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The Adlai Wallace's Potpourri
The Wallace's Potpourri is dedicated to the memory of Adlai Wallace who published a news letter in the fifties and sixties, featuring information submitted by family members.
The following letter was submitted by Jessie McNutt, many thanks for her contribution to The Wallace Potpourri.
David Caroll Wallace
20606-1 Lindeman Lane
Leander, Texas 78641
I note in your
book that Uncle Eustace used the $1050.00 inherited from Grandpa Wallace to make
a down payment on a farm.
Grandpa left about an estate of $40,000 when he died in 1938. The estate included bank accounts, government bonds, a farm in McNab, Arkansas. The Ozan farm belonged to my grandmother at the time they were married.
In Grandpa’s will, his widow received one third, with the rest to be divided among his children. The will named my father, Clarence Wallace, to serve as executor, without bond, but since Arkansas law required the executor to live in that state and my father lived in Iowa, it was decided to name Uncle Cecil, who lived in Saratoga, Arkansas, as executor.
As the will did not name him, he had to be bonded at twice the value of the estate, so all the heirs signed his bond, which came to 100 percent of the estate and then had to list their assets to make up the other $40,000. In the 1930’s they just did make total assets of $40,000.
It was almost impossible to sell the farm at McNab, and Uncle Cecil finally took that farm as his share of the estate. (Years later, he was killed in a vehicle’s accident while driving to the farm.)
While my grandparents were considered as well-to-do, they never owned an automobile, never had electricity in their home, or modern plumbing. Water came from a cistern, and the outhouse stood about 30 feet from the back porch.
When some neighbor suggested at a church picnic that he should buy a car, he replied that he was saving his money for his old age, and when they opened a new section of the cemetery at St. Paul’s Church and Grandma suggested that he stake out a burial plot, he wasn’t sure he would need one. “Elijah went to heaven in a chariot of fire.” Never less, he had a family plot staked out with a curb around it, with room for a dozen or so graves. He is buried there, along with my grandmother, my father, my brother, Maurice, Jessie’s husband, Walter Scott McNutt, my brother Bob’s youngest son, Dennis Maurice, and Uncle Goldberg’s wife, Lelia.
Most of the money Grandpa had when he died came from the estate of his brother, Hempstead Wallace. I think he died in about 1926 and has the largest tombstone here in the cemetery behind St. Paul’s Church at Ozan.
Uncle Hemp was an early day capitalist and people said that at one time he was almost a millionaire. After the Civil War he built the Hot Springs to Texarkana Railroad and prospered for a time. One story was that the train would leave Hot Springs in the afternoon and that at dark would stop at his hotel at Hemp Wallace, Arkansas. There the engineer and conductor would get rooms at the hotel and passengers could either sit all night in the coaches or check in at the hotel. The next morning the train would proceed to Texarkana and that afternoon the train would leave for Hot Springs, again stopping at the hotel. I don’t know whether the story was true, but I do remember seeing a road sign saying “Hemp Wallace” with a two story wooden abandoned structure nearby.
The automobile and rail competition put Uncle Hemp’s railroad out of business and he ended up selling some of the rails for scrap metal.
At the time of his death he had some other investments and money, along with two farms at Saratoga, Arkansas. His will gave one of the farms to Uncle Alfa, who had farmed for Uncle Hemp for years.
The other farm, the larger one, he left to his heirs, specifying that it was not to be sole for 20 years. As executor of Hemp’s estate, Grandpa promptly sold the farm to a cement company, as there was an abundance of lime there.
Uncle Alfa sued Grandpa for not abiding by Hemp’s wishes, but the court sided with Grandpa on the basis that no source of funds was listed in the will to take care of debts in those years when the farm lost money. My father thought that the cement company put Alfa up to filing the suit to make sure they had clear title to the property.
Grandpa told the judge at the conclusion of the trial that he had raised a number of children, but never thought that he would raise a fool. Nevertheless, when Grandpa died, he left Alfa the same share of the estate that he left to his other children.
After Grandpa’s death in 1938, Aunt Louise and Uncle Baxter Beck decided to move in with Grandma. Baxter was a carpenter, among other traits, and planned to modernize the house. He wanted to put a window in the kitchen, and when Grandma object to any changes, Aunt Louise and Baxter gave up the idea.
