Eastern Mojave Vegetation Wallace Grove, Jackson County, Missouri  
 

Tom Schweich  

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Other articles: Field Notes in 1918  

 
 
From: Iris Grimmett
Subject: WALLACE estate
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 1997 19:33:20 -0800

A couple of you asked for these articles so decided to post them to the list.

The Kansas City Times, Wednesday, September 20, 1967
By Margaret Olwine (A Member of The Star's Staff)

Mrs. Nell Wallace Brown is a retiree now, tired of coping with a leaking roof and vandals.

Fifty years ago, however, she was a brown-haired young belle and thedarling of the old warriors who once rode with Quantrill.

House to Be Sold

Thursday the house in which she was born - the old John D. Wallace home at 8607 Wilson road - will be sold at public auction. With it will go eight surrounding acres - all that is left of Wallace grove, where Quantrill's men, during the Civil war, ambushed Federal troops traveling between Kansas City and Independence.

The house and grounds were the scene, too, of the last reunions of Quantrill's men, from 1912 to 1929. Mrs. Brown remembers those reunions as the highlight of the Wallace family's summers during her youth.

"We rolled up the rugs in this old house," she said, "and they danced and danced. They always had a fiddler. And I played the piano."

The old-timers - Cole Younger, Frank James, the Hopkins brothers of Independence, Frank Smith of Blue Springs, and the Noland boys - all called her "Little Dixie".

Dress as Reason

"This was because of a dress my mother and aunt made for me one summer," the woman reminisced. "It was made in the colors of the Confederate flag - red and white with a big blue sash.".

The old men came, sometimes alone, sometimes with their families. The fried chicken, potato salad, pimento cheese sandwiches, homemade pickles and a dozen varieties of pies and cakes were served on the lawn or, as the ranks thinned and the old men grew more feeble, at a long table in the dining room.

"My sister, two brothers and all our little Boothe cousins, who lived just west of us, would hang around and take in everything," she recalled. "I can remember the picture of Quantrill which hung over our dining room mantel. And the flag from the Upton Hayes reunion, held in Blue Springs about 1910."

After the last reunion, in 1929, only four of the men were left, all too feeble to travel.

Mementos to Society

"We kept the portrait and the flag for years. Then finally, in 1951, several years before she died, my mother gave both to the Jackson County Historical society.

"We had boxes of pictures taken at the reunions. I gave them to my cousins, Corrine Boothe and Josephine Boothe Hardin of Independence."

Wallace grove, with its tall oaks and elms, is the last of a 2,000-acre tract settled in 1838 by John D. Wallace and his bride, Nellie Duncan of St. Louis.

Wallace's holdings covered the present site of Mount Washington cemetery and stretched west over Blue Ridge to the Blue river.

Wallace operated a sawmill and sold lumber to other settlers. He also operated a ferry across the Blue. His slaves farmed the river bottoms.

A big white house with columns was the first Wallace home.

Hit by Order No. 11

"It was burned during Order No. 11," Mrs. Brown said. "The Union soldiers ripped up the rugs and cut them into pieces for saddle blankets. My mother fled to Clay County in an ox wagon, with the belt from the saw mill hid under the bundles and blankets."

Earlier, John Wallace had been imprisoned by Union troops. Sentenced to be hanged, he was rescued by Quantrill's band on the eve of his execution.

"They rode around and around the jail and stirred up a cloud of dust and whisked grandfather away," Mrs. Brown related. "They took him clear out of the county. He and my grandmother didn't see each other again until after the war was over."

They returned to their ruined home, lived in a one-room cabin left standing on the place...and did a land office business at the sawmill.

In 1887, they contracted with T.J. Woodling, a carpenter, to construct the 9-room mansion which will be sold Thursday. The price, including three coats of linseed oil on the floors and sweeping out, was $3,360.

It has milled pine woodwork, 11-foot ceilings, 8-foot doorways, nine rooms, four fireplaces, and the remains of two stained glass windows.

The windows were damaged by vandals when the Browns spent several months in Arizona a couple of winters ago. Several cranberry glass hanging lamps also disappeared, along with Wallace's hatrack, and a marble-topped dresser.

Grandpa Wallace died in the 1890s. He willed the house to Miss Lizzie Wallace, an unmarried daughter. Mrs. Brown's father, Jefferson Davis Wallace, the youngest of nine children, lived in the house with Lizzie, along with his wife, Mrs. Gertrude Boothe Wallace. He was a grocer in Independence and Kansas City.

Mrs. Brown is the last survivor of the four children born to Jefferson Davis and Gertrude Wallace. She is co-owner of the house and ground, along with her niece, Mrs. Elizabeth L. Anderson of Redondo Beach, Calif.

Both Mrs. Brown and her husband, Robert Brown, a retired carpenter, say they will leave their lifetime home without regret. Their choice for their sunset years is a small, modern ranch-style house in Mesa, Ariz.

Either September or November 9, 1938 Intercity News - Kansas City, MO area

Funeral Today For Elizabeth Wallace

Services Will Be Held At the Home 8607 Wilson Road at 2 O'clock

Funeral services will be held at 2 o'clock this afternoon for Miss Elizabeth Cynthia Wallace, 94, at the home, 8607 Wallace.

Miss Wallace, known to her many friends as "Aunt E" died Tuesday at her home in what is known as Wallace Grove. She had been an invalid for twenty years, and for the past fourteen years had been blind.

She was born in Jackson county, the daughter of John C. and Nellie Duncan Wallace who came to Jackson county and settled on a huge farm which lay west of Blue Ridge, between Van Horn and old Independence road. The home in which Miss Wallace died and where she lived with a brother, J.D. Wallace, and Mrs. Wallace, was a part of the old homestead.

The only time Miss Wallace left the county was during the Civil war when her father, a fiery Southerner, was compelled to take his family across the Missouri river into Clay county.

Miss Wallace never reconciled herself to the victory of the Union army. Her home remained a rallying point after the war for Confederates and Confederate sympathizers. In the grove around the old homestead annual Quantrill reunions were held annually in August. The last such gathering of men who followed the guerilla chieftain in the Civil War was held at the home in 1929.

For many years, before the Inter-City district developed, the big 9-room home of the Wallaces was a landmark between Kansas City and Independence. As both cities encroached upon the farm it dwindled to a grove and in the last twenty-five years even the grove was platted and the lots leased for the erection of cottages. The settlement has been known both as "Wallace Grove" and "The Hill" for many years.

Miss Wallace continued to live in the old home, treasuring relics of Civil war days and nursing a persistent resentment against the North. She never married after her fiancee was killed in the Civil war.

Miss Wallace kept abreast of the times despite the fact she had to remain in her bedroom, either in a rocker or her bed. By means of her radio and visits from friends, she maintained an active interest in present day affairs, and her mind was keen and alert.

Besides J.D. Wallace, she is survived by another brother, M.F. Wallace, Lufkin, Tex.

I was taken to visit "Aunt E" when I was a very small child. I promptly disgraced myself and my mother when I started screaming that there was a "witch" in that bed. Looked like one to me!!

Iris Grimmett
41178 Port Drive
Sweet Home, Oregon 97386
irisg@proaxis.com

If you have a question or a comment you may write to me at: tas4@schweich.com I sometimes post interesting questions in my FAQ, but I never disclose your full name or address.  


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Date and time this article was prepared: 4/14/2019 12:35:31 PM