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James Shuter Wallace

James Shuter Wallace portrait
James Shuter Wallace

Helen Fortin Wallace portrait
Helen Fortin Wallace, age 80

James Shuter Wallace "was a native of New York, the son of a merchant, educated at Captain Partridge's Academy, and had been at various times an actor, manager of a theatre, dramatist, agent of the Associated Press, and editor. He was an agreeable writer, a man of unworried industry, and of remarkable enterprise and knowledge of business." So stated The Philadelphia North American Gazette in comments that were reprinted in The Louisville Daily Journal on 24 Feb 1865.

Wallace was an editor of The Louisville Daily Journal at the time of his death on 18 Feb 1865. He had been with the Daily Journal for about six years, arriving in Louisville sometime around 1859. Before that he had been involved with a variety of newspapers in Pennsylvania, most of whom printed obituaries of the man who had become known in the business as the "handsome Colonel." Some of the newspaper reports following his death may be viewed on another page.

James Shuter Wallace was born 12 May 1805 in New York State, the eldest child of James Dickinson Wallace and his wife, Helen Fortin Wallace.

James and Helen were the parents of five other children: Elizabeth Sarah Wallace who married Isaac T. Minard (see this page for more information), Helen Jane Wallace who remained unmarried, John H. Wallace who married Esther Frances Garniss, Amelia C. Wallace who married Jacob S. Smith, and Charlotte Brownell Wallace who married first John Frink, and second Dr. E. Lathrop of Rock Island IL.

From his Philadelphia Press obituary, we learn that James Shuter Wallace "was carefully educated in academical studies, and was placed at the proper age in Colonel Partridge's military institution in Connecticut, where he graduated with honors."

In 1819, Alden Partridge founded the American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy at Norwich, Vermont. Then in August 1825 he moved the academy to Middleton, Connecticut. However, he moved it back to Norwich in 1829 following Connecticut's refusal to grant a charter. We know from Norwich University, 1819-199; Her History, Her Graduates, Her Roll of Honor, published by Grenville Mellen Dodge and compiled and edited by William Arba (printed by The Capital City Press in 1911; Volume 3, Page 630) that James was a cadet there from 1822-25.

"His father intended him for the law" according to the Philadelphia Press obituary, but it soon became clear that James was more interested in the theater than the courtroom. From The Durang Family by Edwina Hare (page 123) we learn that "Colonel T. Allston Brown's account in his History of the American Stage states that he (Wallace) was a member of the Gilfert's Company in Albany, New York, but did not remain on the stage for more than a few years."


From the History of the Philadelphia Stage (Vol 3, page 46) we learn that "Mr. James S. Wallace appeared for the first time in Philadelphia at the Arch Street Theatre on August 29, 1831 as Fag in 'Rivals, or a trip to Bath' by Sheridan. Wallace was formerly from the Albany Theatre." Mrs. Hare tells us that in volume 4, page 95, "there is a portrait of James superimposed on a sketch of a bird, perched on a tree limb, which shows him to have dark hair, parted in the center and brushed forward in 'duck-tails', piercing dark eyes, large nose and straight mouth."

We have located that image at the The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. web site, and obtained their permission to display it here. All rights to this image remain with The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. The first image is of the entire portrait, the second is an enlargement of Mr. Wallace's face for easier viewing.

Wallace may have realized that his skills lay more in writing and producing drama than in acting on the stage himself.

Again we learn from his Philadelphia Press obituary, that "in 1833 he produced at the Warren Theatre, Boston, the national drama of 'Westward Ho!' This piece ran upwards of fifty nights successively. The 'Spy at Washington' - a clever hit at certain peculiarities and political individuals that fill up a Congressional dramatis personce, was brought out at the little Franklin, New York, in 1837, and 'Love and Legislature,' produced at Albany for Duffey & W. Forrest's corps. But the one he adapted to stage representation with the most tact and Compact acting compass was 'The Water Witch,' from Cooper's novel. it ran through the entire season, John R. Scott making an immense hit in the Skipper. This came out at the Arch, in 1832, under the reign of Jones, Duffy & Forrest. He also cleverly dramatized Paul Clifford, and others, as 'The Fairy and the Wooden Shoemaker,' translated from the French."

