The Resource Wallace Company records

Wallace Company records

Wallace Company records, 1783-1975
Wallace Company records
Inclusive dates
  • Records, 1783-1975, of the Wallace Company, located in Wallaceton, Norfolk County, Virginia, a lumber milling business, and later growers and shippers of corn, potatoes and soybeans. The firm was previously known as Wallace and Son. The collection also contains records of Wallace Brothers, agents for various manufacturers of mechanical goods. The bulk of the collection covers the years 1875-1945. Includes correspondence, subject files, financial records, and maps, plans, and drawings
  • There is a small amount of pre-Civil War correspondence containing letters mostly written by Elizabeth (Curtis) Wallace to relatives in Ohio. Subjects include politics and slavery, and family news. There is also a letter written in 1865 by George T. Wallace (1812-1889) regarding his views on Northerners following the end of the war
  • The correspondence covering the period 1865 to 1890 relates to the business activities of George T. Wallace and his son John G. Wallace (1840-1910), in their lumber business, specifically the cutting, milling, sale, purchase, shipment, and receipt of juniper, yellow pine, poplar and cedar shingles, rails, ties, and telegraph poles in Tidewater Virginia and North Carolina, under the name Wallace and Son. Subjects include business dealings with other lumber manufacturers, including Richmond Cedar Works, Baird and Roper, and the John L. Roper Lumber Company, and commission merchants in Virginia, as well as in Baltimore, New York City, and Philadelphia
  • Other topics include boundary disputes, land purchases and entries, shipments of equipment and supplies, order inquiries, prices current and market reports, employment inquiries, bank notices, and legal and tax matters. There are also letters from various Wallace property overseers concerning work being performed at the different Wallace properties
  • There is a significant amount of correspondence related to the 1885 failure of Bain and Brother, a banking house in Portsmouth, Virginia, and the involvement of The Wallace Company in its collapse. Much of it relates to protested checks, and letters from trustees that were named to settle the accounts of the banking firm. The letters written during this period also document efforts to by Wallace to secure financing to continue his operations by selling bonds and mortgaging property
  • Following the death of George T. Wallace in 1889, the name of the firm was changed to The Wallace Company, and it began to move away from lumber manufacturing and into the growing and sale of corn, potatoes, and soybeans, mainly produced on the family plantations "Glencoe" and "Dover." Much of the post-1900 correspondence is with various commission merchants regarding orders, shipments, and sales of Wallace Company produce
  • Other subjects include the dredging and enlargement of the Dismal Swamp Canal in 1896, settlement of the estate of John G. Wallace, the sale of "Dover" to the federal government during World War II, the dissolution of The Wallace Company by family members, the purchase of the Dismal Swamp Canal by the federal government, and the plight of the Depression-era farmer. There is also some correspondence related to John G Wallace II (1877-1945) and his term in the Virginia House of Delegates, as well as the settlement of the estate of his brother, George T. Wallace, Jr. (1868-1932)
  • There is a group of business records of Wallace Brothers, agents for various manufacturers of mechanical goods. The firm was founded around 1897 by the sons of John G. Wallace - George T. Wallace, Jr., William McGehee Wallace (b. 1871), and John G. Wallace II. The business was located on Granby Street in Norfolk, and sold automobiles and tractors, including the "Locomobile," typewriters, photographic supplies, bicycles, gasoline motors, sound equipment, including the “Gramophone,” and musical instruments. Included in the records are bills of lading, circulars, correspondence, flyers, invoices, and price lists. There are three groups of records, 1897-1902, 1898, and 1900-1902. It is not clear why this filing arrangement exists. Within these three groups, the records are filed alphabetically by company name or surname of the correspondent. Most of the material is from companies whose products were sold by Wallace Brothers, rather than the purchasers of the goods
  • The subject files contain a variety of information related to the business operations of Wallace and Son and The Wallace Company, and later activities of John G. Wallace II. Included are bills of lading, chattel property inventories, sales figures for Wallace produce, deeds, agreements and correspondence with the Dismal Swamp Land Company, estate papers, hands’ accounts, lists of household expenses, insurance papers, memoranda, lighter load memoranda, which include names of vessels, item and amount shipped, consignee, and costs for labor and towing, merchandise accounts and inventories of products sold in the store at Wallaceton, patriotic society materials, contract work on the Dismal Swamp Canal, overseers’ correspondence and reports, bank accounts, tax information, minutes, plats and surveys, title abstracts, product catalogs and equipment instructions, maps and tourist brochures, garden and seed catalogs, miscellaneous publications, oversized items, and ephemera
  • There is a large amount of material related to The Wallace Company and the failure of Bain and Brother, a banking house in Portsmouth, Virginia, including accounts of sales by its trustees, agreements, banks books, bills and answers, inventories, land descriptions, and promissory notes. Also included are papers documenting business dealings with the Richmond Cedar Works, including accounts, agreements, bills of lading, correspondence, estimates, inventories, lists, assets, and notes
