John Wayne: The mere mention of his name produces images of courage and patriotism.

The life story of John Wayne began in the small central Iowa town of Winterset. He was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1907, the son of Clyde and Mary Brown Morrison.

His father, Clyde, was a pharmacist who worked on the south side of Winterset’s historic town square. In his youth, Clyde attended nearby Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. John Wayne described his father as “The kindest, most patient man I ever knew.” Wayne’s mother Mary was of Irish descent, and Duke said, “She was a tiny, vivacious red-headed bundle of energy.” Their modest four-room home has been restored to reflect its appearance in 1907, the year of the actor’s birth.

John Wayne Birthday Celebration Challenge Coins

For the first time, the Madison County Chamber of Commerce is excited to offer John Wayne Birthday Celebration Challenge Coins available for sale during the 2018 John Wayne Birthday celebration! Challenge coins are small coins or medallions traditionally associated with the military, but are also used for awards and commemoration. They are available at the Madison County Chamber of Commerce for $15. To order, please call 515-462-1185.

John Wayne Birthplace & Museum Earns a TripAdvisor Hall of Fame Award

We are proud to announce we have received a Hall of Fame award from TripAdvisor®. Only businesses that have received Certificates of Excellence from TripAdvisor for five consecutive years qualify for the Hall of Fame award. To receive each annual Certificate of Excellence, a business must earn consistently great user reviews. The John Wayne Birthplace & Museum has received Certificates of Excellence from TripAdvisor each year since 2014.

We are pleased our visitors have enjoyed our Birthplace & Museum enough to rate us so highly. We will continue to strive for excellence and to bring the delightful experience all our visitors to the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum deserve.

Since the John Wayne Birthplace Society was established in 1982, more than a million visitors have journeyed to historic Madison County to tour the birthplace home. Guests have included President Ronald Reagan, movie legend Maureen O’Hara, Wayne’s widow and all of his children, and fans from 50 states and 40 foreign countries.

With the opening of the 6,100 square foot John Wayne Birthplace Museum adjacent to the home, visitors now have the opportunity to see the largest diversified exhibit of John Wayne artifacts in existence, including original movie posters, film wardrobe, scripts, contracts, letters, artwork and sculpture, and even one of his last customized automobiles.

The only museum in the world dedicated to John Wayne, the facility naturally includes a movie theater. Relax in comfortable seats (originally from Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood) and watch a documentary on Duke’s phenomenal film career. Be sure to explore our gift shop’s wide assortment of John Wayne merchandise perfect for souvenirs or great new items to add to your collection. You’ll be fascinated as you linger and learn about John Wayne the actor, the private citizen and an American legend.

New: Souvenir Coins

Now available in the gift shop at the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum, souvenir coins in four designs!

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