Wallaceburg (Hempstead County)
Wallaceburg is an unincorporated community located in northeastern Hempstead County. The community is about two miles northeast of Blevins (Hempstead County) and sixteen miles north of Hope (Hempstead County). It is located in Wallaceburg Township.
Early landowners in the area include William Hasley, who obtained eighty acres as part of a land patent in 1837. Other early landowners include the Philip Graves family, who obtained forty acres in 1854, and James Wood, who received a patent for 160 acres in 1856. The name of the community may come from Stephanus Wallace, who obtained eighty acres of land in the area in 1875, or Marcus Wallace, who acquired forty acres the same year.
The first courthouse in Hempstead County stood about four miles south of Wallaceburg. Court was held for the first time in 1819 and continued to meet regularly at the location until 1824, when a purpose-built courthouse was constructed in Washington (Hempstead County).
A post office began operations in Wallaceburgh in 1870. That spelling continued to be used until 1894, when the current name was adopted. The post office continued operations until 1907, and the community is served in the twenty-first century by the post office in Blevins.
Early settlers in the area farmed a variety of crops. Cotton became a major cash crop in the area and continued to be harvested until well into the twentieth century. Other agricultural industries in the area include timber, cattle, and poultry.
The Wallaceburg Church burned in 1930, and two men were arrested for starting the fire. Local reports claim that one of the men, convicted bootlegger Talmadge Duke, disliked the church-going people of the community. After a preliminary hearing was held in the Blevins School Auditorium due to an overflow crowd, the second suspect was released. Duke was eventually convicted of arson and sentenced to two years in prison. He was paroled in 1932.
Five dipping vats for cattle, used to halt the transmission of Texas tick fever, were constructed or repaired in the township in 1931, including one near Wallaceburg. Women of the community organized a home demonstration club that was active during and after World War II.
Several references to missing or illegal votes in the community during elections appear in local newspaper reports. In the 1934 Democratic primary, the Wallaceburg ballot box remained unreported for two days after the election. Other mentions of illegal voting appeared in the 1936 election.
The establishment of Blevins to the southwest of the community in the 1890s with the opening of the Prescott and Northwestern Railroad led commercial and social activities to shift to the new community. Children residing in the community attended school in Blevins, with the Wallaceburg school consolidating with Blevins around 1928. Many references in local newspapers to Wallaceburg are often in regard to the township, rather than the community with the same name.
The Macedonia Church and Macedonia Cemetery are located in the community. The cemetery contains the graves of early settlers to the area, including Hugh Blevins, the patriarch of the family for whom the town of Blevins is named. Marked graves in the cemetery date to 1859.
Poultry farms, timber, and cattle are the three major economic agricultural drivers for the area around the community. Wallaceburg also serves as a bedroom community for other nearby towns.
For additional information:
“3 More Denounce False Charges in Fraud in Election.” Hope Star, March 16, 1936, p. 1.
“180 Total Vote in School Election.” Hope Star, May 19, 1931, p. 1.
“Arson Trial Draws Crowd to Blevins.” Hope Star, July 7, 1930, p. 1.
“Church Building Destroyed by Fire at Wallaceburg.” Hope Star, June 30, 1930, p. 1.
“Clubs.” Hope Star, August 16, 1944, p. 2.
“Clubs.” Hope Star, November 10, 1945, p. 4.
“Farmers Prepare for Dipping Cattle.” Hope Star, March 10, 1931, p. 4.
“Late Return Gives Thompson Lead for Co. Representative.” Hope Star, August 16, 1934, p. 1.
“Three Hempstead Men Paroled.” Hope Star, February 10, 1932, p. 1.
“Wallaceburg News.” Hope Star, May 21, 1932, p. 3.
Henderson State University
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