Erected ca. 1814, this building is the best known in Gettysburg. In 1863 it was the home of David Wills and family.
Wills, a local attorney, is traditionally given credit as being the father of the Soldier's National Cemetery, for proposing that Pennsylvania provide, "...a common burial ground for the [Union] dead." This idea was supported by all the states whose sons died at Gettysburg and quickly implemented.
President Abraham Lincoln was the overnight guest of David Wills on the eve of the dedication of the Soldier's National Cemetery. It was at the dedication ceremony on November 19, 1863, that Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address.
It is believed that Lincoln polished and rehearsed the brief text of his speech which forever established the concept that our government is "...of the people, by the people, for the people..."