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Wallace Family Papers

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Correspondence

Class Notes

Diary and Appointment Books

Financial Records

Genealogy Records

Legal Documents

Maps and Blueprints

Memorabilia

News Clippings

Photographs

Publications

Speeches

World War I

Oversize Materials



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Wallace Family Papers, 1867-1975 | Eastern Kentucky University - Special Collections and Archives

By Dawn Miles

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Collection Overview

Title: Wallace Family Papers, 1867-1975Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Extent: 16.28 Cubic Feet

Date Acquired: 05/25/1978

Subjects: Courtship, World War, 1914-1918.

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Through correspondence, diaries, speeches, photographs, news clippings, and other primary source materials the public career and personal life of William Luxon Wallace and his family are documented. Glimpses of late nineteenth century Richmond, KY social and political life can be found in the correspondence of Wallace's father, Coleman Covington Wallace. In addition, due to Wallace's significance as an organizer in the Kentucky Republican Party, the collection sheds some light on the party's history during the first half of the twentieth century. It also contains political memorabilia which Wallace assembled along with a quantity of materials that document his World War I experience.

The correspondence is mostly personal and covers Republican Party activities, World War I, and the proper behavior expected from young women of the 1920s. Other letters deal with various state and national elections. When Wallace served on the Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents, the subject of the correspondence shifts to Eastern.

The collection also includes several diaries from the women in the family, Wallace's wife wrote over a span of 44 years; his sister wrote while she was at school in Louisville in the 1920s and there is one volume from his sister-in-law.

Collection Historical Note

William Luxon Wallace, lawyer and politician, was born in Richmond, Kentucky on January 2, 1889, the son of Coleman Covington Wallace and May Ballard Luxon. He had one sister, Coleman May Wallace. His father served as postmaster in Richmond from 1899 to 1915. The elder Wallace practiced law and was active in politics as a staunch defender of the Republican Party Wallace received his early education at Walters Collegiate Institute in Richmond and continued his preparatory education at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. In 1911 he graduated from Yale University Law School and in that same year established a law practice in Richmond. On July 16, 1923, Wallace married Velma Fay Nisius from Vanceburg, Kentucky. Their first child, a daughter, was born dead in May of 1924, four months premature. On June 19, 1925, another daughter, Wilma Fay, was born and on April 12, 1927, a son, William, Jr., was born. A fourth child, Patricia Coleman, was born on April 22, 1931.

On May 11, 1917, Wallace enlisted in the army for service in World War I. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, F.A. and served on the staff of Brig. Gen. H. H. Whitney, Commander of the 63rd Field Artillery Brigade. Later, he served as division trial judge advocate for the 38th Division. After being transferred to France in 1918, he served at general headquarters under Gen. John J. Pershing at Chaumont. He later served on the staff of Maj. Gen. Summerall, Commander of the 5th Army Corps. While in France, he attended the University of Lyons where he studied International Law. He received an honorable discharge in 1919 and upon his return to Richmond resumed his legal and political career.

In 1921 Wallace was elected to the Kentucky State Senate from the 29th district. His opponent, R. C. Oldham, contested Wallace's election on the grounds that Wallace was not a resident of that district. The contest was dismissed, however, on the recommendation of a Senate committee. Wallace served as judge advocate general for Kentucky with the rank of major from 1921 to 1923 and was three times appointed as a Special Judge of the Court of Appeals from 1931 to 1940.

Wallace began his legal career as a lawyer and member of the firm of Chenault, Wallace and Wallace. In 1922 he joined the Frankfort law firm of Judge Edward Clay O'Rear and later became a full partner in the firm of O'Rear, Fowler and Wallace. In 1927 Wallace moved to Lexington where the Fowler, Wallace and Fowler firm was formed. This partnership lasted until 1934 at which time Wallace went into practice alone. In 1951 he joined Job D. Turner, Jr. and Scott Reed in their firm. When Reed withdrew in 1964 to become a Fayette Circuit Court judge, the new firm of Wallace, Turner, and Trigg was established which was still in existence at the time of Wallace's death in 1974. From 1934 to 1936 Wallace served as assistant corporation counsel of the City of Lexington. He served as attorney and later director of the Citizens Union National Bank and Trust Company before becoming an advisory director.