Newt Wallace July 19, 2001
Dear Robert Reynolds,
I found this letter on my computer and thought you’d like to read some of my memories of my grandfather, Wilson Polk Wallace. I wrote this to David Carrol Wallace, who was a son of Eustace Wallace of the second family of W. P. Wallace. David was very interested in knowing more about his grandfather, W. P. Wallace, as Eustace, his father, had left home at age 12 1/2 years - mainly I gather because he didn’t like his step mother, who was my grandmother, Mattie Goldberg. Eustace would never talk to his family about his early life in Arkansas.
500 Elmington Ave, Apt 522
Nashville, TN 37205
July 26, 2000
Dear Cousin David:
I’m glad to know that we have another cousin out there, as we have lost quite a few of our generation in the last few years. Really enjoyed your book - you write a very interesting story about your family. Also liked Kerry’s illustrations. Always wondered what happened to Eustace Maury Wallace, though I did know that he came to Grandpa’s funeral. My family was there
too, but I had just graduated from high school in Ames, Iowa, and had a job for the summer in 1938, so I was the only one that didn’t attend the funeral.
Grandpa Wallace (Wilson Polk Wallace) was really quite a character. I’ve
always thought that two of my brothers, Newton and Bob should write a book about him. My brother, Bob died this year, and only Newton is left. My husband (who was a first cousin) Walter S. McNutt, Jr. (known as W. S.) also had a lot of good stories about Grandpa, but unfortunately he had Alzheimer for the last seven or eight years, and just passed away June 1999.
I know you must have been curious about the Grandfather you never knew, so I
will tell you about some of my memories of him. I grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma from the age of 5 until I was 16. We visited in Ozan every summer, and often at Christmas too. Grandpa never spoke to any of his children or grandchildren. I thought maybe it was just that he was so old when he had his last family of nine children, but I met a cousin, Aleene King, from the first family, who also had some funny stories about trying to get Grandpa Wallace to talk to her. My father told how grandpa went with him on the train when he left home to go to The College of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas. It was a most difficult trip, as they had never had a conversation, and both were very ill at ease.
Grandpa had long conversations with everyone else. My husband’s father, Walter S. McNutt, Sr. was a minister. He came to Ozan once a month to preach in the little church up the road, St. Paul’s Church. Grandpa would talk all afternoon to Uncle Walter. Then my mother’s father, Jesse W. Hudiburg, visited him in Ozan one summer. He had been a preacher in Arkansas many years before, and knew Grandpa. They had a wonderful time together. My Grandpa Hudiburg asked, Wilson P. why he invited this mob of people every summer. Wilson P. answered, "I don't invite them; they just come." And when Grandpa did start talking to the visitors, all the kids gathered around hoping he was going to tell some of his war stories.
Your description of the family prayers at night when you were growing up, reminded me of the family prayers in Ozan. Grandpa always read some scripture by the light of a kerosene lamp, and then we all kneeled down on our knees when he said a prayer.
Grandpa worked hard on his farm. We always arrived at the time of his birthday, August 9, which was my mother’s birthday too. It was also when the watermelons were ripe. Hope, Arkansas, which was 16 miles away was the Watermelon capital of the world, so Ozan produced good watermelons too. By the time we arrived, Grandpa had the large corridor of his home loaded with watermelons. Every afternoon around 2:00 o’clock, he would cut about five or six watermelons, and eat a little piece of the heart of each. He would save the seeds of the best ones, and then would leave the cut watermelons for the rest of us. All the kids would go out to the chicken yard to eat the watermelon. We would spit the seeds on our bare feet and let the chickens pick off the seeds.
My brothers and cousins always loved to have corncob fights. My brother Newton bet our cousin W. S. that he could make Grandpa talk to him. So Newton got on Grandpa’s buggy and started jumping up and down. Grandpa yelled at him and told him to get off that buggy. Newt went running to W. S. “See, I told you I could get Grandpa to talk to me.” (W. S. told me that story).
On Sunday, Grandpa and Grandma would drive to church in the buggy. There was only room for two in that buggy, so I don’t recall ever riding in it. We did get to ride wagons at times.
