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Fast William's Attic

It is better to live one day as a lion than a hundred years as a sheep.

John Wayne

The mere mention of his name produces images of courage and patriotism. The life story of John Wayne began in the central Iowa town of Winterset, the son of Clyde and Mary Brown Morrison.

His father Clyde was a pharmacist who worked on the south side of Winterset's 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 the Duke said "she was a tiny, vivacious red-headed bundle of energy."

Step back in time and picture the life of a young midwestern boy and his family near the turn of the century. This modest four-room home has been restored to reflect its appearance in 1907, the year of the Duke's birth. An impressive collection of John Wayne memorabilia includes unique items such as the eyepatch worn in the movie True Grit, a hat worn in Rio Lobo, and a prop suitcase used in the film Stagecoach. Hundreds of rare photographs of the Duke are on display as well as letters from Lucille Ball, Gene Autry, Maureen O'Hara, Jimmy Stewart, Kirk Douglas, Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan and George Burns. Since its opening, the childhood home of John Wayne has been visited by many celebrities and dignitaries.

On November 3, 1984, President Ronald Reagan commented that the Birthplace of John Wayne is an inspiring tribute to a good friend and a great American.

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