Samuel E. Wallace, widely known throughout Hancock county, Indiana, as a school teacher of long standing, was born on the farm where he now lives in Buck Creek township, on February 1, 1868, a son of Robert M. and Margaret (Collins) Wallace. Robert M. Wallace was born in Abbeyville district, South Carolina, on December 9, 1821, a son of John and Ellen Elizabeth (McCullough) Wallace, both of whom were born in Ireland. John Wallace came to America as a young man and settled in South Carolina, where he met and married Ellen Elizabeth McCullough, born in Ireland, of Scotch-Irish parentage, and who was brought to this country as a girl by her parents. John Wallace was a blacksmith by trade, to which occupation he devoted his attention throughout the active years of his life. In 1831 he brought his family to Indiana, making the trip overland by wagon, and locating first in Fayette county. However, they remained there but a short time when the moved to Hancock county and bought a farm of eighty acres in Buck Creek township, being the east half of the northwest quarter of section 20. On that land he erected a large double log house and a large log barn and engaged in his trade of blacksmith. It was on that farm that he passed the remainder of his life, and there, too, his wife died. He was a faithful member of the Presbyterian church and a Democrat of the old school. John Wallace and wife were the parents of seven children, namely: John, Robert M., James, Enoch, Elizabeth, Nellie and Samuel, all deceased some years since.
Robert M. Wallace was ten years of age when his parents came to Indiana and he spent the remainder of his youth in this county, with the most meager opportunities for receiving an education. However, through his own ambition and efforts he came to be a very well read man, being especially proficient in mathematics, his knowledge in this line being very largely acquired during spare time while at his work in a wagon shop, he having as a young man mastered the trade of wagon-maker under Harris Philpot.
Robert M. Wallace married Margaret Collins, who was also born in South Carolina, December 18, 1831, a daughter of John and Mary (Searight) Collins, both of whom were of Scotch-Irish descent. There were two children born to this union, Franklin and Margaret. John Collins married a second time, his second wife being Clarissa Evans, also born in South Carolina, but who came here directly from Tennessee. To this second union were born six children: Martin V. B., Elizabeth, James E., Erskine, Christopher C. and Nancy, all of whom still live with the exception of Elizabeth and Erskine. Shortly after his marriage, Robert M. Wallace gave up his wagon business and engaged in farming on his father's old farm, which he purchased from the other heirs. Not long afterward he sold that place and bought eighty acres in the northeast quarter of section 24, of Buck Creek township. He also bought, sold and repurchased eighty acres of the southeast quarter of section 23, which is the land on which Samuel E. Wallace now resides. Robert M. Wallace also owned at one time the west half of the northwest quarter of section 24. He was a man who led an active life and was a strong partisan of the Democratic party. However, he was never a seeker after office and declined the office of township trustee. He was Buck Creek township's first postmaster, the postoffice being established at his home and he gave it the name of Mt. Comfort. Robert M. Wallace departed this life on August 19, 1881, and was survived a number of years by his widow, who died on September 28, 1902, at the age of seventy-three years.
Samuel E. Wallace is one of a family of seven children, namely: Angeline, who died at the age of twenty-three; Theodore, who died when twenty-one; John F., Ellen E., wife of Charles O. Plessinger, with whom Samuel E. now resides; Mary, wife of William Girt; Samuel E. and George P. Samuel E. Wallace has passed his entire life on the one farm and as a boy attended his first school in old No. 4 school house, the teacher at that time being William H. Wright. After finishing the common schools he attended the Danville Normal School and later took some special instruction at the Bryant & Stratton Business College in Indianapolis. He also studied telegraphy, but never worked at it. In 1886 he took his first school, district No. 7, of Buck Creek township, and during the past thirty years he has taught every school in this township with the exception of one. For the past six years he has been teaching the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades of the Mt. Comfort central school and during the years of his school work has made friends of his pupils, who are now men and women and scattered far and wide. As a young man, Samuel Wallace gave some attention to farming, but since taking up teaching as a vocation, his work in that line has not been given much time, although he is the owner of seventy-six acres of some of Buck Creek township's very best land. Mr. Wallace gives his political support in the Democratic party and in every way stands high in the estimation of his large circle of friends. As a man of influence for good in all lines he ranks with the best of Hancock county's citizens.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Page 1047-1049.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI October 31, 2001.
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