About Harlan-Lincoln House
The Harlan-Lincoln House, located on the north side of the Iowa Wesleyan University campus, has been maintained as a museum since 1959. 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 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 1870’s and 1880’s.
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.