We went back to Ozan last October, and buried my husband’s ashes in St. Paul’s cemetery. Wilson Polk Wallace and my grandmother are buried in the family plot. My father, a brother, Maurice, and a nephew Dennis who was killed in an automobile accident are also buried there. Your great grandparents, Andrew Jackson Wallace and his wife, Jane Fontaine, are in a
grave down the road. Munro Stewart owns the land, and later bought the Wallace land where we used to visit. The house burned down not too long after Grandpa died and my grandmother had moved in with her daughters.
Submitted by, Jessie Wallace McNutt
Christmas in Ozan, Submitted By Jessie Wallace McNutt, Jan 10, 2002
Newt reprinted one of his old columns in his weekly newspaper and I thought you would like to know what it was like going to Wilson Polk Wallace and Mattie Goldberg Wallace's farm in Ozan at Christmas time when we were small children. It was in the early 1920's that we had that Model T, and I can remember how cold it was when we traveled at Christmas time.
HERE, THERE & EVERYWHERE
From Winters Express, Thursday, Dec., 20, 2001
By Newton Wallace
In the Christmas edition of the Winters Express of December 24, 1946, I wrote the following column about Christmas. As I can no longer write as well as I did a half-century ago, I am reprinting this.
CHRISTMAS IN ARKANSAS: I am thinking about those Christmas’s spent at Grandma’s. Up at 4 a.m. the day before Christmas, heating bricks on the stove to keep our feet warm on the journey, loading up the luggage rack on the running board of the Model “T,” and repairing the side-curtains as best our parents could, keeping some of the cold air out; then, bundling ourselves in blankets and quilts until only our stocking capped heads protruded, we were on our way.
Then came the long day on the road. Detours, wrong turns, stopping to thaw out, reheat the bricks, ask directions (highway markers were few and far between), three in the front seat and three in back, with mom trying to discover who the trouble maker in the back seat was, and moving him or her into the front seat.
After dark we finally arrived at our destination, with the house already full of uncles, aunts and cousins. There were family prayers in the evening, in front of the fireplace, with Grandpa reading his worn Bible by the light of a flickering kerosene lamp. He than called on my father or one of my uncles for the prayer (there were five preachers in the family), after which we were snuggled into featherbeds, where, amid the occasional “be quiet in there,” we renewed acquaintances with our many cousins.
Then the day came. We were all up at an unearthly hour, opening our presents. Then morning prayers, then salted mackerel for breakfast. After breakfast there were the chores, filling the reservoir by the kitchen woodstove, bringing in the wood, carrying out the ashes, churning the butter-but it didn’t seem like work.
Other relatives began arriving. More uncles, aunts and cousins until, when the dinner bell rang, between 30 and 40 people crowded around the tables to see what could be done to a 30 or 40 pound turkey.
There was much to do in the afternoon. Hiking through the woods, combing the fields for arrowheads, a corncob fight in the barnyard, firecrackers (a Christmas item in the South), maybe one of my uncles could be prevailed upon to hitch up the mules and take us for a wagon ride.
Or best of all, Grandpa might get started telling stories of the Civil War, and we would gather around to hear the accounts of battles of the war fought many decades ago.
Toward evening, relatives who came from a short distance began departing, with the rest of us staying a few more days, and all looking forward to the reunion next year.
The following tribute were published by The Adlai Wallace's Potpourri.
A tribute to Effie Ruth Wallace Burns
By Polly Burns William
FROM MARY: The vivid memory of Mother' s faith - She had the unwavering faith
that gave her strength to face all things uncomplaining - faith that gave her
the strong assurance that whatever happened it would be for the ultimate good of
those "who love. The Lord." She had faith in prayer. She took her burdens to the
Lord and left there. Her heart and soul was always overflowing with praise for
God in word and song. Her daily tasks were accompanied with religious hymns. Her
babies were rocked to sleep in her arms while singing God's praise. She had
faith in God's children -faith in the Bible - it was her daily inspiration and
guidance. Faith in God's church - she was ever faithful to the tithe. She had
faith that carried her to the end uncomplaining and ever grateful to her Lord
and God for the ninety-six years he gave her to enjoy his blessing and her
A tribute Effie Ruth Wallace Burns
By Ruth Burns
FROM RUTH: Mother lived her religion. Through love, service, hardships and trials she always had a smile. She believed God when he said, "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28, When this called one was called home; we children joined hands and words of prayer (Psalms 23.) She taught us to know and love the Good Shepherd. Praise God! Oh, thank God for her precious life and memory
Posted by Robert Reynolds
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