The Man She Loved

1899 – 1960

Inducted Into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame 1986

Born in Essex County, William Wallace returned to Woodslee to farm after graduating from the Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph,  in 1923. He became active in farm organizations such as the Essex Farm Bureau, the Federation of Agriculture, the Soil and Crop Improvement Association and the Plowmen’s Association. In many of these he held provincial executive positions, including Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association President in 1952.

A pioneer grower of seed corn and soybeans, he became Chairman of the Ontario Seed Corn Growers’ Marketing Board, Vice-Chairman of the Soya-Bean Marketing Board and Canadian representative to the American Soya-Bean Association. He was named as Eastern Member of the Board of Grain Commissioners.

In his local community, Mr. Wallace was a Director of the Mutual Fire Insurance Company, active in his church and member of the High School Board.

A recognized judge of seed grain, William Wallace provided strong leadership during the rapid changes in corn and soybean production. He received the Meritorious Service Award (posthumously) from the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association.

Those were the facts. Here is an article which appeared in the Essex Free Press shortly after his death on July 5, 1960 which told a lot about the man he was:

“Farm meetings won’t be the same without William Wallace … A keen agriculturalist, Mr. Wallace had been in the forefront of many farm activities in Southwestern Ontario.

He had a quiet, disarming and unassuming way about him. His manner served as a cloak for his levelheaded attitude and earthy wisdom. A man of few words, Mr. Wallace invariably found his counsel heeded by many. Mr. Wallace was emminently successful in his own farming endeavours and he had the kind of farm which would be left now and again — for travel, which he loved.

More than one farm organization in Essex County and in Southwestern Ontario will miss him in the years to come because few men possessed the knowledge Mr. Wallace had about current agricultural problems”.

an additional note from my aunt Cath, his youngest daughter — “Shirley’s graduation from Guelph with a degree was my dad’s proudest moment. (ed note: Shirley was the second youngest daughter) He got to hobknob with old friends from his university days. Another note. Dad got to go there out of Gr 10…a privilege for farm boys….and went on to get his degree in Bachelor of Science of Agriculture. In those days Guelph campus was part of the U of T. I have his degree and the photo of his class.

Note from me: (Victoria) – I was only three when he died. I hope there is a heaven, because I really want to sit down and talk to this man who was my grandfather.

  1. This was so interesting Cath. Especially the description of your Dad’s character. Quiet, disarming and unassuming. Levelheaded attitude and earthly wisdom. Now I see where you get so much of your own character. 🙂

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