Looking Back: 400 Scioto Street


The magnificent house at 400 Scioto Street was built in 1847 by Thomas M. Gwynne. Originally, the house was built on a 10-acre lot.

Thomas M. Gwynne was the son of Thomas Gwynne who came to Urbana before 1808. Thomas M. Gwynne and his father were prominent businessmen in Urbana. It is likely the elder Gwynne had earlier purchased the land on which the house was built. It is a Gothic Revival house designed by Andrew Jackson Downing. It consists of 2-foot-thick brick walls and 10 round chimneys of the English style. The center hall has wainscoting of black walnut, cherry and butternut and a Gothic center arch. It has solid ash floors with some rooms banded with black walnut. The mantles are of Italian marble and doors have silvered mirrored door knobs.

Thomas M. Gwynne lived in the house for years before selling it to Griffin Ellis, a former partner with Thomas M. Gwynne in a clothing store in Urbana. The Ellis family sold the house to Lemuel Weaver about 1868. Lemuel Weaver lived there for years followed by his son George A. Weaver who lived there until his death in 1912. The house remained in the Weaver family until it was purchased by Mr. & Mrs. Robert M. Humphreys in 1939.


The Champaign County Historical Museum is a not-for-profit organization that depends upon donations and dues to preserve, protect, archive and display the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story. The free public museum located at 809 E. Lawn Ave., Urbana, is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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