This house originally stood at 35 East Main Street. In the early 1830s it was the home of prominent local abolitionist William Dawes (1799-1888), grandson of William Dawes (1745-1799), who rode with Paul Revere during his famous ride.
Dawes moved to Hudson in the 1820s and joined the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society when it was formed in 1834. Dawes served as a trustee at Oberlin College from 1839 to 1851. At the time, Oberlin College was in dire financial circumstances and the trustees selected Dawes "a man of singular piety, tact and address" (History of Oberlin College, Fletcher, p.457) to travel to Great Britain to raise funds in 1839. Dawes, along with trustee John Keep, raised $30,000, the equivalent of $640 million dollars today. While abroad, Dawes served as a delegate at the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840 and was depicted in a famous painting of the event, painted by Benjamin Robert Haydon (1786-1846), which today hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London. Haydon's preliminary drawing of Dawes is in the Hudson Library’s collection.
In 1839, the First Congregational Church brought Dawes, one of their members, to trial for "false representation to Heman Oviatt" claiming he "induced" him to make a $10,000 donation to Oberlin College rather than Western Reserve College. Dawes was found not guilty, but this incident was one factor in the division of the First Congregational Church.