Iowa Wesleyan University Celebrates with Community
Mount Pleasant, Iowa: February 16, 2018 – Iowa Wesleyan University will celebrate a grand Re-Opening of the Harlan-Lincoln House Friday, February 23rd, 2018 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Iowa Wesleyan’s campus.
The evening will include a ribbon cutting ceremony by the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance set for 4:15 pm, tours of the museum and a reception in the International Room of the Chadwick Library on IW’s campus.
“It is exciting to have such a significant piece of history brought back to life on our campus for our students and community,” said Meg Richtman, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Iowa Wesleyan. “We are grateful to have our new Director of the Harlan-Lincoln House Anna Villareal here to bring about the renewing of our historic treasure.”
The Harlan-Lincoln legacy at Iowa Wesleyan University began in 1853 with the arrival of James Harlan to serve as president of the institution. Harlan served Iowa Wesleyan as a two-time president, professor, and long-time trustee.
During James Harlan’s time in the United States Senate, he became friends with President Lincoln. Their children, Mary Harlan and Robert Todd Lincoln, were married in 1868 in Washington, D.C. After her parents returned to Mt. Pleasant, Mary brought her children, Mary, Abraham II, and Jessie, to spend summers with the Harlan grandparents. She said Mt. Pleasant was “restful and good for the children growing up.”
Senator Harlan deeded the property to Mary and Robert Todd Lincoln in 1895, and Mary made improvements, including a wide wraparound front porch. By 1907, with her parents no longer living and the family having built their home, Hildene, in Manchester, Vt., Mary Harlan Lincoln gave the house to Iowa Wesleyan University as a tribute to the memory of her father.
“The museum features artifacts such as the collar of the coat worn by President Lincoln during his assassination as well as other important period pieces from both the Harlan and Lincoln families,” said Anna Villareal, Director of the Harlan-Lincoln House. “The artifacts in the museum’s collection are a treasure to Southeast Iowa and to the preservation of our country’s history on a whole.”
The Harlan-Lincoln House sits on the Northeast corner of campus on Broad Street. Parking is available behind the house and next to the Chadwick Library.
Iowa Wesleyan University – As Southeast Iowa’s regional comprehensive university, Iowa Wesleyan University is a transformational learning community whose passion is to educate, empower and inspire students to lead meaningful lives and careers.