This Day in Norwood History- August 7

Expires at

Sat, Aug 8, 1903 – 12 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts)

William J. Wallace of dropped dead at the Rockland house. Nantasket, shortly after 3 yesterday afternoon. The cause of his was heart failure. Mr. Wallace was a delegate to the postmasters’ convention which was held in this city and. with many brother postmasters, left at 1:20 yesterday for an outing at the beach.

On arriving at Nantasket he marched with the other postmasters to the Rockland house. He took a chair on the veranda and was seated for several minutes. Then he arose and was seen to stagger. A number of postmasters, realizing that something was wrong, went to his assistance. He had fallen to the floor of the veranda and was removed to the hotel parlors. Dr C. B. Sylvester was called but when he arrived the man had died. examiner Spooner performed an autopsy on the body last evening.

Norwood MA postmaster William j Wallace

William J. Wallace.
Postmaster at Norwood, Appointed in ’s First Term

But few persons knew of the death, and the outing committee did all in its power to keep it quiet. Not one of the women In the party knew that Mr Wallace had died and the hotel guests were entirely ignorant of It.

William J. Wallace was born In Boston in December, 1833. He went to , now Norwood, in 1867. He enlisted from in 186. in Co I. 35th Mass regt. This regiment was in the and had a remarkable war .

Mr Wallace participated in 17 battles, including some of the most important engagements of the war, such as , Spottsylvania, , and the explosion at Petersburg. His regiment was also in the closing scenes of the war, including the surrender of Lee.

Mr. Wallace was taken prisoner In October, 1864 by the rebels, and was in prison five months. His imprisonment did him more injury than all his other service. Though he was in some sharp fighting, he was never wounded. He was mustered out of service in June, 1865. He then returned to South Dedham where he engaged in the trade of a cabinetmaker. He was employed later in the .

In 1879-80 he served in the as representative. He was a Democrat in politics and supported several strong measures on labor issues while in office. He was appointed postmaster at Norwood, then a fourth-class office, by President Cleveland during his first administration, and had held the office ever since. Had he lived until next April he would have completed 19 years of service.

During his administration as postmaster, the office has risen to be a of the second class, and largely through his efforts, free delivery and the letter carrier system was established some three years ago. He has been a popular man with all classes and with people of all parties and would probably have held office for many years, as there was no one apparently who thought of making a contest for his place.

Mr. Wallace was for 30 years a member of the and was for a number of years its chief. While he held that position two of the most disastrous fires in the history of the town happened, the burning of the Universalist and of the Norwood car shops.

Assistant Foreman William J Wallace was a well-known South Dedham and later Norwood Firefighter. Photo courtesy of Michael Chisholm and the Norwood Department.

Mr. Wallace was a member of lodge 50. I. O. O. F.. and was a member of 169, G. A R.

He was a lifelong Democrat, and before he became postmaster was an active worker in politics. He leaves a wife, one son. of Norwood, and four daughters, two of whom, Mrs. Thomas O. Metcalf and Mrs. , live In Norwood.

The will probably take place Monday, at the at Norwood.

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