Wallace family papers, 1832-1999

Wallace family


13 cartons (18.75 linear ft.)..
1 oversize flat box.
3 v..
Letters, journals, estate papers, photographs, and printed items, 1832-1999, re Amelia Mellichamp Wallace (1900-1994) and her husband, Walter Gregg Wallace (1896-1971), as well as five generations of Wallace family members of Florence County (S.C.), and the related Gregg, Pearce, and Mellichamp families and the associated Harllee, Ellerbe, Parker, Passailaigue, Sigwald, Gordon, Sallenger, and Vernon families. Places represented include South Carolina (Marion County, Charleston, Columbia, and Cheraw); the southeast (Wilmington, N.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; Baltimore, Maryland; Florida) and elsewhere in the United States (California, Iowa, Alaska), and beyond (Europe and South America).
Amelia Mellichamp and Walter G. Wallace were married in 1923 and settled down on Wallace family property in the Mars Bluff (S.C.) community (Florence County, S.C.). When the Florence Civil Court was established in 1929, Amelia Wallace began working as court stenographer, a position she held until retirement in 1966. During this time she combined homemaking and club and church work with a dual career as court reporter and as secretary to the postal inspector in Florence, S.C..
Papers reflect Amelia Wallace's membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (principally the Samuel Bacot Chapter in Florence), the National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The files document her volunteer work with the local chapter of the American Red Cross and with the American Legion Auxiliary which she served for forty years. Several files show her commitment to the Republican Party from 1978 to 1992. But the most extensive files are those pertaining to the Henry Timrod Club, 1932-1990. Through her membership in and leadership of this organization, she attempted to address local problems and to bring about change. Principal among these were the "open house" movement to reveal conditions in the Florence city and county jail facilities in 1967, efforts in 1972 to save the old county court house from demolition, and in 1989-1990 the project of reforming the Henry Timrod House after its damage by Hurricane Hugo.
Daughters Louise and Mimi Wallace wrote home frequently, 1942-1945, while attending University of South Carolina. A large part of the later correspondence reflects activites of Mimi Wallace Vernon. Following graduatino from USC, she describes her studies as a cadet nurse at Johns Hopkins, 1945-1947, and then as a lieutenant in the Army stationed at Camp Hood, Texas. Letters from her children appear in later years: Walter Benson Vernon (b.1954), Robert Gordon Vernon (b.1956) and Jane Hamilton Wallace. Her husband, Dr. Robert Gordon Vernon (b. 1923), and two other children, Laura Pearce (b. 1955) and Andrew Gregg (b. 1961) died in an airplane crash in Colorado in 1978; letters document activities of daily life in youth and middle age, discoveries, celebrations, disasters, losses, tragedies and grief.
The Wallace family donated land that became Francis Marion Univeristy; 1.25 linear ft. of papers provides the history of the original land transaction and later years, as the school evolved from a USC satellite campus to an independent college; topics discussed include establishing right-of-way transactions with the Seaboard Air Line Railroad and the establishment of the Florence Air Base in 1942 during World War II; in 1977, Amelia Wallace donated property in the vicinity of Quinby, S.C., for use as a baseball park, which was named Walter Wallace Field.
In 1993 Mimi Wallace authored the book, African Americans at Mars Bluff, South Carolina, a book that uncovered evidence of rice farming in Florence County in small, garden plots of approximately one quarter of an acre. She published findings of her interviews with dozens of elderly African-American residents in Florence County (S.C.)..
Also represented in the collection is Joseph Wilds ("Jay") Wallace (1900-1971), who attended The Citadel and graduated from the University of South Carolina law school in 1924; with his brothers, Wallace acquired and managed vast land holdings in the Mars Bluff section as well as other areas in Florence and adjacent counties; in addition to land donated to USC-Florence, Joseph also gave his mansion to the campus, where it serves as the President's House of Francis Marion University; other sites represented in the collection is the Mount Hope Cemetery, on whose association he served as president from 1928-1952. J.W. Wallace's papers include several letters from or about his friend Melvin H. Purvis (the native of Timmonsville, S.C., who as a Department of Justice agent captured the notorious John Dillinger in Chicago). On 20 May 1937, on stationery of the "S.S. Normandie" ocean liner, Purvis wrote: "It was a fine pleasure to see you again and you cannot know how good it made me feel to have you meet me in New York ... I have not yet decided at what point I will leave the ship - England or France. However I do know that I am going to both those countries and from them on into Germany for a while."..
Letters, journals, programs, photographs, and printed items, 1924-1970, relating to the life of Marie Passailaigue Gordon (1878-1976) and her life in South Carolina, Ohio, California and elsewhere. Letters and other items document Gordon's long friendship with Hudson Strode (1892-1976), a writer, lecturer, traveler and professor at University of Alabama, and his wife, Thérèse. (2.5 linear ft.)..
Residents of Florence County (S.C.)..
Most materials stored offsite; advanced notice required.
University South Caroliniana Society Program, 2007.
Wallace Family Papers (#14844), South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina.

Related Resources

Description published in 2007 USCS Program: http://library.sc.edu/socar/uscs/2007/wall07.html
View this description in WorldCat: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/851512804