Biographical Sketch of Dr. Charles Thomas Wallace
January 13, 1869 – March 25, 1964
Charles Thomas Wallace was born January 13, 1889 in Maumelle, Pulaski County, Arkansas, the first born son of Oliver H. P. “Perry” and Mary Elliott Wallace. He was followed in birth by one sister and one brother. At age 16 his father died. The mother moved to a new residence, in the town of Roland still in Pulaski County. (The brother died at age 29.)
In 1891, when Charles was 22 years of age, he entered Arkansas Industrial University in Little Rock Arkansas (AIU) to study medicine. During the medical school years he lived with his brother-in-law, Dr. L. B. Moreland. In 1897 he proudly graduated as a M. D. The 25 young graduates that year were pleased to be the first class to wear caps and gowns at graduation. (One source stated 35 graduated in 1897.)In 1891, his first year of medical school, he married Maud E. Kersey. The couple had 9 children, 6 girl and 3 boys. Maud died in 1953 after a long marriage of 62 years.
Dr. Wallace established his first practice in Casa, Arkansas, a small community in Perry County. Later he moved to Nimrod where his practice grew rapidly. In 1908 Dr. Wallace, always civic minded, was instrumental in getting a bridge over the Fourche La Fave River, named in his honor, the ‘Wallace Bridge’. The location was close to the site of the 1939 Nimrod Lake construction on the Fourche La Fave River, the first Corp of Engineers project in Arkansas.
Dr. Wallace’s early practice was predominately home visits for the sick or injured. He rode horseback on Tony, his favorite horse, on cold dreary days to reach far-flung wooded destinations. As time went by he progressed to a horse and buggy for transportation. During the flu epidemic of 1912 he treated as many as 92 patients a day never complaining of being tired or ill. He remained healthy and energetic all his life without needing to consult with another doctor for his own health problems–except to get new glasses.
Many of his patients were sickened with malaria, due to the breeding of mosquitoes around the river. Finally in 1918 he bought a car. (A newspaper article made fun of the popular Dr. Wallace learning to drive.) He could finally make his sick calls much faster and perhaps avoid complications or ease the pain of injury. His patients were grateful.
In 1957 at the age of 88 Dr. Wallace retired. He had practiced medicine, committed to people of Perry County for 60 years. He lived for another 7 years remaining active until about a year before his death. During that year a few minor strokes and then one major stroke ending his life. Dr. Wallace was 95 years of age. His loving grandsons were pallbearers at his funeral. They buried him at Nimrod Cemetery.
Betty L Battenfield