  • Papers related to "Dover" and "Glencoe" farms include purchase inquiries, facts, boundaries, sharecropping agreements, loan papers with the Federal Land Bank of Baltimore, payroll, receipts and disbursements, production figures, shipment records, and information related to the sale to the U.S. government in 1941
  • There is also information related to the Northwest River Water Program in Chesapeake, Virginia in 1970. This was a dam construction project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Included in the files are aerial photographs of the region
  • The financial records include account and memorandum books, accounts payable, accounts of sales, bank books, card books, check registers, memoranda and cash accounts, monthly time books, and numerous ledgers
  • Accounts payable contain invoices from various merchants for business and household goods purchased, including groceries, clothing, tuition, medical services, tolls and freight bills, livestock, repairs, labor, hardware, fertilizer, seed, and hardware items. Many of the invoices are for items that were purchased and later sold in the family-owned store at Wallaceton
  • The accounts of sales contain correspondence and financial statements detailing payments for lumber, shingles, railroad ties, rails, and later potatoes, corn, hay, and onions purchased from Wallace and Son and The Wallace Company, and later sold by various commission merchants, as well as for those products purchased by individuals
  • The memoranda and cash accounts are weekly diary notations by John G. Wallace, begun after the failure of Bain and Brother, which include detailed accounts of business and personal expenses and activities, including summaries of trips, meetings, employee work activities, weather conditions, as well as itemized purchases of household goods, and any other expenses incurred during the week. There are also “to-do” lists, and the files occasionally include merchant invoices and receipts
  • The monthly time books include employee name, hours worked per day, total time for the month, rate of pay, amount paid, and any additional notes
  • Also contained in the financial records are various business ledgers, including Bain and Brother accounts with Wallace and Son, card registers, cash ledgers, day books, "Dover" and "Glencoe" record books, job books and petty accounts, letter books, merchandise day books, petty cash ledgers, minute book of The Wallace Company, hands books, time books, and time reports from "Dover."
Member of
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Biographical or historical data
  • George Thomas Wallace, only son of William Wallace of Norfolk County, Virginia, was born near Great Bridge on 4 April 1812. William Wallace was collector of tolls and agent of the Dismal Swamp Canal at Deep Creek. George T. Wallace married 1) Elizabeth McIntosh Curtis, daughter of Drayton Mills Curtis and Mary Calvert Walke, in 1835, and 2) Mrs. Julia M. Chewning in 1872. Wallace began to buy property in the 1840's on the east side of the canal about halfway down its length at its intersection with the North West Canal. By 1855, his holdings in the area amounted to almost 14,000 acres. He built a large home called "Glencoe" in 1841. His sons, John Gallaudette Wallace (1840-1910) and William Curtis Wallace (1842-1864), both served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. George T. Wallace and John G. Wallace entered into partnership, under the name Wallace and Son, in the lumber and milling business along the Dismal Swamp Canal, and in eastern North Carolina. A sawmill was constructed on the west bank of the Dismal Swamp Canal, and they milled the abundant juniper, pine, poplar, and cedar into shingles, rails, ties, and telegraph poles. They also built a store building on the east side of the canal, which also functioned as a company store for the lumbermen.
  • Following the death of George T. Wallace, the name of the firm was changed to the Wallace Company, and John G. Wallace began to cultivate the family's large landholdings in Norfolk County towards the growing of corn, potatoes, and soybeans, especially on their plantation called "Dover.". The produce was sold to commission merchants locally, as well as in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. John G. Wallace married Vernonica McGehee (1842-1907) of Louisa County, Virginia, on 15 February 1865. They had five children, including: 1) Elizabeth Curtis Wallace (1865-1932); 2) George Thomas Wallace, Jr. (1868-1932); 3) William McGehee Wallace (b. 1871); 4) John Gallaudette Wallace II (1877-1945); and 5) Veronica McGehee Wallace (1882-1943).
  • John G. Wallace II continued the business following his father's death in 1910, although it was not his primary occupation, and the firm was dissolved shortly before World War II. "Dover" was sold to the United States government in 1941. Wallace served one term in the Virginia House of Delegates, was treasurer of Norfolk County, and was employed as sales manager for the Southern Produce Company. He married Maria Mildred Wilson on 9 June 1909. He died at Wallaceton on 30 March 1945.
Cataloging source
Wallace Company records
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • 41
  • 249
Governing access note
There are no access restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
Wallace, John G., IV
Organization method
Organized into the following series: I. Correspondence. II. Subject Files. III. Financial Records. IV. Maps, Drawings, and Plans.
Type of unit
  • cu. ft.
  • v.



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Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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