The David Wills House
The David Wills Story
David Wills was a prominent attorney and resident of Gettysburg. After the Battle of Gettysburg, Wills helped tend the wounded and lobbied for compensation for farmers and field owners who suffered property loses. He also solicited help in caring for the dead from Pennsylvania Gov. Andrew Curtin, who designated Wills an agent of the state and delegated him to the task of properly burying the dead. The idea for creating a permanent national cemetery for the Union dead at Gettysburg was offered during a meeting at the Wills House. Gov. Curtin approved the idea and gave Wills the authority to manage the construction of what would become Soldiers' National Cemetery. Wills invited President Abraham Lincoln to speak at the dedication of the cemetery and hosted Lincoln at his home in November 1863.
A Museum in Downtown Gettysburg
The David Wills House is a National Park Service museum in downtown Gettysburg that opened on Feb. 12, 2009 — the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday. The Wills House tells the story of David Wills, Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address. The museum features six galleries, including two rooms that have been restored to their 1863 appearance; Wills’ office, where he received letters from families seeking loved ones after the battle and began planning for the national cemetery; and the bedroom where Lincoln stayed and prepared to deliver the Gettysburg Address. See Ticket Prices & Packages for reservations, ticket purchase methods, costs and discounts.
The David Wills House is located at 8 Lincoln Square in Gettysburg. Downtown parking is limited and metered. Visitors are encouraged to park at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center and take a free shuttle to the David Wills House.