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Historic Mansions Of Columbus: The Allen G. Thurman Home

Nestled within the historic corridors of Columbus stands a testament to the city’s rich architectural and political heritage: the Allen G. Thurman House.

This grand old house, once home to one of Ohio’s most notable legal and political names, wraps up the elegance of Queen Anne Style architecture and a rich history of American law and politics all in one.

Architectural Elegance and Historical Significance

allen thurman house
Constructed around 1885, the house served as the family home of Thurman, a Democratic U.S. Representative, Ohio Supreme Court Justice, Senator from Ohio, and the Democratic Party’s nominee for Vice President of the United States in the pivotal 1888 election. The home, located at 513 East Rich Street, reflects the architectural opulence of its era.

A Storied Inhabitant: Allen G. Thurman

Allen G. Thurman, born on November 13, 1813, in Lynchburg, Virginia, moved to Chillicothe, Ohio, with his family during his youth. He swiftly rose through the ranks of the legal and political arenas, establishing a legal practice with his uncle, William Allen, who also served as a U.S. Senator from Ohio.

Allen G Thurman
Thurman, Hon. Allen G. Senator of Ohio. Born in Lynchburg, Va. Nov 13, 1813. Photo by Mathew Benjamin Brady, Library of Congress.

Thurman’s political career was marked by his election to the House of Representatives in 1844, where he was the youngest member at the time, his vocal support for the James K. Polk administration during the Mexican–American War, and his firm stance on the Wilmot Proviso.

Despite his loss in the 1867 Ohio gubernatorial race to Rutherford B. Hayes, Thurman made a significant comeback by winning a seat in the Senate in 1869. He emerged as a formidable opponent to the Republican Reconstruction policies, advocating against African-American voting rights and pushing for the segregation of public schools in the District of Columbia.

A Legacy Preserved and Continued

allen thurman house
The Thurman house not only reflects the political and legal achievements of its original owner but also serves as a bridge connecting past to present. After Thurman’s death in 1895, his son, Allen W. Thurman, an attorney, continued to inhabit the house, further cementing the family’s legacy in Columbus.

Today, the house functions as law offices, continuing its long-standing association with the legal profession.

allen g thurman home
Photo by Christopher Riley (Flickr). (CC BY-SA 2.0)

As we explore the historic mansions of Columbus, the Allen G. Thurman House stands out not just for its architectural beauty but also for its deep connections to American political history and the legal legacy of the Thurman family. It serves as a reminder of the complex tapestry of American history, woven through the lives of its political leaders and the homes they inhabited.