Bess Truman's grandfather, George Porterfield Gates, bought the lot at 219 North Delaware Street, which probably had a small house on it, in 1867. In 1885, Gates greatly enlarged the old house. After Bess Wallace's father, David Willock Wallace, committed suicide in 1903, Bess and her mother and brothers moved in with her grandparents. Bess lived in the house until she died in 1982. Harry Truman moved in after their marriage on June 28, 1919 and lived there until he died in 1972. Harry and Bess probably didn't originally intend to stay at 219 North Delaware Street after their marriage, but Bess's mother, Madge Gates Wallace, apparently wanted them to. They stayed, and Mrs. Wallace lived with them until her death in 1952. The house was called the "Summer White House" during Truman's presidency.
The house is now a National Park Service site located in the Harry S. Truman National Landmark District. Truman Home, 219 N. Delaware, Independence, MO 64050, Phone: 816-254-2720.