W.H. WALLACE DEAD (Steubenville Morning Star, 11 Sep 1897) The Oldest Postmaster in the United States Expires Yesterday Morning.
Appointed Assistant P.M. by Gen Jackson in 1830 and served under thirty-four Postmaster Generals including the Present Incumbent- the end of a busy life. William Henry Wallace, Sr., of Hammondsville, this county, who claimed the distinction of having held the position of postmaster continuously longer than any other official in the United States, died yesterday, aged 86 years.
Mr. Wallace was born in the Province of Quebec, Canada, December 2nd, 1811, and with his parents came to Jefferson county, Ohio in 1821. At the age of 14 young Wallace was placed in a store on Yellow Creek, and in the same year (1825) went to New Lisbon where he remained three years. At the end of that time he returned home and during the winter taught school on Hollow Rock. One of his pupils was the late J. N. McCullough, who became First Vice President of the Pennsylvania railroad. At the close of the school Mr. Wallace accepted a position in the general store and shippinghouse of A. G. Richardson, of Wellsville, June 1830. At the close of this year he went into partnership with Mr. Jacob Groff, and opened a general store at the mouth of Yellow Creek, Jefferson County. This co-partnership continued three years when he succeeded Mr. Groff in the business. His stay at Yellow Creek was eight and a half years, and in 1889 removed three miles further down the river and in honor of his son Homer, called the place “Port Homer.” Mr. Wallace built a storehouse in the fall… At the end of the time mentioned, he started a new store where Hammondsville now stands, and in honor of the owner of the land, Thomas Hammond, he named the place “Hammondsville.” In 1852 the Cleveland and Pittsburgh railroad was built to Wellsville and a station was established at Hammondsville… he was aided in office by his old special friend General Samuel Stokely, then a member of Congress… In a sketch of his life he states, “while in business at Yellow Creek, on April 9th, 1835, I was joined in marriage with Miss Matilda Nessly, daughter of John and Elizabeth Nessly, whose father emigrated from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, to Brooke county, VA. (now Hancock county) in 1785, whose centennial was celebrated by a large number of his descendants on a farm where Empire, Jefferson County, now stands. This home was the place of rest for the elite of Steubenville, Gen Stokely, Judge Wilson and others… The fruit of our marriage was five children, three sons and two daughters. The youngest died after becoming the wife of the late Thomas Hammond, of Wellsville, O., and the mother of two sons who survive her. My three sons still live, Rodney G., Homer N., and W.H. Jr. After traveling life’s journey with my beloved wife for nearly fifty-seven years, her gentle spirit took its flight to the regions of eternal bliss…” (quite lengthy, read more!)
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