Directed by its founder, Phebe T. Sutliff, the Sutliff Museum will preserve, exhibit, and interpret its collection and educate the community on the significance of the Sutliff family's influence on the local and national levels, the Victorian era, and the anti-slavery movement. The Sutliff Museum seeks to fulfill this initiative by providing programs and activities for the public and through community engagement and cooperation.
The Sutliff Museum envisions a future as a nationally recognized institution among museums with an outstanding collection of Victorian decorative arts as well as exhibitions and programs that engage, inspire, and transform the lives of those in the community.
The Warren Library Association, through the not-for-profit Sutliff Museum, maintains the Sutliff family legacy of community service and education by offering programs such as the Underground Railroad Suitcase and information lectures. Programming for various ages is our response to the mandate from Phebe Sutliff to educate future generations about her family and the Victorian Era.
The Sutliffs were a pioneer family in Trumbull County, coming from Connecticut. They settled in Vernon, Ohio, and succeeding generations were influential civic leaders through 1955. Brothers Levi (1806-1864), active in the Underground Railroad in Trumbull County, and Milton (1808-1880), Ohio Supreme Court Judge and Senator, supported the Abolition movement and the Underground Railroad financially and politically. They both attended the organizational meeting of the National Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia in 1833.
Levi's daughter, Phebe T. Sutliff, a scholar and the first woman president of Rockford (Illinois) College, was instrumental in the formation of many civic organizations in Warren. She was also a candidate for Congress in 1924. The Sutliff family's place in local history is revealed in the Sutliff Museum, endowed by Phebe to the Warren Library Association, upon her death in 1955.