Everything about Van Rensslear Humphrey served to inspire respect, if not awe. His huge physical stature was imposing. As a lawyer, judge and political arbiter, he was a man of prodigious influence in the community, the county and the Western Reserve. He was a Copperhead and did not agree with the local Abolitionist newspaper. He was noted for his defense in 1837 of the Head of the Latter Day Saints Church, Joseph Smith Jr., in the Kirtland, Ohio trials. In 1860, he represented John Maloney, the first person charged with murder in Hudson.
Leander Starr was the carpenter/builder of this house as well as the house at 19 East Main Street. Early drawings, shown on the 1855 Hudson map, show both houses to be two-story main mass buildings with side wings and two-storied porticos. In this house, one side wing remains as does the original hipped-roof style. Both buildings are from the early Minard Lefever pattern book and are examples showing the transition from the lightness of the Federal style to the boldness of the Greek Revival . At the time of the circa 1875 Italianate remodel, the two-story Doric portico was removed or filled in and the doorway was relocated and given a massive two-part door.
In 1919 Louis S. Adams, a Philadelphia architect, was hired to give the house the Colonial Revival external appearance it now has. It was a boarding house for Western Reserve College students at one time and a two-family dwelling for a while. It has since been restored to a one-family home.