on women in the United States seeking high office. Hamlin’s McGuffey lecture, Madame President: A History of the Women Who Ran Before Hillary, will be held in the Miami University Art Museum Auditorium, 801 S. Patterson Avenue, Oxford. The State of the Museum program begins at 3pm followed by Professor Hamlin’s lecture. The program is open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Annual McGuffey Field Trip

June 1, 2016
Cincinnati Sign Museum

Dedication of Eva M. Clement Rose Garden Bed

May 28, 2016
3 pm | McGuffey Museum

McGuffey Museum Garden Clean-Up and Planting

Gloves suggested
May 3, 2016
10 am | Museum grounds

Popular Music of the 19th Century

Vocal performance by Marjorie Bowers, Sandra Kotter, and Jo Will
April 5, 2016
3 pm | Oxford Community Arts Center South Parlor

13th Annual McGuffey Museum Appreciation Day

Musical entertainment by Audrey Mungovan and Jana Abdul-Samad
April 16, 2016
3 pm | Miami University Art Museum Auditorium

Reily is not Just a Township South of Oxford

By Dick Scheid
March 1, 2016
3pm | Miami University Art Museum Auditorium


Stowe's Cincinnati: The Local Roots of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'

Portrait of Harriet Beecher Stowe superimposed upon title page of book 'Uncle Tom's Cabin: or, Life Among the Lowly'

Whitney Womack Smith, Associate Professor of English, Miami University

December 1, 2015

Miami University Art Museum


The Remarkable Stantons (April, 2014)

McGuffey Museum Celebrates Birthday with Gingerbread House and Bagpiper (2009)

Unveiling a scale model gingerbread house amidst the sounds of a Scottish bagpiper, McGuffey Museum recently celebrated the 209th birthday of William Holmes McGuffey on the campus of Miami University. Mary Johnson, chef at Miami’s Panache restaurant and creative genius behind gingerbread replicas of Upham Hall and Lewis Place, utilized a variety of ingredients to create her architectural concoction of the McGuffey House. Modeled on the original appearance of the federal vernacular style brick house when built in 1833, the house features a cedar shingle roof replicated in Wheat Thins ™ and an illuminated interior furnished with 19th century candy chairs, tables and beds. Johnson’s attention to detail even includes McGuffey’s famous octagonal desk. When asked how many hours she spent making the house, Johnson simply noted she had not taken the time to calculate a number.

Visitors to the museum were greeted by the sounds and authentic dress of Miami’s resident bagpiper, Sarah Day, a senior engineering major at Miami University. As president of The Highland Pipes and Drums of Miami, Day enjoys sharing her interest in Scottish culture and hopes the Scottish traditions can continue at Miami.

Find out more about our document and artifact Collections

Peter Bruner: Slave, Soldier and Celebrated Oxford Citizen

February 24, 2009

Overcoming years of slavery, voluntary service in the Union Army, and decades of manual labor, Peter Bruner’s life is a story worth telling and re-telling. In celebration of Bruner’s long life and Black History Month, McGuffey Museum and Miami’s Department of History co-sponsored in February “Peter Bruner: An Informal Discussion of His Life and Times.” Presented by Blake Vaughan, a master’s candidate in history and a graduate student aide at McGuffey Museum, the Bicentennial program in MacMillan Hall’s Great Room on Miami’s Oxford campus attracted over 75 students, faculty, guests and descendants of Peter Bruner. Among the descendants was Thomas Kelley, a native of Oxford and Bruner’s grandson. Bruner (1845-1938) was born a slave in Clark County, Kentucky, and after enduring years of corporal punishment he finally escaped in 1864 and enlisted in the United States Colored Troops. Following his discharge from the Union Army, Bruner came to Oxford in 1866 where he would live the rest of his life. While raising five children with his wife Fannie Procton, Bruner held the distinction of working for Western Female Seminary, Oxford College and Miami University.