First Marriage

Sometime between October 1836 and March 1838 James married Katharine Juliet Durang Godey. Juliet, or Julia as she was sometimes called, was the widow of Francis R. Godey who died on 18 Oct 1836 in Philadelphia. It is not clear if Francis and Juliet had children or not. The 1830 census [1830 Federal Census: New York, New York County, New York Ward 6, page 370] shows Francis as the head of a household that included two children, a boy and a girl, under the age of ten. However, we have found no mention of any children by Juliet before she married James.

James and Juliet Wallace had four children: Ellen Amelia, Charlotte Elizabeth, Julia Katharine, and James Fitzjames Wallace. We will return to them later.

Katharine Juliet Durang
Juliet Durang

Juliet Durang was born about 1805 in Baltimore, Maryland to John and Mary (McEwen) Durang. Her father was a well known actor and dancer, and for a time each of his children followed in his footsteps.

From The History of the Philadelphia Stage (Vol III, page 68), which was written by Juliet's brother Charles Durang, we learn that "Mrs. Julia Godey was Miss Catharine Durang, born in Baltimore in 1805. She was the wife of Mr. Francis Godey, of New York, who died here in 1836 much lamented by all who knew the goodness of his heart. She was subsequently known as Mrs. James S. Wallace. On her first and second marriages she for a time retired from the stage and occassionally returned to it. She was a very petite figure with a lively pleasing, joyous countenance. She imparted a merry vivaciousness to her dramatic impersonations in each voluble, silly beings as Sally Scraggs, pert, talkative chambermaids and the prying, arch pages. These comely delineations she imbued with much tact and simple naturalness that ever won the approbation of her [audience]. It was, however, upon her talent as a dancer she principally rested her pretensions rather than upon the skill as an actress, having been originally educated for the former vocation. As a ballet performer Miss Durang was popular at the Park Theatre, in New York for many seasons as a neat, modest and pleasing artiste, where, in conjunction with her sister, Charlotte Durang, they performed their duties in a worthy and examplary manner, during the season of 1822-23 and 24. But Charlotte was early seized by consumptive disease which speedily did its work. She desired to return home that she might breathe her last in the room where her father died. A tribute to the memory of daughters so affectionate may be pardoned in the simple annals of the stage. To their father, who for several years before his death, was confined to his house by asthma, they devoted the portion of their income. Filial love so characterized surely deserves some memorial, however humble. Mrs. Catharine Wallace died in Philadelphia in February, 1849, in the 44th year of her age, after a painful and lingering illness. She was interred in Ronaldson's Cemetery."

Meanwhile, James Shuter Wallace was turning his attention from the stage to editing newspapers. In 1838 he became an editor for the Miner's Journal in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Still, he was secretary of a literary society in Pottsville in 1839 according to a statement on page 782 of the Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the year ending June 1, 1877, and published in Harrisburg. It may be found on Google Books.

"In 1840 he removed to Harrisburg, where he became first editor, then joint proprietor of the Telegraph. In 1842 he received an invitation to take editorial charge of The Forum, a penny paper of Philadelphia. He accepted it, and removed to the City that year. He subsequently was connected with the Philadelphia Gazette, and North American, in an editorial position, and for six or seven years was joint proprietor and editor of the Sun, which under his charge had a large circulation, and was unquestionably one of the ablest and most influential newspaper[s] ever published in Philadelphia." [quoted from the Miner's Journal, 25 Feb 1865]

By November 1857 Wallace was in Louisville, Kentucky, where The New York Herald reported ...

LOUISVILLE - Mr. James S. Wallace, late of the Philadelphia Sun, has assumed the management of the theatre here, where Mr. and Mrs. Florence are playing to excellent houses. [Sunday, 29 Nov 1857, page 8]

We find him in the Louisville City Directory for 1858-59, on page 180, listed as "Wallace, J. S. manager L. Theatre res es 6th bet. Chestnut & Broadway."

Then in the 1859 directory, on page 238, we find him listed as "WALLACE JAMES S., asst editor Louisville Journal, w s 3d bet Jefferson and Green, h e s 6th four doors north Broadway" which puts him living at perhaps the same location.

