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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Harry S. Truman's home in Independence, Missouri

Michael in front of Harry S. Truman's home in Independence, Missouri

From's entry Harry S. Truman Historic site

Wallace House (Truman Home) at 219 North Delaware in Independence
Wallace House (also called the Truman Home), 219 North Delaware Street, Indpendence, Missouri, would be the home of Harry S. Truman, on-and-off, after his marriage to Bess Wallace, on 28 June 1919 until his death on 26 December 1972. Bess Truman's maternal grandfather, George Porterfield Gates, built the house over a period of years from 1867 to 1895 .
Truman's home in Independence, MO
Bess's mother, Madge Gates Wallace, wanted the couple to live there with her. Bess had lived with her mother after Bess's father, David Willock Wallace, committed suicide in 1903, both of them moving in with Madge's parents. Also in 1919, Harry was putting all of his money into the men's clothing store of Truman & Jacobson open at 104 West 12th St. in downtown Kansas City, so living at the Wallace home made good financial sense.
After the haberdashery failed, in 1922, Harry and Bess could not afford to move to a new home. So they would continue living there while Harry paid of the debts from the store. That same year he went into politics, and would eventually move to Washington DC . Whenever they came back to Missouri, the Wallace House was their home.
The Truman's only child Mary Margaret was born in the home on February 17, 1924. The site also includes the two adjacent homes of Mrs. Truman's brothers, and, across Delaware Street, the home of the President's favorite aunt and cousins. Guided tours of the site are conducted, and a visitor's center is housed in a nearby historic firehouse.
After he retired in 1953, until the Truman library was opened on 6 July 1957, the Wallace House was also his office.
Truman is probably one of the few Presidents who never owned their own home. He would live with family members in his early life, then the Wallace House, rented apartments and houses in Washington (including 4701 Connecticut Avenue),Blair House (the official state visitors residence), and the White House, but never a house that he had purchased.
The house is now located in the Harry S. Truman Historic district, a National Historic Landmark site.
The entire house is not open to the public as Bess Truman stipulated that Margaret Truman could use portions of the house as a private residence if she wished.

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