Wallace was in the book, stationery, paper, and waste cotton business. He came to Fitchburg, MA in 1853.
He was the president of Fitchburg Gas Company from 1864 and a trustee or director of many institutions and companies.
In 1884, he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention. He was a congressman for the Massachusetts's 11th congressional district 11th Massachusetts district from 1889-1891.
He was a great benefactor to many towns and institutions. He presented Wallace Way, the stairs leading up to the Fitchburg High School, to that city, as well as the Wallace Library and Art building. He donated the Ingalls Memorial Library to the town of Rindge, NH, and the Wallace House at Smith College.
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