Joseph Wallace

JOSEPH WALLACE, city engineer of Galena, and one of the oldest and most highly esteemed residents of Cherokee County, whose portrait accompanies this sketch, was born March 28, 1833, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. After taking the common-school branches, he became a student in Ohio University and later in Mount Union College. This was followed by several years of teaching. Most of these were spent in Ohio, but he was one of the first to engage in pedagogy in Kansas, and taught the first school in his district. He also taught in Illinois and during one winter had charge of the Freedmen's University at Quindaro, Kansas, a school for colored people. When the Civil War began, he was among the first to enlist, going to the front with Company D, 18th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf. Returning, he was chosen surveyor of Vinton County, Ohio, and served in that capacity for two years. Soon after this he moved to Kansas, locating in Cherokee County in 1867, since which time he has been one of of[sic] the county's most enterprising and valuable citizens, zealous of her improvement and always ready to assist in her advancement.

Mr. Wallace settled on a claim six miles north of Baxter Springs when few cabins were to be found on the surrounding prairie and at a time when our "necessities of life" would have been esteemed as luxuries, but the pioneer was not easily daunted and expected to make his way in spite of privations and hardships, and it was this spirit of grit and endurance which has redeemed the great West from the hordes of savages and wild beasts and made it the pride of our American civilization. Mr. Wallace is a man of action and at once became identified with the leading men of his chosen State. In 1869 he was elected surveyor and has spent almost 30 years of his life in that employment, eight as a deputy and 20 as chief surveyor. In 1892 he moved to Columbus and in 1894 located in Galena, where he now resides. Here he became associated in business with W. H. Duncan, of Hutchinson, Kansas, under the firm name of Wallace & Duncan, and enjoys all of his old time popularity and prosperity. He is the present efficient engineer of Galena, with headquarters at the city hall, and the capable manner in which he has discharged the duties of his office have won him general commendation. He is also interested in mining operations.

In 1862, Mr. Wallace was married to Clara Maltz of Ohio, a lady of excellent worth who encouraged and assisted him during their many varied experiences as only a kind and loving wife could. Not only the family, but also a wide circle of friends, were bereaved by her death which occurred in 1899. Nine children were born to this worthy couple, four of whom survive, namely: Edward F., who holds a responsible position with the American Packing Company, of Chicago,—he married Anna Widman, for two terms county superintendent of schools of Cherokee County, by whom he has one child, Marie; Mrs. Lillian Mishler, who resides eight miles north of Galena and has a family of five children; Rufus, who married Lilly Knox, of Missouri; and Daisy, who lives at home and keeps the home for her father. Mr. Wallace has given all of his children the advantage of a good education, both in the public schools and in college, and now enjoys the satisfaction of seeing them fill their various stations in life creditably and well. He resides at No. 1019 Joplin avenue in a handsome modern residence which he erected. The house is nicely situated and surrounded with just sufficient shade to make it an inviting spot on a hot summer day. Mr. Wallace has been active in politics and has frequently been chosen to represent his party as delegate to county, congressional and State conventions. He is a member of the Royal Arch Chapter of Masons.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 3/11/97.


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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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