As most of you know, Benjamin Hanby lived in New Paris
in 1864 when he wrote the Christmas song "Up On The
Each year the New Paris Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB sells music boxes commemorating that event.
The music boxes were made locally and plays "Up On The Housetop". They are available at Eaton National Bank (New Paris branch) or by calling 937-621-9533.
With the Christmas & Holiday season right around the corner one or more of these music boxes would make a very nice gift for that "someone special". Each music box sells for $35 and comes with info about Benjamin Hanby and his ties to Our Village of New Paris.
You can easily order your wonderful music box from our online store. Safe & secure we accept both MasterCard & Visa. Click Here to Order
Brief History of Hanby
By Joan Melody Steinberger
In the 1800s, a special young man came to our village of New Paris, Ohio. He was tall, dark and handsome and had a charming personality. He was especially liked by the children. His name was Benjamin Russell Hanby.
He was a minister of the gospel and very musical. He tried to introduce musical instruments into his church but some of his members fought against him. It was 1864, and this was a very new concept for the locals. The dissension within Ben’s church was such that he feared a division in his congregation, so to avoid that, he resigned his position.
He rented a small store room at the south edge of the village and opened a singing school for the children.
At Christmas time in 1864, Ben, who was a prolific song writer, gave a gift to the children of New Paris by writing a song for them. It was originally entitled “Santa Claus” but was later changed to the familiar world-famous “Up on the House Top”.
The song was first publicly introduced and performed in nearby Richmond, Indiana at a benefit dinner for poor children at Christmas in 1864.
Almost every child in this small of New Paris, Ohio has been taught this special Christmas song early in their school life, complete with actions.
As this is a unique part of our Christmas heritage, we hope you will enjoy your very own beautiful hand-crafted “Up on the House Top” music box.