Transcribed by Patty Gaddis
WALLACE, JOSEPH (deceased), lawyer and author, who lived in Springfield, IL, nearly half a century, was born in Hunter's Bottom, Gallatin (now Carroll) County, Ky., September 30, 1834. He was a son of James and Mary (Morris) Wallace, both natives of Kentucky. Both grandfathers of Joseph Wallace emigrated from Virginia to Kentucky, about 1796. Two brothers of Mrs. James Wallace, George and Walker Morris, were prominent members of the Bar in Kentucky. James Wallace and his wife had five sons, of who two survive.
At the age of two years, Joseph Wallace was brought by his parents to Jefferson County, Ind., where he grew up on a farm and enjoyed the educational advantages offered in the country schools. At the age of eighteen years, he entered Franklin College, in Franklin County, Ind., where he remained several terms, although he did not graduate. When twenty-two years old he began the study of law in the office of Judge Charles E. Walker, of Madison, Ind., and one year later, in the spring of 1857, resumed his studies in the offices of Messrs. Stuart & Edwards, then one of the leading law firms of Springfield and the State of Illinois. In February 1858, Mr. Wallace was admitted to the Bar, by the Supreme Court of the State. During his first years of residence in Springfield he lived with an uncle (by marriage), William T Grimsley, an old-time merchant. In politics Mr. Wallace was a Democrat of the old-school type, and although never active in political affairs, held several public offices of honor and trust, in which his knowledge of the law and scrupulous devotion to the interests of the people made his service of great value.
Mr. Wallace served as Justice of the Peace from 1866 to 1874, and in 1880 was elected a member of the City Common Council of Springfield. He early developed a taste and talent for literary pursuits, and in recognition of his culture and scholarship was honored, in 1894 by having the degree of A.M. conferred on him by Franklin College. His first work that attracted much attention was a sketch of the life and public services of Edward D. Baker, a 12-mo. volume of 144 pages, published in 1870. In 1878 Mr. Wallace wrote a "Historical Outline of Illinois;" in 1880, while a member of the City Council, he delivered an address before that body on the life and public services of Judge Stephen T Logan, then lately deceased; in 1884 he was the principal author of a Revised City Code, published by authority of the Council; in 1885 Mr. Wallace wrote for the Illinois State Register, a series of Biographical sketches of United States Senators from Illinois, and his last literary work was assisting in the preparation of "The Past and Present of the City of Springfield and Sangamon County," in the third chapter of which, entitled "The Prominent and Illustrious Dead of the City of Springfield" are found brief biographies of several men who were for a time residents of Springfield, and whose names are well known to the State and Nation. The principal literary production of Mr. Wallace, which is of interest to all Americans, is "The History of Illinois and Louisiana under the French rule," which is an elaborate history of the Mississippi Valley during the first century of its exploration and occupation by white men, published in 1893. This work is clear and concise in style and Mr. Wallace was most careful in his selection of authorities. He was a member of the Illinois Historical Society from its organization and read a paper at the annual meeting held in January, 1903, on "Fort DeChartres; its Origin, Growth and Decline," which was published that year in the proceedings.
Mr. Wallace was a grandson of Reverend John Wallace, an early Baptist preacher in Kentucky, was educated in the Baptist faith and at the time of his death was a member of the Central Baptist Church, of Springfield.
January 14, 1864, Mr. Wallace was married in Kentucky, to Miss Mary Elizabeth Hoagland, of Hunter's Bottom, Ky., who was descended from one of the old Knickerbocker families of New York City, a lady of culture and literary taste, and a graduate of Science Hill Female Academy, of Shelbyville, Ky., where she spent three years under the instruction of Mrs. Julia A Tevis, a celebrated educator. Mrs. Wallace was born October 23, 1837, daughter of Okey and Mary (Giltner) Hoagland, the former a native of New Jersey and the latter of Bourbon County, Ky. No children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Wallace. Mrs. Wallace now resides at 710 West Monroe St., Springfield. The death of Mr. Wallace occurred August 10, 1904 at his home on West Monroe Street, Springfield, and he was buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, of that city.