John Mercer Langston House

John Mercer Langston House

The John Mercer Langston House is a historic house at 207 East College Avenue in Oberlin, Ohio. Built in 1855, it was home to John Mercer Langston (1829-1897), attorney, abolitionist, diplomat, US Congressman and college president, who was one of the first African Americans elected to public office in the United States.

The house was built in 1855, and was from 1856 until 1867 the home of John Mercer Langston. Langston was raised in Ohio, attending Oberlin College and then reading law because no law school then accepted African Americans.

In 1855, Langston won election to the position of town clerk in Brownhelm Township, the first known electoral victory of its kind by an African American in the United States. He later served as a recruiter of African Americans for military service in the American Civil War, and helped found the Howard University Law School, where he was its first dean.

It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975.

The Langston House is a private residence and not open to the public.