From the Wisconsin State Historical website:
This house is historically significant for its association with Joseph Copeland, owner of extensive farm and mineral land, builder of the Copeland Opera House and first president of the Farmers and Merchants Bank. Joseph Copeland settled with his Irish immigrant parents in Lafayette County in 1848. In 1862, Joseph went to the California gold fields. He acquired some successful mining prospects in Oregon. He returned to Lafayette County about 1878, retaining his mining interests in the west. He bought a large farm, 582 acres, in Shullsburg Township and began a stock-raising business. He had the Copeland Opera House built about 1882, still standing on the southwest corner of Iowa and Water Streets. In 1884, Copeland helped organize the Merchants Union Bank, later called the Farmers and Merchants Bank. He was the first president. After he became president of the bank, he sold his farm in 1885 and moved to this house in Shullsburg. He was president of the bank past the turn of the century. This was his home during that time.
A low, hipped roof, two-story house that has the wide eaves supported by large paired brackets in the Italianate manner. The windows have Victorian Gothic polychromatic keystone arched window heads. Cut-out decorative porch details and a double doored entrance with overhead transom accent this substantial house. This house is architecturally significant because it is the best example of the Italianate style in brick in its original state in Shullsburg. In addition, it is a substantial 19th century mansion of a prominent early Shullsburg family that has become an important architectural site in the community.
Bibliographic References: (A) Seq. History of Shullsburg, 1827-1977 (Shullsburg, WI: Historical Soc., 1977), p. 76. (B) Pick and Gad Newspaper, 1884-1886. (C) Butterfield, History of Lafayette County, 1881, p. 735-736.
Past picture and history from Wisconsin Historical Society website, Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Historic Name: Copeland, Shullsburg, WI, Lafayette County, Reference # 80737