Thus, by 1859 Wallace had assumed the role of an editor for the Louisville Journal, working with its publisher, George D. Prentice. For the next six years, until his death in 1865, Wallace wrote on a wide variety of topics from politics to the theater. The writer of the article in the Miner's Journal commented that "in wit, sprightliness, delicate imagery, powerful argument, it was soon discovered he was the peer of the renowned Prentice, and it became difficult to distinguish between the productions of the two. Much that appeared in the Journal which was naturally attributed to the graceful pen of Mr. Prentice was written by Col. Wallace."

Second Marriage

Returning to his family, Juliet Durang Wallace died on 15 Feb 1849 of consumption (tuberculosis), leaving James with four children. He soon married again, this time to Eliza Bowman on 12 May 1849 in Washington D.C. Eliza was also an aspiring actress. She was born 18 Sep 1825 in Pennsylvania. We have not yet determined who her parents were.

James and Eliza were the parents of four children: Alexina Eliza, Henry (better known as Harry), Edwin Forrest, and John Louis Wallace.

James and Juliet's Children

While the family was still in Philadelphia, James' eldest daughter, Ellen Amelia Wallace married Richard Smethurst on 18 Sep 1856. Richard and Ellen had two children. Their first was Julia Ann, born 18 Jul 1857; the second was James Wallace Smethurst, born 10 Mar 1861. James did not survive childhood, dying in 1865. Richard Smethurst, who was a conveyancer [land agent], enlisted in Company G, 17th Infantry Regiment Pennsylvania on 25 Apr 1861. He died in Washington D.C. on May 23 of typhoid pneumonia, less than a month after he enlisted.

We are not completely certain what Ellen Wallace Smethurst did between the death of her husband in 1861 and when we find her again in 1880, living with her daughter and sister in Chicago, but we have a few clues. We know that she was in Louisville, Kentucky when she signed her claim for a widow's pension in 1865, and that she had apparently moved to Nashville, Tennessee by September 1866 when she applied for a pension increase. We also know that in 1870 her daughter Julia was living in Philadelphia with Rebecca Smethurst who we now believe was her step-grandmother. We also know that Ellen had another daughter, Mary Catharine Gordon Glenny. Ellen was living with the Glenny's at the end of her life, and census records indicate that she was Mary's mother. [1910 Federal Census: Utah, Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City Ward 2, ED 22, pages 5B-6A] According to Mary Glenny's death certificate, her father was Alexander Gordon. There is an Ellen listed with an Alexander Gordon in the 1870 census [1870 Federal Census: California, San Mateo County, Fifth Township (Half Moon Bay PO), page 43, household 331/314] but we are not certain it is Ellen Smethurst.

Ellen Wallace Smethurst died on 27 Nov 1913 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Julia Ann Smelhurst married George Foster in Chicago on 29 Sep 1884, and died from typhoid fever on 22 Jan 1892. They had no children.

Mary Catharine Gordon was born 13 Feb 1871 in Louisiana. She married George West Glenny, probably in Chicago since they were living near there in the 1900 census. [1900 Federal Census: Illinois, DuPage County, Downers Grove Township, ED 29, page 131A, household 125/130] George and Mary had two children: Clarice (b. Dec 1889) and Robert Alexander (b. 26 Nov 1892). Clarice married a Mr. Cook and had a son named Nicholas. Clarice and her son were back living with her parents in 1920. [1920 Federal Census: Utah, Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City Ward 2, ED 110, page 3A] Robert Alexander Glenny married an Irene and they had at least two children: Robert and James. [1930 Federal Census: Utah, Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City, ED 18-17, page 162A] George Glenny died 12 Jun 1925; Mary died 24 Jul 1930.

James and Juliet Wallace's second daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth "Lottie" Wallace married Robert Burns Buck on 12 Mar 1866 in Louisville. At the time, he was working as a prompter at the Wood's Theater in Louisville. By 1880 they were living in Chicago with Ellen. [1880 Federal Census: Illinois, Cook County, Chicago, ED 7, page 160A, household 140] Both were involved in the theater as the census lists them as actor and actress. He died sometime before 1900 for Lottie is living with Ellen in Chicago at that time [1900 Federal Census: Illinois, DuPage County, Downers Grove Township, ED 29, page 137A, household 247/260] Then she moved west with Ellen and was living with Ellen's daughter, Mary Glenny when she died on 13 May 1926 in Salt Lake City. Lottie had no children.

