Two cities, one name
Published 8:13 am Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I have been sent some information about William M. Wallace. Did you know that two communities, one in Florida and one in Alabama, are named for the same man? William Wallace made a name for himself in the timber and logging business; not only with a mill in Florida, but also one in Escambia County, Ala.
William Wallace was born about 1829 and was involved with the lumber, timber and sawmills all his life. He established a sawmill operation on the Escambia River near Chumuckla, Fla., during the early 1860s, which was destroyed in March of 1862 by Confederate troops who were retreating from Pensacola. They had orders to lay waste to everything that could be used by the Yankee soldiers against the southerners, as they swept through what would become Escambia County. General Bragg had ordered that anything that could be used by the enemy should be destroyed. They even took the railroad tracks up and rendered them useless. One of the things they would do was to build big fires, and heat the rails until they would so hot as to become bendable and when they were hot enough they were bent around a nearby tree.
Wallace was one of the first to use flumes to float the trees down the river. This made the trip to the coast a lot faster where it was sold.
Wallace’s first wife was Mary and she died during the 1860s. He then married Celia Jernigan, daughter of Joseph Jefferson Jernigan and Caroline Dixon of Dixonville. Celia died young and Wallace then married her sister, Nancy Minerva Jernigan. They had eight children, William Wallace Jr., Robert Bruce Wallace, Mary Augusta Wallace, Joseph Rufus Wallace, Origen Sibley Wallace, Hettie S. Wallace, Louis E. Wallace and Anna Mable Wallace. William Wallace died March 14, 1902, and was buried north of Canoe. The gravesite is located in a grove of trees in the middle of a cotton field off Robinson Road.