Benjamin Franklin Allen and his wife Arathusa celebrated the completion of Terrace Hill on their fifteenth wedding anniversary, January 29,1869. It is said to have cost the Allens $250,000 (about 4 million in today’s currency) in construction and furnishings for the home. B.F. Allen amassed his wealth through various endeavors including banking, real estate, and some supposed illegal proceedings.
In 1884, Allen was bankrupt and he sold the property to Frederick Marion Hubbell for $60,000. Hubbell’s youngest child, Grover, was the last Hubbell to reside at Terrace Hill. He passed away in 1956. The Hubbell trust presented Terrace Hill to the state on August 24, 1971 for the purpose of being the governor’s mansion.
For books on Terrace Hill in the Des Moines Public Library, click here.