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James Harlan Chapter NSDAR
Mount Pleasant, Iowa

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Welcome to James Harlan Chapter NSDAR

We are a member of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR or DAR) which is a non-profit, non-political, volunteer women's service organization.  It is our pleasure to welcome you to our website.

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 senator and the president of Iowa Wesleyan College. His daughter, Mary, married Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert. The old Harlan house still stands near the Iowa Wesleyan campus.

dedication-- 1st flour mill

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 it was operated until 1901. On the other side of the Skunk River was the first corn and sawmill which was constructed in 1837. The sawmill operated until 1911. In 1930, the Mount Pleasant James Harlan Chapter and the New London John See Chapter placed a marker in the city park at Lowell, Iowa.

marker -- 1st home

First Home in Mount Pleasant

In 1834, Presley Saunders built the first home  in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. It was located in the Saunders Park area before Iowa became a state. A bronze plaque was placed in the northwest corner of Saunders Park, at South Van Buren and West Clay Street to commemorate this event.

marker -- pioneer church

Pioneer Church and Pioneer School

In 1836, a pioneer church and pioneer school were built in Mount Pleasant. In commemoration, a bronze plaque placed on a boulder now stands at the original location; it was placed there by our chapter in 1928. The marker is located in Saunders Park, at the corner of South Van Buren and West Clay Street in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

marker -- James Throop

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, Iowa.

Court House

First Courthouse in Iowa

In 1839, just one year after the Territory of Iowa was established, the people of Mount Pleasant built a 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 is on U.S. Highway 34 in the center of Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

Pioneer Hall

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 in 1911, the college became known as the Iowa Wesleyan College. Pioneer Hall, 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, Iowa.

Harlan Hotel

Harlan Hotel

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

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Last Updated 15 October 2021
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