The house was built approximately 1834 by Colonel William Jones and Rachel Jones. The house is a typical example of Federal architecture except for the second-floor observatory. The east room features 11-foot-high, built in cupboards beside the fireplace and the kitchen has a corner cupboard attributed to Thomas Lincoln.
Colonel William Jones served as a Whig representative in the Indiana legislature from 1838 to 1841. He has been credited with steering Abraham Lincoln toward the Whig Party. Lincoln slept in the house the night he gave a campaign speech for Henry Clay, the Whig presidential candidate in 1844.
Lincoln lived in Illinois at the time and included his old neighborhood in the campaign tour. In the 1820s, Lincoln had worked odd jobs for Jones and clerked in his store. Jones reportedly said then,
“Lincoln would make a great man one of these days.”
He also recalled that Lincoln read all his books, including one on American history.
During the Civil War, when Jones was in his sixties, he joined the Union Army. He was a lieutenant colonel of the 53rd Regiment of Indiana Volunteers when he was killed at the battle of Atlanta in 1864.
Bill and Gayle Cook renovated the home in 1976 and later donated it to the State of Indiana. The property is on the National Register of Historic Places.