Julia Catharine "Kate" Wallace was born 31 Aug 1841 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She married James Grier sometime before 1870 for they appear together with a son named William in the 1870 Kansas census. [1870 Federal Census: Kansas, Saline County, Elm Creek, page 14, household 147/135] They were still in Salina, Kansas in 1880 with four children: Willie, Millie (Mildred), Kate, and Richard. Also living with them was Julia's half-brother, Harry Wallace. [1880 Federal Census: Kansas, Saline County, Salina, District 301, pages 224C-D, household 329/341] We know nothing more about William.

Mildred Grier
Mildred Grier

Mildred was born 37 Feb 1871 in Salina, and died 22 Feb 1961 in Englewood, Colorado. She moved to Denver as a young girl with her family, and was a registered nurse there, graduating from St. Luke's Hospital Nursing School in 1904 and working as a nurse for 44 years in Denver before retiring in 1948.

Kate Grier married Charles Bubar on 7 Jul 1898 in Arapahoe County, Colorado, [1900 Federal Census: Colorado, Arapahoe County, Denver, ED 57, sheet 1, 406 31st Ave - household 25/26] and Charles married a Flora. [1920 Federal Census: Colorado, Denver County, Denver City, ED 193, page 258A, 3027 High - household 32/33]

James Grier was either dead or had moved out since Kate was in Denver with Mildred and Charles in 1900 without him. [1900 Federal Census: Colorado, Arapahoe County, Denver, ED 49, 8B, household 187/193] I suspect that he was still living since the census shows her as married, not widowed. Also, we find her in the 1910 census, and she indicated that she had been married for forty years. In 1920 she was living with her daughter and son-in-law, Charles and Kate Bubar. [1920 Federal Census: Texas, Tarrent County, Forth Worth, ED 132, sheet 14A]

James FitzJames Wallace
James FitzJames

James FitzJames Wallace, the last of James and Juliet's children, was born 6 Apr 1846 in Philadelphia. He was not yet three years old when his mother died, so he had almost no memory of her. Then his father died when he was almost nineteen. It is not clear what kind of relationship he had with his step-mother, but he decided to remain in Louisville when the rest of the family left for other places. He married Susan Staples on 15 Mar 1871 in Louisville and they had a large family of twelve children: Annie Lottie (b. Jan 1873; d. 1 Jun 1946; md. William Koch), Mamie (b. May 1874), Julia (b. Aug 1875), James Pierson (b. 11 Nov 1876; 10 Jul 1940; md. Emma Kieper), Bertha (b. Jun 1878; d. 8 Apr 1943; md. Benjamin Utterback), William Warren (b. 2 Jun 1880; d. 24 Apr 1949; md. Anna Hoffman), Robert (b. 11 Apr 1882; d. 9 Feb 1940), Margaret (b. 2 Aug 1884; md. Frank Francisco), Hattie (b. 27 Aug 1886; d. 20 Aug 1902), Rosa (b. 23 Feb 1888), Elmer (b. 12 Nov 1890; d. 23 Apr 1954; md. Edna Sale), and Madaline (b. 12 Mar 1893; d. 17 Oct 1895). [1900 Federal Census: Kentucky, Jefferson County, Louisville 12th Ward, ED 131, sheet 18, household 350/393]

James FitzJames Wallace died on 15 Apr 1914; Susan followed on 11 Jun 1922.

James and Eliza's Children

Alexina Wallace Wheeler
Alexina Wallace Wheeler

Alexina Eliza "Anna" Wallace, James and Eliza's first born, was born on 23 Aug 1850 in Philadelphia. After her father's death she married Matthew Joseph Wheeler in San Antonio, Texas on 4 Aug 1867. It has been difficult to trace their movements until they turn up in the 1900 census in Eutaw, Alabama [1900 Federal Census: Alabama, Greene County, Eutaw, District 29, page 35B, household 60/70], but fortunately her brother Harry Wallace kept a Wallace Family Bible in which were recorded many Wallace births, deaths, and marriages. In it we find that Joseph and Alexina had six children. The first was Alice Gertrude, born 3 Sep 1872 in Huntsville, Alabama. Also born in Huntsville was Charles William, born on 22 May 1875. Next was Edith, born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on 12 Sep 1877. The last three children were all born in Eutaw, Alabama: John Wallace on 22 Mar 1882, Matthew on 12 Mar 1884, and Nina on 22 Jun 1886.

