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Wallace family papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS690

Scope and Content

This collection primarily contains materials pertaining to Alexander McGhee Wallace’s involvement in the Civil War and Anne Wallace Howland’s contributions to the Carnegie Library of Atlanta. The materials include correspondence, datebooks, diaries, genealogical records, periodicals, programs, and newspaper clippings. This collection also contains a scrapbook assembled in memory of Alexander McGhee Wallace, a scrapbook pertaining to Anne Wallace Howland, several certificates and diplomas belonging to Anne Wallace Howland, and a 1972 photocopy of John H. Dent’s conveyance of trust from 1836.


  • 1836-1987, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

Alexander McGhee Wallace (1822-1901) was born in Blount County, Tennessee, to General William Wallace (1794-1864) and Margaret Chamberlain (1792-1844). After graduating from Merivale College, he worked at his father's merchandising business. He moved to Dalton, Georgia, in 1847 and married his first wife, Octavia Adelaide Cox (1825-1852) in 1842. They had four children: Charles (1843-1869), George Alexander (1846-1887), Florence Augusta (1848-1917), and William Lafayette (1850-1850). In 1855, Alexander married Frances Garland “Fannie” Singleton (1834-1907), who was born in Athens, Georgia, to Joseph James Singleton (1788-1854) and Mary Ann Terrell (1799-1872). The pair moved to Atlanta in the same year. They had nine children: Mary Chamberlain “Minnie” (1856-1939); Joseph Singleton (1857-1918); Martha Lewis “Mattie” (1859- ?); Frances Alexander (1861-1959); Margaret Jessie (1863-1947); Marion Cooper (1865-1944); Anne Nickolson (1866-1960); Alexander McGhee (1868-1868); and Alexander Waddell (1870-1942).

Administrative/Biographical History

In 1856, Alexander became the chairman of the finance committee of the Atlanta City Council. In 1860, he helped form and lead the Atlanta Grays, a pro-secessionist group, and when the Civil War broke out, he joined the Confederacy as an officer in Company L of the 1st Georgia Infantry Regiment. In 1862, Alexander was promoted to lieutenant colonel and changed units to Company S of the 36th Georgia Infantry Regiment. In 1863, Alexander was severely wounded at the Battle of Missionary Ridge; the following year, he was discharged from the military due to his injuries. After the war, Wallace helped Henry L. Wilson and James D. Waddell organize the Georgia State Lottery to fund Masonic schools in Georgia. He became the surveyor of customs for the port of Atlanta by President Grover Cleveland in 1885.

Administrative/Biographical History

Anne Wallace Howland, Alexander and Fannie’s daughter, was born in Athens, Georgia. After graduating from Girls High School in Atlanta in 1885, she taught at Calhoun Street School. In 1893 Anne was elected librarian for the Young Men’s Library Association, and in 1897 she helped found the Georgia Library Club, which later became the Georgia Library Association. Anne initiated efforts in 1899 to create the first public library system in Atlanta, the Carnegie Library of Atlanta, named for Andrew Carnegie, from whom Anne secured large donations for the library construction. In 1908, she married Max Franklyn Howland (1881-1921), who was born in Acushnet, Massachusetts, to Captain Albert Franklyn Howland (1943-1907) and Emma Harvey Hallet (1854-1947). The couple had one son, Wallace Howland (1909-1986). In 1922, Anne became the director of the Drexel Institute of Library Science, and in 1929 she graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in library science.


5.09 linear ft. (three document cases, two oversize boxes, and two oversize folders)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift 1986, with subsequent addition

Description Control

This collection was reprocessed in 2018.

Wallace family papers
Meredith Jones
July 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305