Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 23, 2017

Step back in history — free tours planned Saturday at Harlan-Lincoln House

Jun 04, 2013

The Harlan-Lincoln House at Iowa Wesleyan College, Mt. Pleasant, will host an open house on Saturday, June 8, from 1-4 p.m.  Visitors are invited to learn the story of James Harlan, his friendship with President Abraham Lincoln, and their mutual grandchildren’s lives in Mt. Pleasant.

The Harlan-Lincoln House was built in 1876 by U.S. Senator James Harlan. Harlan’s daughter, Mary, married Robert Todd Lincoln, son of President Abraham Lincoln.

The Lincolns brought their three children to spend summers here in the late 1870s and 1880s. Later, the Robert Todd Lincolns owned the home, added a wraparound front porch, and spent extended periods of time here. The house tells the story of the 50-year relationship between a prominent American family and this small Iowa college and community.

Since 1959, the college has maintained the Harlan-Lincoln House as a museum. The museum includes artifacts belonging to the Harlan and Lincoln families: a fragment of the coat Abraham Lincoln was wearing when he was assassinated; Mary Todd Lincoln’s mourning veil; Harlan’s desk, globe and recliner; a door measuring the heights of the grandchildren in 1883; grandson Jack’s rock collection and tennis net; family silver, dishes, books, furniture and clothing.

The open house is part of an initiative by the Henry County Historic Preservation Commission for Henry County museums to host concurrent open houses.

For more information, contact Lynn Ellsworth, 319-385-6320 or

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