Edith Wallace, Alexina's daughter, married Clarence Rhett Trousdale on 27 Jul 1899 in Birmingham, Alabama. They had five children: Izora Josephine, Cecil Durham, Clarence Rhett Jr., Joe Wheeler, and Alexina Wallace Trousdale.

John Wallace Wheeler, Sr.
John Wallace Wheeler, Sr.
Effie Cocke Wheeler
Effie Cocke Wheeler
John Wallace Wheeler, Jr.
John Wallace Wheeler, Jr.

John Wallace Wheeler married Effie C. Cocke, daughter of John Binion Cocke and his wife Amanda Modawell. Effie's grandparents were Woodson and Mary Elizabeth (Binion) Cocke, and William and Mary Ann (Moneghan) Modawell.

John and Effie had a son they named John Wallace Wheeler, Jr. who was born 16 Feb 1914 and died in 1985. John Wallace, Sr. died 6 Jan 1945; Effie died 30 May 1970. The three of them are buried in the Mesopotamia Cemetery in Greene County, Alabama

The family operated a hotel in Eutaw. The following except is from an undated issue of the Tuscaloosa Times:

"Alexina house - When we strike a good thing, we can't keep it quiet, and we now feel like telling how good a thing it is to strike the Alexina House at Eutaw about breakfast, dinner, supper or bed time!

Our friend, Major Wheeler, is the Prince of clever gentlemen, and a born hotel keeper; there are none who depart from his table unsatisfied, not even the most fault-finding drummer, not the overworked railroad man. Mr. John L. Wallace has charge of the office. He will be long remembered in this city as being the fortunate man in getting one of Tuscaloosa's beauties for a wife. He is courteous to all, and the 'right man in the right place'. To the Alexina House, ye hungry, thirsty and sleepy and be satisfied!"

The Alexina House was situated near the depot for the Great Southern Railroad and was a very popular stop between Tuscaloosa and Mississippi.

Alexina Eliza Wallace Wheeler died 23 Aug 1889 in Greene County, Alabama. Her husband lived until 13 Jul 1918. They are both buried in the Mesopotamia Cemetery (Oak Hill) in Greene County.

Harry Bowman Wallace
Harry Wallace

Henry Bowman "Harry" Wallace was born on 18 Mar 1852 in Philadelphia. It is not clear what Harry did in the years following his father's death, but according to his obituary he was in Salina, Kansas by 1873. The local city directory for 1879-80 lists him as a member of the Salina Hook & Ladder Company, and lists his occupation as a bartender.

He married Kate Estelle Smith on the evening of 21 Oct 1880. The Rev. A. G. Kissell, of Abilene performed the ceremony.

By 1885 he was listed as the city clerk for Salina. In 1891 he was listed as the clerk for the U.S. Land Office. Then the 1900 census [1900 Federal Census: Kansas, Saline County, Salina Ward 4, District 123, page 228B, household 132/134] indicates that Harry was the "register of deeds" in Saline County, Kansas.

Harry and Kate had eight children: Elsie Baird (b. 26 Jun 1881), Frank James (b. 7 Feb 1883), Lottie Estella (b. 29 Jan 1885), Nina Bowman (b. 8 Feb 1888), Clarence Smith (b. 23 Mar 1890), Arthur Henry (b. 21 oct 1892), Harry Edward (b. 2 Mar 1897), and Mary Katherine (b. 19 Dec 1899). It is their family Bible that has provided many of the dates we have.

Frank and Marie Wallace
This is possibly Arthur Wallace (left), Elsie Wallace, Katherine Wallace, and Harry Wallace in the early 1920s.

