"...Let us strive to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan."
A month before his assassination, President Lincoln signed legislation to create a national system of homes for disabled veterans. Established in 1867, the Soldiers Home is one of the three original Soldiers Homes in the country, with some of the oldest buildings in the VA system. It is the only Soldiers Home that retains the majority of its recuperative village and designed landscape. Milwaukee architects Edward Townsend Mix and Henry C. Koch designed several of the earliest and most prominent buildings, which are set amidst the picturesque grounds designed by landscape architect Thomas Budd Van Horn. The buildings and landscape were asylums – places of refuge and healing – aiding veterans’ recuperation and easing their transition back into society.
There are about 48 historic resources and 90-plus acres of designed landscape at the Milwaukee Soldiers Home. The district was designed to create the appearance and feeling of a village and includes a post office, library, recreation hall, theater, chapel and recreation areas. The Milwaukee Soldiers Home is beloved by veterans today who believe its recuperative powers remain.