Harden Nowlin House is actually located at the rear of 614
Washington Street. The small, one-story, white building
was for a time the home of a politician who played a part
in the early government of both Wisconsin and Iowa.
was born in Illinois in 1804. He moved to Galena in 1825
to work in the mining business there. When the Iowa side
of the Mississippi River was opened to settlement, he moved
to Dubuque, where his daughter, Mary, was born in 1836.
What is now Iowa
was then part of the new Wisconsin Territory. Nowlin was
chosen as a member of the first Wisconsin territorial legislature,
a service he later repeated when the separate Iowa Territory
was formed in 1838. This first legislature met in a temporary
capitol in Burlington. Nowlin served in the legislature
that made the decision to establish a permanent capital
to Iowa City.
The Harden Nowlin
House was built in the early 1860s and purchased by Nowlin
in 1871. Nowlin and his wife, Martha, sold the house to
their daughter, Mary, in 1885. After Nowlin's death in 1892
the house was sold to Nellie Strayer, who built the apartment
in front and moved the house to its present location.
Mary, is remembered for reasons other than politics. She
married H. B. Allen, an attorney from New York, in 1857.
Waterloo's Allen Memorial Hospital was named in her memory.