Our History

The Hower House was completed in 1871 and was built by John Henry Hower, a leading Akron industrialist who was active in the milling, reaping, and cereal industries. Hower would become known as the “Father of Akron Industry.” 

Hower and his wife, Susan Youngker Hower, moved their family to Akron from Doylestown, Ohio in 1865. Hower, along with Jacob Snyder, a well-known Akron architect, designed this house in the Second Empire Italianate style. This 28-room mansion is capped with a distinctive mansard roof and soaring tower. The unusual floor plan was based on the “Akron Plan,” developed by Jacob Snyder and widely used in church constructions as part of the “Sunday School movement” across the United States between 1870 and 1917. The mansion is filled with hundreds of treasures and furnishings the Hower family collected from around the world. 

In 1901, John Henry’s middle son, Milton Otis Hower, his wife Blanche Bruot Hower, along with their two children, Grace and John, came to live in the home, relocating from Chicago where they had lived for several years. The elder Mr. Hower and his second wife, Rebecca, planned to move to a smaller home nearby. Blanche Bruot Hower continued to live in the house long after John Henry and Milton Otis Hower both died in May 1916.  

John Henry Hower

Susan Youngker Hower

In 1919, Grace Hower and her husband, John Crawford, moved into Hower House to assist Blanche Bruot Hower, Grace's elderly mother. The house was occupied by the Hower family for over 100 years before it was deeded to The University of Akron in 1970. In 1973, Hower House was placed on the National Register for Historic Places.  The Hower House Museum has operated as an historic house museum since the mid-1980s. 

The house has three floors with a ballroom and servants’ areas on the third floor. Two and a half acres of lawn and stately trees provide a green island of tranquility for The University of Akron campus community. 

Today, Hower House remains one of the finest and best-preserved examples of its style in the country. It is supported by private donations, the Hower House Museum Guild, and The University of Akron. The house has become a lasting symbol of an era of elegance in America.