Frank and Marie Wallace
Frank & Marie Wallace

From this Bible we have marriage records for several of Harry's children. Frank James Wallace married Marie J. Karlwaski on 9 Apr 1905 in Salina, Kansas. Her parents were William and Louisa Karlwaski, German immigrants. In the 1900 census [1900 Federal Census: Kansas, Lincoln County, pages 248B-249A, household 199/201] we find that Louisa was a widow with a family to raise. Frank and Marie moved to Seattle, Washington, and had one daughter named Dorothy Louise. [1930 Federal Census: Washington, King County, Seattle, District 79, page 108A, household 232/268 - 1919 8th Avenue West] Lottie Estella Wallace married Ezra Smith on 5 Dec 1916 in Salina.

Samuel and Nina Farmer
Samuel and Nina Farmer
Arthur and Hazel Wallace
Arthur and Hazel Wallace

Nina Bowman Wallace married Samuel Farmer on 28 Oct 1908 in Salina. They had three children: Donald, Nina Laverne, and Wayne.

Arthur Henry Wallace married Hazel R. Preston on 8 Dec 1916 in Salina. They had five children: Clarence, Ruth, Carol, Preston and Gerald Eugene.

Lottie Wallace Smith
Lottie Wallace Smith
Mary Katherine Wallace Stewart
Mary Katherine Stewart

Harry Edward Wallace married Margaret Hawkins on 30 Apr 1928 in Salina; and Mary Katherine Wallace (pictured here) married Evert Stewart on 16 Dec 1930 in Salina. They had two children: Mary Louise Stewart and James Wallace Stewart.

Harry Wallace suffered a stroke on 4 December 1906, appeared to improve for a couple of days and then suffered a second stroke a few days later which left him unconscious until he died on 9 December, 1906.

Kate died in March 1952.

Edwin Forrest Wallace was born on 25 Sep 1853 in Philadelphia. When the family moved to Louisville he and his younger brother were boarded with the Rev. B. B. Smith and his wife. [1860 Federal Census: Kentucky, Jefferson County, Louisville 3rd Ward, page 121, household 658/899] It appears that Rev. Smith operated a boarding school in his home. As is the case with his siblings, we know little of what became of Edwin following his father's death in 1865. He next appeared in Benton County, Indiana were he married Jennie Bell Stokes on 30 Apr 1878. He moved with his family from there to Vincennes, Indiana, and then on to Indianapolis.

Edwin and Jennie had five children: Harry (b. 16 Apr 1880; buried 15 Feb 1951 in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis), Ethel (b. 11 Aug 1883), Gladys Gertrude (b. 3 Dec 1890), Nina Caroline (b. 20 Jan 1893), and Ruth Wheeler (b. about 1903). Harry Wallace married Cora May Wallace (may have been her second marriage) on 4 Jan 1916 in Indianapolis. Ethel Wallace married Robert R. Pattison on 23 Jan 1907 in Indianapolis. They had a son named Edwin. [1910 Federal Census: Indiana, Marion County, Indianapolis Ward 8, district 149, page 269B, household 70/77 - 1004 Garfield Place] Gladys Gertrude Wallace married Clarence Myron Kern on 6 Jun 1911 in Indianapolis, and they had two children: Wallace and Gretchen. [1920 Federal Census: Indiana, Marion County, Wayne Township, District 25, page 23B, household 42/42 - Ben Davis Street] Nina Caroline Wallace married Leslie W. Schoppe on 8 Jun 1916, and Ruth Wheeler Wallace married Russell F. Edwards on 21 May 1921, both in Indianapolis.

Edwin Forrest Wallace was buried on 28 Dec 1918 in the Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana. His widow, Jennie B. Wallace was buried there on 18 Mar 1933.

John Louis Wallace, the last of James and Eliza's children, was born on 29 Jul 1855 in Philadelphia. Like his brother, he was boarded with Rev. Smith in Louisville in 1860. He apparently made his way to Tuscaloosa by 1880 for he appears in the census there. Then we have the quote given above that indicates that he was working with the Wheelers in the hotel business, apparently in the early 1880's and that he had taken a bride.

We have found a marriage record for John L. Wallace and Margaret T. Alston on 23 Nov 1882 in Hale County, Alabama which lies just to the east of Greene County.

