David Wills, a prominent attorney and resident of Gettysburg, helped tend the wounded and lobbied for compensation for farmers and field owners who suffered property losses after the Battle of Gettysburg. He solicited help in caring for the dead from Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin, who designated Wills an agent of the state and delegated him the task of properly burying the dead. The idea for creating a permanent national cemetery at Gettysburg was offered during a meeting at the Wills House. Governor Curtin approved the idea and gave Wills the authority to manage the construction of what would become the Soldiers' National Cemetery. Wills invited President Abraham Lincoln to speak at the dedication of the cemetery and hosted Lincoln at his home in Nov. 1863.
The David Wills House, a National Park Service museum in downtown Gettysburg, opened on Feb. 12, 2009—the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday. The David Wills House tells the story of President Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address and David Wills. 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.
Learn more about the David Wills House
The David Wills House is located at 8 Lincoln Square in downtown Gettysburg.
May - August: Daily, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
September and October: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Closed Tuesdays)
November: Saturdays and Sundays and Veterans Day, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Nov. 17 and 18, 6 – 8 p.m.
December: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.