Nowata numbers among her most substantial citizens Fred Wallace, who has been living retired since 1921. A native of Michigan, he was born in Eaton Rapids, on the 26th of August, 1873, a son of G. C. and Katherine (Puffenberger) Wallace. The Wallace family were among the early pioneers of the Nowata district, having located here at a time when there was neither store nor post office. The only signs of habitation when they came here were the depot station house and one tent. G. C. Wallace was born in Tennessee, while his wife was born in Michigan. For some time they engaged in farming in the Coowescoowee district but later removed to the state of Washington, where they made their home until 1911. In that year they returned to Oklahoma and Mrs. Wallace’s demise occurred in May of the following year. Mr. Wallace died on the 12th of September of the same year.
Fred Wallace was seventeen years of age when he came to this community with his parents and in early life he engaged in farming. He was a farmer and stockman until 1910, when he rented his three farms of eighty acres each and moved to Nowata, buying an interest in a feed store, which he conducted successfully for two years. Subsequently he sold that store and entered the grocery business here, also operating a store at Nelagoney, Osage County. He sold those stores in 1919 and went to Vinita, Craig County, where he purchased a grocery business, which he conducted until September, 1921. At that time he retired from active business life and is now residing with his family in a modern residence, which he owns, at 321 South Cedar Street. Mr. Wallace still owns his three farms of eighty acres each and recently acquired sixty acres more, in Washington County. He also has an interest in a large farm in Missouri. The success Mr. Wallace has achieved in life is the result of his intelligently directed efforts, laudable ambition and unflagging determination and he well merits the confidence and respect of his fellow citizens.
On the 29th of June, 1899, Mr. Wallace was united in marriage to Ada Shawnee, a daughter of John and Julia (Washington) Shawnee, of Delaware extraction. Her grandfather, George Washington, was with Fremont in California and also served in the Mexican war. John Shawnee, who is deceased, served in the Civil war as a member of the Sixth Arkansas Infantry and participated in most of the strategic engagements of that conflict. Mrs. Shawnee makes her home in Ramona, near her son, Charles. Mrs. Wallace was born near Alluwe in the Coowescoowee district and received her education in the country schools here and at Haskell Institute, Kansas. She is a woman of much culture and refinement and takes a prominent part in the club and social activities of Nowata. She is an active worker in the Baptist Church and the Royal Neighbor and Rebekah Lodges, and has filled all the chairs In the latter organization. She is now past noble grand. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Wallace four children have been born: Pearl, who is the wife of E. W. Ross of Nowata; James, eighteen years of age, who is living at home; and Dixie and Lewis, who are attending school.
Politically Mr. Wallace gives his support to the Republican Party and fraternally he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Modern Woodmen of America. He has contributed much to the development of Nowata and the surrounding community and is readily conceded a place among northeastern Oklahoma’s progressive and representative citizens.