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The James Harlan Chapter was organized March 24, 1923, in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. The chapter was named for James Harlan, an old time prominent citizen. He was a United States Senator and was president of Iowa Wesleyan College. His daughter, Mary, married Abraham Lincoln's son Robert. The old Harlan house still stands near Iowa Wesleyan campus.

First Flour Mill in Iowa

A French Buhr Millstone brought to Henry County in 1837 marks the site of the first flour mill in Iowa. It was built on the Skunk River in 1838 and operated until 1901. On the other side of the Skunk River was the first corn and sawmill. Constructed in 1837, the sawmill operated until 1911. In 1930, a marker was placed in the city park at Lowell, Iowa, by the James Harlan Chapter of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and the John See Chapter of New London, Iowa.

First Home in Mount Pleasant

Located in the northwest corner of Saunders Park at South Van Buren and West Clay Street, a bronze plaque was placed here to commemorate the first home in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.  Presley Saunders was the first to build a home here in 1834 - before Iowa became a state - in what is now Saunders Park. The James Harlan Chapter marked the site in 1927.

Pioneer Church and Pioneer School

Built in 1836, a Pioneer Church and Pioneer School stood at this site in Mount Pleasant. In commemoration, a bronze plaque placed on a boulder now stands at the original location, placed there by our chapter in 1928. The location of the marker is in Saunders Park at the corner of South Van Buren and West Clay Street in Mount Pleasant.

James A. Throop Home

James A. Throop was an outstanding early newspaper editor in Mount Pleasant. In remembrance of his good works, the James Harlan Chapter DAR marked the site of his home with a bronze plaque in 1928. The marker is located in Saunders Park south of Clay Street in Mount Pleasant.

First Courthouse in Iowa

In 1839, just one year after the Territory of Iowa was established, Mount Pleasant built its new courthouse - the first one in the state. The commissioners did not actually occupy the building until their regular meeting on April 6, 1840, but from then on it was in continual use until 1872. A bronze plaque mounted on a native red granite boulder marks the site where the Henry County Courthouse once stood.  The marker is located south of the fountain in Central Park, the city park on U.S. Highway 34, in the center of Mount Pleasant.

First College West of the Mississippi

Founded in 1842, Iowa Wesleyan College is claimed to be the first college established west of the Mississippi River. This is disputable, but it is the oldest college in Iowa.  Sponsored by the Methodist Church, it was first known as Mount Pleasant Collegiate Institute. In 1849, it was renamed Iowa Wesleyan University, and then became Iowa Wesleyan College in 1911. The Old Pioneer building where the James Harlan Chapter DAR marker was mounted in 1926 has been in continual use since 1845. Gold-domed Old Main was added to the campus in the 1850s.  The DAR marker is located in the northern section of Mount Pleasant in Henry County.

Harlan Hotel

The Harlan Hotel was really built as the James A. Harlan house. Harlan built it in 1857 and lived in it for 16 years during his career in government. Prior to that, he was president of Iowa Wesleyan College and State Superintendent of Public Instruction. After several years in Washington D.C. as a U.S. Senator, Harlan returned to Mount Pleasant and died in this house. Even though it is now a hotel, the central section, which is the original house, contains memorabilia from Harlan's life and Mount Pleasant's history. The James Harlan Chapter DAR presented a plaque in 1982 honoring Harlan for his many accomplishments. The marker is located in Mount Pleasant at 122 North Jefferson Street.

 

 

 
 

 

Barbara A. Halpin
Iowa State Regent

 

National Motto

"God, Home, and Country"


National Theme

“Preserve the Past, Enhance the Present, Invest in the Future.” 

 

2012 - 2014 State Theme

Hands of Friendship Working Together to Build Membership

 

"Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded."

2 Corinthians 15.7

 

 
   
 

 

 

 

 
     
 

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