Martin Franklin Hanley built the Historic Hanley House in 1855. The farmstead is the oldest structure in the City of Clayton and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The city of Clayton purchased the Hanley House and roughly one acre of land from Barbara Yore in 1968. Barbara was a granddaughter of Martin and Cyrene Hanley. She, along with her sister, Byrd, moved into the home at 7600 Westmoreland Avenue in order to care for their aging Aunt Cal. Nancy Caroline Hanley, known as Aunt Cal, was the oldest surviving Hanley daughter. She never married and remained in the Hanley House until her death in 1938 at the age of 97.
Once in the possession of the city, restoration efforts began in earnest at the Hanley House until the museum opened to the public in 1971. Today the home tells the story of the Hanley Family and their life on a 19th century Missouri farm. Woven into a tour of the home are the many stories passed down to us through family letters and records.
The mission of the Historic Hanley House is to preserve and interpret the site and its collection to enhance the effectiveness of the museum as an educational and cultural resource for the community, with these objectives:
- Assure that the farmhouse which Martin Franklin Hanley built shall be preserved as a faithful evocation of Clayton's origins, for the wonderment and education of generations to come.
- Bring the history of the Martin Franklin Hanley House into the modern consciousness as a cultural asset particularly valuable for our urban environment.
- Encourage broad participation by the community through the establishment of a self-supporting foundation.
- Partner with educational institutions to create curriculum involving the Martin Franklin Hanley House for Kindergarten - Graduate School.