Lebanon, MO

Historic Wallace House in Lebanon, Missouri was built in 1876-1877

CJ Coombs

Wallace House, Lebanon, Missouri.Photo byJERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The historic Wallace House is located at 230 Harwood Avenue in Lebanon, Missouri (Laclede County). On March 22, 1984, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

This two-story dwelling was built in 1876–1877. The architectural design is Stick style and Eastlake Movement. In 1909, a larger front porch and a porte cochere were added on.

A porte cochere (or portico) is a type of architectural feature commonly found in large homes. It is a covered, open-sided structure that is typically attached to the main entrance of a home and provides a sheltered space for people to enter and exit the building. (Source.)

This historic high-styled 16-room home was built by Washington Irving Wallace. There were several attractive features on the exterior of the home.

The house was occupied by a family with the last name of Owens who resided in the house as renters from 1904 to 1908, at which time they purchased it. They owned the home until the 1930s and sold it in 1936. This is when some significant renovation occurred inside the home.

The house was converted into four apartments. It was painted white for years and since 1937, had been used as rental apartments. At the time of the nomination for inclusion on the National Register, the owners at the time were planning to return the house as close as they could to the original design. It was going to be used as a bed and breakfast inn.

The Wallace House on Harwood

Washington Irving Wallace was a native of Vermont born on Christmas day in 1840. In 1866, Wallace was a young attorney from Wisconsin. In 1886, he served as prosecuting attorney until 1870. From 1875 to 1880, he was a state Senator and a Circuit Judge from 1884 to 1888.

The house was built during the time Wallace was serving as Senator and appears to have served primarily as a place for entertaining.

He married Louise Grovesbeck (b. Sept. 9, 1842, d. Jan. 12, 1929) from New York. Wallace and his brothers, Jonathan C. and D. C. Wallace operated the Wallace Brothers Mercantile Company until 1892. They were also associated with the Land Title Office, banking, and lumber interests. Washington Wallace was Laclede County's first millionaire.

Jonathan Childs Wallace and his wife, Mary Palmer Wallace, built their home north of Washington Wallace's home. In 1879, the Wallace House was deeded to Mary Wallace (not recorded until 1904). From 1879 to 1904, Jonathan and his family lived in the Wallace House. Jonathan died on September 19, 1904, at age 74.

The Wallace women helped organize the Shakespeare Club in this house in 1882 and started the library here in the 1890s. (Source.)

The Wallace family contributed to improving life in Laclede County which included buildings and land. They gave the Clara Thompson Hall of Music to Drury College in Springfield, Missouri. Clara Louise Wallace Thompson died on September 5, 1895, at age 21. According to the Drury College website, Washington Irving Wallace and his wife, Louise, were Clara's foster parents.

The construction of Clara Thompson Hall was completed in 1926 and memorializes Clara who was a gifted pianist. Wallace was an original member of the Drury Board of Trustees and his family helped to fund the building of the dormitory, music building, and the Wallace Hall and Clara Thompson Hall buildings.

Thanks for reading.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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