Rodney Wallace was born in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, December 21, 1823, and is therefore in the full vigor of manhood. We may infer that his boyhood was not blessed with the advantages which usually crown the early life of so many lads, and strew their path with roses, from the fact that at the age of twelve he left home to work on a farm for wages, with agreement for limited opportunities for schooling. He is a son of David and Roxanna Wallace.
It seems likely that the family is of Scotch origin. David Wallace seemed to think so, since he dropped the spelling Wallis, and adopted the form in which the name is now written. In 1639, Robert Wallis was living in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Benoni Wallis, of this family, removed to Lunenburg and there married Rebecca Morse, of Lynn, July 2, 1755. She died in Lunenburg August 25, 1790, and he died March 15, 1792. David, son of Benoni and Rebecca Wallis, was born October 16, 1760. He married Susannah Lowe, and lived in Ashburnham where he died January 14, 1842. David, son of David and Susannah Wallis, was born at Ashburnham July 14, 1797. He married July 8, 1821, Roxanna Gower of New Ipswich, where he lived till he removed to Rindge, New Hampshire, in 1846. He died at Rindge, May 29, 1857; and his wife died at Fitchburg, February 27, 1876. He was the first of his family in this country to adopt the spelling Wallace, instead of Wallis. He had eight children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the second.
As we have said, at the age of twelve, when most lads are comfortably cared for at home, young Wallace started out in life for himself. He let himself to a farmer for forty dollars for the first year, with the privilege of attending school eight weeks in the winter. It turns out that the first forty dollars he earned were the beginning of a large fortune, without a dishonest dollar in it, and that the eight weeks of schooling of that winter on the farm, was the beginning of a knowledge, gleaned here and there as opportunity offered, which fits him for prominent positions of trust and responsibility.
At an early age, sixteen I think, he was charged with the responsibility of driving freight teams from Rindge to Boston, returning with loads of merchandise. In the discharge of this trust he displayed the energy, tact, and trustworthiness which were prophecies of the man. He was taking his first lessons in the school of business, and proved himself an apt scholar.
Dr. Stephen Jewett was a somewhat notable physician of Rindge. His fame in the cure of chronic and acute diseases was wide spread. He was frequently called upon to make professional visits in Boston and other New England cities and towns. His medicines attained a wide celebrity. Their manufacture and sale became a large and lucrative business, and was carried on after the death of Dr. Jewett, by his son, Stephen Jewett, Jr. The energy which young