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Wallace Family

The story of the Wallace family is one of mystery and heartache.  At this time, the family can only be traced back to the 1850s in Madison County, Indiana.  Melvin Wallace and his wife Fannie Langley first appear in the 1860 census in Richardson County, Nebraska (classifying them as early pioneers of the Nebraska Territory), along with their sons John and Hiram, both born in Indiana.  The only link to Madison County that I have is a set of family notes written by Ruth Hines which mentions the county as the place of birth of John.  Just as quickly as they appear in the records, they also disappear.  Melvin, Fannie, and Hiram are all absent, to my knowledge, from the 1870 census.  Only a 14 year old John remains, living in Warren County, Illinois as a farm laborer with the Franklin Spencer family.  It is conceivable that the rest of the family fell vicitim to a "bloody flux" (dysentery) epidemic that struck Richardson County in the summer of 1860. It may also be, that only Fannie and Hiram fell vicitim to the epidemic and Melvin moved further west where records were rather incomplete at that time.

John L Wallace would continue to make Warren County his home, marrying Sarah Ellen Wilcox, fathering six children, and eventually dying in Kirkwood in 1906.  Of the six children, only the two girls, Bertha Mae and Merle Francis, would remain in Warren County, the four boys all moving to Fairfield, Iowa and then to points west, with the exceptin of Charles who would die in a fire in 1914.  The second son, William Earl, married Orpha Gurwell and fathered three children, the youngest dying in infancy.  When Orpha passed away in 1918, William left his two daughters in the care of his eldest sister Bertha.  Bertha and her husband, James Watson, would raise the girls as their own, while William remarried and eventually moved to Omaha, Nebraska where he lived out his days. 

The eldest daughter, Ruth, remained in Warren County where she married Lloyd Hines and raised four children.  Lois would also remain in the county, marrying, raising two children, and still residing at the ripe young age of 98.



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