From a death memorial passed down through the family, we know that Mrs. Maggie Alston Wallace died on 18 Jan 1887. Then a notice in The Clarion newspaper of Jackson, Mississippi dated 26 Jan 1887 reported that "The remains of Mrs. Maggie Wallace, who died in Eutaw, Alabama were brought to this city on Wednesday last and interred by the side of her father, Dr. Alston, who died in this city just before the war."

We first find Maggie Alston with her mother and two brothers in Jackson (Hinds County), Mississippi in the 1860 census. That record gives her age as 5 years old. Then she is with her mother and two older brothers in Hale County, Alabama in the 1870 census, with age given as 14. Then Maggie Alston, age 23, is living with her mother, A. E. Alston, age 49 and a widow, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the 1880 census. Earlier, we find Kent P. Alston, age 32 and a physician, with his wife Allice E. Alston, age 19, living in Madison County, Mississippi in the 1850 census. They are likely Maggie's parents.

By 1896 John Louis Wallace was again married. This information comes from his obituary which was published in the Salina, Kansas newspaper, hometown of his brother Harry Wallace. We have an image of most of the article, and have transcribed parts of it below.

H. B. Wallace received news of the death of his brother John L. Wallace this week. The death was quite sudden and was a cause of great grief on the part of Mr. H. B. Wallace and family. John L. Wallace was editor and business manager of the Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Evening Times. Not only his own paper but the Gazette of Tuscaloosa, also speaks in terms of great praise of Mr. Wallace's many virtues and the great loss to Tuscaloosa in his death. The Gazette of Dec. 3rd says:

"It is impossible to fitly express the sorrow and pain occasioned to this whole community by the death of John L. Wallace.

"To-day just three weeks ago a multitude of friends gathered at Christ Church to witness the happy nuptials of this brilliant Tuscaloosian and one of our sweetest girls. To-day these same friends gather in the same sacred edifice with aching hearts to render the last honor to one of earth's noblest men. ...

"It seems impossible to realize that the bright smile, the ready and witty reply to every sally and that spirit of comradeship and lovableness that was so characteristic of the man will not be bestowed on his hosts of friends again. ...

"On Thursday morning November 12, Mr. Wallace and Miss Lillie Hausman were married. As they went on their wedding tour to the groom's old home at Louisville, they were accompanied by a very deluge of good wishes and happy congratuations. ... Mr. and Mrs. Wallace returned from Louisville on Friday evening, Nov. 19th. On the day following, ... Mr. Wallace was taken ill. His condition however did not seem to be very serious and on last Sunday morning when the news spread over the city that he was dangerously, critically ill, his friends could scarce credit the intelligence. It was indeed too sadly true. From Sunday morning he rapidly grew weaker and inst before two o'clock Wednesday ... (clipping missing)

The Times says editorially: "His loss to the paper cannot be estimated or expressed. He has been 'the Times man' so long that we cannot realize that he has left his post for a higher, nobler, purer place in Heaven. So much of good has been said of him that our pen and our thoughts are impotent to say more, but we regard it as a proper thing to give a biographical sketch of one who has so truly a loyal enterprising citizen and Christian, in the columns of the paper that he gave the best strength and energy of his nature to, in promoting its interests, as well as the welfare of the people amongst whom he lived."

It appears that John Louis Wallace followed in the footsteps of his father

James Shuter Wallace's Death

Eliza Bowman Wallace
Eliza Bowman Wallace

James Shuter Wallace apparently suffered a stroke [paralysis] that occurred on or about the first of January, 1865. He "died after a confinement of several weeks to his bed." As you can read in the several obituaries we have on another page, he was well liked and respected by colleague and competitor alike. From a friend we read, "Col. Wallace possessed attractive social qualities, while his nobleness of soul endeared him to all who knew him. As a journalist, there were few superior to him in abilitiy or vim. As a friend he was true as steel. As a husband, kind. As a father, indulgent. To his immediate family circle his death is irreparable." [Miner's Journal, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, 25 Feb 1865] From a competitor come these words: "The Colonel was a writer of ability and his death will be a sad loss to the fraternity. He was a man of amicable and gentle disposition, kind hearted, and by his courteous and gentlemanly bearing had made hosts of friends who will mourn his death." [Daily Democrat, Louisville, 18 Feb 1865]

We know that Eliza Bowman Wallace remained in Louisville until at least 1869 for she is listed in the city directory for that year: "Wallace Eliza, wid. Col. James, actress, Louisville opera house" However the family seems to disappear in 1870 as we can find few of them in that census. The clues we have to her whereabouts come from where we find her children getting married, but they are scattered about as well.

