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Wallace Richmond, 1899-1982


Posted By: Emmet County IAGenWeb Coordinator (email)
Date: 3/10/2011 at 19:13:18

Wallace Richmond, eldest son of Walter A. Richmond [1871-1950] and Grace Clark Richmond [1875-1974], was born May 12, 1899 on the old Richmond farmstead located in Section 36, Armstrong Grove Township, Emmet County, Iowa. His early boyhood and youth was spent on the old family farm.

He attended the old Burt rural school, the High School in Armstrong and graduated from Estherville High School in 1919. He attended Iowa State University at Ames and Wisconsin State University, Menomonie, Wisconsin, preparing for a teaching career in Industrial Arts, Physical Education and athletic coaching. He played varsity football and basketball at Wisconsin State and participated in several extra curricular activities.

While teaching in the public schools at Lakota, North Dakota, Wallace met Frances Lorene Heston, born at Sac City, Iowa, October 9, 1898. She attended the public schools in Iowa and North Dakota, graduating from Wilton High School, Wilton, North Dakota in June 1918. She was a graduate of State Teachers College, Valley City, North Dakota, and taught in the public schools of North Dakota and Iowa for several years.

They were married on June 11, 1924 at her home in Wilton. Wallace and Lorene returned to Iowa and farmed for several years southeast of Armstrong. Three children were born to this union, Robert Heston Richmond, July 4, 1927, Grace Eleanor Richmond, April 5, 1929, and Margaret Jane Richmond, October 7, 1930. Mrs. Richmond passed away suddenly on January 15, 1932, while visiting at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Virgil D. Heston, in Wilton. An infant son, David, died prematurely at the time of his Mother's death.

Left with three small children to raise during the depression years of the thirties and forties, Wallace was assisted in the raising of his young family by his mother and father, a debt of gratitude that will never be forgotten by him or his children. The children all graduated from Armstrong High School under the guidance of our beloved friend and superintendent, the late William A. Ortmeyer, went on to college and established successful homes and families. Grace and Margaret [Peggy] taught for many years in the public schools of Iowa and Minnesota. After serving in the United States Navy during World War II, Robert attended Iowa State University at Ames for four years, was called back into service during the Korean War and is now nearing the end of a successful career of thirty years in the Navy. He was recently promoted to the rank of Lt. Commander, working his way up from Apprentice Seaman, through the various grades and ranks, a true "Mustang!"

After serving in the Army during World War II, Wallace resumed his career as a teacher in the Iowa public schools. He retired from teaching in 1955 and spent fifteen years with the Right of Way Department of the Iowa State Highway Commission. He retired in 1970 and now makes his home at Forest City, Iowa.

Always interested in community affairs, Wallace is a longtime member of Emmet Lodge No. 533, A. F. & A.M. and O. E. S. at Armstrong, Abu Bekr Shrine at Sioux City and the Scottish Rite Bodies at Des Moines. He served his home lodge at Armstrong as Worshipful Master in 1933 and again in 1967. He is also a longtime member of the B. P. O. E. at Estherville, the American Legion and the First Presbyterian Church at Armstrong.

After retirement, he served as the Armstrong representative on the Emmet County Council of Governments, as a Director of the Emmet County Historical Society, Chairman of the Emmet County Conservation Board and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the First Presbyterian Church in Armstrong. Always active in athletics during high school and college, he served as a football, baseball and basketball official for the Iowa High School Athletic Association for many years after finishing his college education. He is also a member of the National Retired Teachers Association.

Wallace is the proud grandfather of six grandsons and four granddaughters, all of whom are successful in their chosen work. His son, Robert and wife, Virginia have three sons and two daughters and have their home in Charleston, South Carolina. Grace Eleanor is the wife of Dr. C. J. Plath. they have two sons and one daughter and live in Yankton, South Dakota. Margaret [Peggy] and her husband, Thomas D. Bowen, owner of a Super Market in Forest City, have a daughter and one son.

Contributed by: Jim Richmond. Source: "History of Emmet County, Iowa, VoL. III", Compiled by the Emmet County Historical Society as a Bicentennial Project., Inter-Collegiate Press, Inc., Shawnee Mission, Kansas, 1976, page 355.

Interment in Armstrong Grove cemetery

Emmet Biographies maintained by LaVern Velau.
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