In 1849, Jacob Dunham and Catherine Goodnight Dunham, originally from Virginia and Pennsylvania, purchased this land, formerly part of the Miami Indian Reserve, through a U. S. Land Grant. Their grandson, William Riley Dunham, was an Indiana Legislator who built the house, circa 1880's The Dunham family was committed to serving the public in politics, medicine, education, and agriculture. Other families that married into Dunham family were by the name Goodnight, Kearney, and Stroup.
This Dunham Family is the same line which produced the 44th President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Barack H. Obama. President Obama and his family first visited the Dunham House on May 3, 2008.