We finally find Eliza in 1900, living with her son-in-law, Joseph Wheeler, in Eutaw, Alabama. [1900 Federal Census: Alabama, Greene County, Eutaw, District 29, page 35B, household 60/70] She died on 25 Jun 1907 in Greene County, and is buried in the Mesopotamia Cemetery (Oak Hill) in Greene County.

This obituary for Eliza was printed in the local paper in Eutaw, Alabama.

The Eutaw Whig and Observer
Thursday, 27 Jun 1907

This essay is presented in the hope that the descendants of this family will be pleased to learn more about their ancestors, and that the general reader will come to appreciate the lives described here.

A postscript about Helen Fortin Wallace, James' mother. We know from documents that she was a daughter of Joseph and Eliza (Vans) Fortin, and that Eliza Vans was a daughter of Alexander Vans. We now suspect that Joseph Fortin was a son of Joseph and Sarah (Membrut) Fortin of New York City. This is based on the following documents.

From Registers of the Births, Marriages, and Deaths, of the "Eglise Francoise à la Nouvelle York," From 1688 to 1804, edited by the Rev. Alfred V. Wittmeyer, Rector of the French Church du Saint-Esprit, Baltimore Genealogical Publishing Company, 1968, we have the following quote:

Bapteme - Aujourdhuy apres lexercisse du soir a êté batisé dans l'Eglise Joseph Fortin fils naturel et Legitime de Joseph fortin et de Sarah fortin née menbrut le dit enfant est né le 18e de fevrier dernier, a eté presenté au St. Bateme par francois Basset jeune Parain et Jeanne Buau Maraine, il a eté Batise par moy Pasteur Soussigné fait en Consistoire le 21e. mars 1756.

which has been translated as ...

To day, after the evening service, has been baptized in our church Joseph Fortin, legitime son of Joseph Fortin and Sarah Fortin born Membrut, born the 18 february. Was held in front by François Basset the young, godfather and Jeanne Buau, godmother. Baptized by me, undersigned parish minister; 21st march 1756

This identifies a child named Joseph Fortin, born 18 Feb 1756, to Joseph and Sarah (Membrut) Fortin in New York City. Since Helen Fortin was born in 1782, this child Joseph would have been 26 years old at her birth.

Then we have the following will for the elder Joseph Fortin, which confirms that he had a son named Joseph.

In the name of God, Amen, October 11, 1763. I, JOSEPH FORTIN, of New York, mariner. I leave to my wife Sarah the use of all real and personal estate during her life, to enable her to bring up our son Joseph. After her death I leave all my estate to my son Joseph, when of age. "And he shall be kept at School, and educated till old enough to be put as an apprentice." If my wife and son should both die, then I leave all my estate to my wife's sister, Catharine Haycock. "My silver tankard, table spoons, tea spoons, and watch, and my large silver soup spoons, all marked J. F. S., are to be for my son Joseph." I make my wife Sarah, and my friends, James Devereaux and Francis Bassett, executors.
Witnesses, Joseph Forbes, John Forbes, John Nathaniel Hutchins. Proved, August 6, 1766.

It has not yet been determined with absolute certainty that this is Helen Fortin Wallace's grandfather, but the evidence is becoming more persuasive

We also believe that Eliza Vans Fortin's father, Alexander Vans, may have been the one who married Helena Drinkwater on 5 Nov 1756 at First & Second Presbyterian Church in New York City. However we have only the marriage record and no indication of their children, so this remains speculation.

Effort has been made to eliminate errors, but their absence is not guaranteed. This document is copyright 2007 by Charles Hartley. Permission is hereby granted to individuals seeking family history information to copy the contents of this document for their personal use. It may not be sold, either separately or as part of a collection, without the written permission of the copyright holder; nor may it be placed at any other location on the internet without said written permission.

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