Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Harlan-Lincoln House

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: Iowa Wesleyan College
Original/Historic Place Name: Harlan House
Location on Campus: Northeast Corner
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1854original construction Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: stone
Walls: wood
Roof: none specified
ca. 1854president's house
ca. 1907academic department building (art)
ca. 1907administration
ca. 2004-present (2007)museum

Significance: education, history
Landmark designation:
National RegisterHarlan-Lincoln House (1973)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

This building was the home of James Harlan, who served as president of the Mt. Pleasant Collegiate Institute from 1853-1855 and led the petition to change the name to Iowa Wesleyan University. Harlan resigned to become the first Republican Senator of the newly formed state of Iowa in the US Congress and maintained the home in Mt. Pleasant. Harlan also served as Secretary of the Interior and as a trustee of Iowa Wesleyan from 1855 until his death in 1899. He served as college president again in 1869-1870. Harlan's daughter Mary married Robert Todd Lincoln, son of President Abraham Lincoln, and Mrs. Robert Todd Lincoln gave her father's home to Iowa Wesleyan in 1907. The building has been the president's home, an administrative home, and has housed the art department. The home has a place in the college, community, state and national history.

The building is being maintained, and the current restoration projects are being driven by a Harlan-Lincoln House preservation committee. The group is working to restore the building and determine the focus of the museum.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Brigham, Johnson. James Harlan. Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1913.

Haselmayer, Louis A. A Sesquicentennial History of Iowa Wesleyan College (1842-1992). Mt. Pleasant, IA: Iowa Wesleyan College, 1992.

Haselmayer, Louis A., ed. "Yours truly. Jas. Harlan." Edited group of Harlan letters. 1975. Archives, Iowa Wesleyan College, Mt. Pleasant, IA.

History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family. Tricentennial Reprint Edition. Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, 1987.

Lange, Kay. Harlan-Lincoln House [Iowa Wesleyan College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1973.

McMurtry, Gerold. "The Harlan-Lincoln Tradition at Iowa Wesleyan College." Lincoln Herald 48, no. 3 (1946).

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections, Facilities Management Office
Government Offices

Contact us / About Site / About CIC
© 2006
Council of Independent Colleges
One Dupont Circle, Ste. 320
Washington, DC
All rights reserved
Last update: November 2006