Stories By My Great Uncle

When I created this Blog I had mentioned in “About The Author” that this past summer I edited a collection of short stories, “Waif Of The Times”, by Lee Wallace, a Great Uncle of mine. Lee was my Grandfather, Dr. Harmon Wallace’s, younger brother.

I just finished re-reading the stories, for I don’t know how many times, and still found them enjoyable, and they fit well in my “Hill Country Happenings”. Kerrville, Texas, where many of these stories took place, is one of the many beautiful areas in our Texas Hill Country!

From time to time I plan on posting a story of Lee’s. They were copyrighted in 1946 and published by the author. So, I believe it is fitting to offer a brief bio of Lee Wallace.

Lee Wallace was born in Van Zandt County in “deep” East Texas in 1868, a Civil War baby boomer. The 1880 census lists Lee as “working on farm”. He was all of 12. His father, Shaw Wallace, was my Maternal Great-Grandfather. Shaw, was a Confederate veteran, born in Northern Ireland in 1819 and died of pneumonia in Ben Wheeler, Texas, in 1906 . Shaw’s life and times are another good story.

I met Lee Wallace one time in 1950 when I was 14. Lee had just been diagnosed with stomach cancer and since he was my Mom’s favorite Uncle. She wanted to visit him before he became too ill. Lee died July 2, 1953.

He was a lawyer and judge. He attended Sam Houston College in Huntsville, Texas. but did not attend law school. He was twice married but had no children. Lee came to Kerrville in 1896 and he told me he arrived there with “a bull whip and a Bible”. A number of years ago, a friend of mine from Kerrville told me that Judge Wallace was “a tough old guy”. I have been told he was a Protégé of Captain Charles Schreiner, a very prominent resident of Kerr County and Kerrville and that later in his career was appointed a District Judge and served in that position until he retired, due to poor health, in 1936.

Lee was known for his wit and oratorical skill and his most famous quote was “I have never forgotten a friend nor forgiven an enemy.” In later years he modified this as follows, “It is too much trouble to have an enemy, since you have to work to dislike someone and you have to keep remembering a grudge.”