Historic Wallace House Photos

The Wallace House is one of two Wallace Centers of Iowa locations, and was the home of Henry and Nancy Wallace from 1892 until Henry’s death in 1916. These photos document 756 16th Street, Des Moines, Iowa during the family’s time in the home.

Most of these photos were taken by Henry and Nancy’s daughter Josephine, who lived in the 16th Street house with her parents and for several years after their deaths. Her photos served as important primary source reference material when the Wallace House was restored after being slated for demolition in the late 1980s.

1991.13.63 front

756 16th Street, Des Moines, Iowa.

Photo c. 1905

1991.13.66 front

Postcard of 756 16th Street, Des Moines, Iowa.

Josephine Wallace’s handwriting on the front of the card reads “Before the third floor was on.” The Wallaces extended the attic or third floor roofline to accommodate more bedrooms sometime in the early 20th century.

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“Mr. and Mrs. Henry Wallace on the Front Steps of Their Home in Des Moines”

Clipping from Wallaces’ Farmer

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Nancy Cantwell Wallace enjoying the front porch at 756 16th Street.

Handwriting on the back in Josephine’s handwriting says:

“This is the picture Dan asked about when I was there. He took the picture. Mother on the porch at 756 16th Street.”

Front Parlor 2

View of the front parlor of The Wallace House from the front entryway.

Photograph by Josephine Wallace

Front Parlor

View of the front parlor and staircase of The Wallace House.

Photograph by Josephine Wallace

Library to parlor

View of the middle parlor of The Wallace House from the library.

Photograph by Josephine Wallace


The library of The Wallace House. The portraits on the wall of Henry and Nancy Wallace hang there once again today, and are a part of The Wallace Centers of Iowa’s permanent collection.

Photographed by Josephine Wallace

Upstairs Bedroom

View of the second story primary bedroom at The Wallace House, facing north towards Center Street. This bedroom and the rest of the second story now serve as office and collections storage space for The Wallace Centers of Iowa.

Photograph by Josephine Wallace

1991.13.28 B front only

Henry Wallace in the garden in 756 16th Street. This garden fence has been historically reconstructed based on this photo and others. The garden sits on the northwest side of the house, along Center Street.

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Josephine Wallace in the garden at 756 16th Street. Behind Josephine outside the garden fence you can see a brick quadplex on the opposite (north) side of Center Street. That building still neighbors the Wallace House today. You can also see that a trolley is passing by on Center Street, which remains a busy bus route today.