Wallace had a deep interest in the development of Eastern Kentucky University, and on April 2, 1968, Governor Louie B. Nunn appointed him to the Board of Regents. When that term ended on March 30, 1972, Wallace was Appointed to the Board by Governor Wendell Ford for another four years.

Wallace was very active in the Republican Party and served as a delegate the Republican National Convention in 1920, 1952, 1954, and 1960 as well serving as chairman of the Fayette County Republican Executive Committee from 1928 to 1936. He was also assistant Republican state campaign chairman Kentucky for the 1935 gubernatorial race. From 1936 to 1952 he chaired Republican Executive Committee for Kentucky's 6th Congressional District and served as a member of the Republican State Central Committee from the District from 1936 to 1969, and from then on, an at-large member of the committee.

Wallace belonged to numerous fraternal and charitable organizations and clubs including the Community Chest, The Family Welfare Society and Social Service Club Exchange of Fayette County. He was past president of the Lexington Club; past exalted ruler of BPOE Lodge No. 581, Richmond; past noble of Madison lOOF Lodge No. 14, Richmond; past president of the Sons the Revolution, Society of Kentucky; president of the Fayette County Bar Association in 1946; past president of the Kentucky Yale Alumni Association; president of his Yale Law School class. He was also a member of the Lexington Kiwanis Club; the Lexington Club; the Idle Hour Country Club; the Lexington Country Club; the AUV Fraternity at Phillips Academy; Merrick Lodge F No. 31, Lexington; Madison lOOF Lodge No 14, Richmond; American Legion, Lexington; the Jesse Dykes American Legion Post in Richmond for which was responsible for organizing the Waite Chapter, Legal Fraternity Phi Delta Phi; the Kentucky State and American Bar Associations; the American Law Institute; and the Yale Law School Graduate Board.

William Luxon Wallace died on December 23, 1974, at the age of 85 and is interred in the Richmond Cemetery.

Information for this biographical sketch comes primarily from the Lexington Herald obituary, December 23, 1974; and assorted news clippings found in Box 25 of the collection.

Subject/Index Terms

Courtship
World War, 1914-1918.

Administrative Information

Repository: Eastern Kentucky University - Special Collections and Archives

Acquisition Source: Wallace, Velma & Pat Wilkerson

Processing Information: In May 1978 Mrs. Velma Wallace, wife of William Luxon Wallace, donated the Wallace family collection of records to Eastern Kentucky University. The records were scattered throughout the Wallace family house in Lexington. A small portion of the papers found in the basement and attic along with some World War I correspondence and reports Wallace kept in an old steamer trunk required fumigation and extensive cleaning. Since the bulk of the Wallace collection had no organization, the Archives staff imposed its own pattern of arrangement. The inventory to the collection describes material at the folder title level. In addition, a correspondent name index lists letters of content Wallace received from prominent persons. According to provisions of the Donor Gift Agreement the entire collection is open to research.

Other Note: Photographs were initially numbered with the accession number; however, a decision was made to change to collection number. The database was changed, but the numbers written on the images were not changed.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, 1867-1978],
[Series 2: Class Notes, 1905-1940],
[Series 3: Diary and Appointment Books, 1883-1974],
[Series 4: Financial Records, 1881-1973],
[Series 5: Genealogy Records],
[Series 6: Legal Documents, 1871-1973],
[Series 7: Maps and Blueprints],
[Series 8: Memorabilia],
[Series 9: News Clippings],
[Series 10: Photographs],
[Series 11: Publications],
[Series 12: Speeches],
[Series 13: World War I, 1916-1919],
[Series 14: Oversize Materials],
[All]