JAMES THOMAS WALLACE, b. circa 1811 in Leake Co., MS possibly in the Edinburg/Renfroe communities where Scot immigrants settled, is the first known progenitor of the Franklin County Wallaces. He first married in Leake Co., ELIZABETH DUEPS in the early 1830's. After the birth of five known children, Elizabeth died ca. 1841. James Thomas then took to wife, MAHALA ABELS (ABLES) who was very young (b. ca. 1826 in Walker Co., AL). The family then moved to Hinds Co. just north of Hazlehurst. After a brief tenure in Hinds Co., the now large family of five boys and two girls migrated to Franklin County. One grandson of James and Mahala reports that the Wallaces came to Franklin Co. from Hinds Co. before 1850 "with grandma Hailey riding on the back of a mule."
A miller by trade, James sought out a flowing stream where he could operate a gristmill. Finding just the right site, the family settled in the Hominy Ridge area of Franklin Co. near the Jefferson Co. line on a small creek which still flows through this part of the county. James and his boys immediately constructed a dam across the creek which provided a mill pond in which he could control the water flow necessary to operate his gristmill. This creek, later know as Wallace Mill Creek, flowed through his property and on to other areas of northwest Franklin Co. It is not far from the Wallace Cemetery sometimes referred to as the Mormon Cemetery since it was the site of a Mormon Church that was very active in the community until it burned in the early 1920's. The Wallace family provided some of the church membership. Some descendants are still active in the Mormon religion.
James and Mahala operated the gristmill until their death at which time it was passed to their son, JOSEPH MONROE WALLACE, who continued to operate the mill until it was destroyed by flooding during a heavy rainstorm around the turn of the century. Joseph Monroe was a farmer, but he would stop his work in the field to run the gristmill as the needs of the community demanded.
The children of James Thomas Wallace are: James J. Wallace, Martha Ann Wallace, Jernigan Wallace, John B. Wallace, Franklin L. Wallace, William Patrick "Bill" Wallace, James C. Wallace, Columbus Wallace, Sarah Wallace, Joseph Monroe Wallace, Thomas Jefferson Wallace, George Alfred Wallace, Susan Caroline Wallace Newman, Mary Jane Wallace Newman, and Sarah E. Wallace.
.......Submitted by Billy G. Lee
Descendants of Henry Westbrook (1773-1845)
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