Pages 354-355, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




BENJAMIN L. WALLIS—The arrival of few of the citizens of Allen County antedates that of Mr. Wallace who came to it in 1856, locating north of Iola. In the years of his residence here he has watched with interest the progress of events which have placed this county on a par with many counties of the older east and to measures which have contributed to the material upbuilding and substantial development of the community he has given endorsement and support.

A native of Virginia he was born in Lee County, in 1833. His paternal grandfather emigrated from Scotland to the Old Dominion at an early day and the maternal grandfather left his home in Holland to take up his abode in the new world when Virginia was a part of the colonial possessions of England in America. The parents of our subject were both born in Lee County in the latter part of the eighteenth century, and in 1834 removed to Indiana, locating on a farm where they spent their remaining days.

Benjamin L. Wallis spent his boyhood days in hard work upon his father's farm and as he lived in a new settlement he had but limited opportunity to secure an education. He learned the carpenter's trade and in 1856 came to Kansas. Here he foilowed cerpentering[sic] for six years, and in 1862 he returned to Indiana, there to enter his country's service as a member of the Forty-sixth Indiana Infantry, which was attached to the Western army. He served under Generals Hovey and McClarran, and participated in many important engagements, including the battles of New Madrid, Fort Pillow and St. Charles. In 1864 he was mustered out of the service. During the term of his enlistment he was always found at his post of duty, faithfully defending the old flag.

In 1865 Mr. Wallis was united in marriage to Miss Sophia McCool, whose parents were born and reared in Ohio, and removed to Indiana in the early '50s. Mrs. Wallis has two brothers, Jacob and John, who are married and reside with their families in Fountain County, Indiana. Mr. Wallace[sic] also has two brothers, John and


Henry, who, with their families, reside in the Hoosier State. His sisters are Mrs. Louisa Grubbs, a widow now living in Muncie, Indiana; Susan McKinley, also of Muncie, and Mrs. Nellie Shipley, of Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Wallis have five children: William C., who is with his parents; Scott A., blacksmith in LaHarpe, and is married; Charles B., who is a member of the Thirty-fifth regiment of United States Volunteers, in the Philippines; Mrs. Emma Morrison of Moran, and Mrs. Gertie Wooten, who is living near Iola.

For a number of years after his return from the war, Mr. Wallis resided in Indiana, but like most people who have once lived in Kansas, he desired to return to the Sunflower State, and in 1879 took up his abode once more in Allen County. He purchased a farm south of LaHarpe and although it was then a tract of open prairie, he made it one of the best improved farms in the county, continuing its cultivation until February, 1899, when he put aside the more arduous duties of farm life and moved to LaHarpe. He is a staunch advocate of the Populist party, and since his boyhood days has been a consistent member of the Christian church. His advancement in the business world has resulted from his own energy, prompted by a laudable ambition, and his prosperity has been well and worthily achieved.

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