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Scots and Scots Descendant in America
Part V - Biographies
Andrew Brabner Wallace


THE name of "Wallace" is historic, and brings a glow to every Scottish heart; and many, bearing that name, both in the British Empire and America, have been prominent and influential citizens.

Andrew Brabner Wallace, of Springfield, Massachusetts, is one of the leading business men of New England. He is a native of Fifeshire, Scotland, born at Newburgh-on-Tay, March 27, 1842, the son of David and Christine (Brabner) Wallace. He was educated in the schools of his native town, and served a four years’ apprenticeship in the dry goods business, previous to his coming to this country in 1867. For three years he was connected with Hogg, Brown & Taylor, Boston, and then went to Pittsfield, Mass., and in partnership with J. M. Smith opened a dry goods store in that city, where his efficiency as a merchant soon became apparent. In 1874, he moved to Springfield, and established the well-known firm of Forbes & Wallace, with Alexander B. Forbes as partner. This store gained a great popularity, and since 1896, when Mr. Forbes retired, Mr. Wallace has been sole proprietor. Under his management the store has grown to be one of the largest and most widely known department stores in New England, outside of Boston, and Mr. Wallace is recognized as a most progressive and successful merchant. The success and energy with which he followed the ideal of providing for the people of Springfield and its surrounding territory the best place to trade, is evidenced by the remarkable growth of the business, which, beginning with a small local trade, now reaches out into every part of western New England. The firm has foreign offices in Paris, Manchester, St. Gall and Chemnitz. From the original quarters in a single store in the block in which it started, it has expanded until it now occupies the greater part of an entire city block. Its employees, numbering fifty at first, have increased to nearly a thousand.

The determination to deserve the confidence of the public is emphasized by one of the cardinal principles of the firm—the offer to take back any goods that do not prove satisfactory.

In addition to his store in Springfield, Mr. Wallace is connected with numerous business enterprises; he is President of the Syndicate Trading Company of New York City, and of the Consolidated Dry Goods Company; is a director of the United Electric Light Company, the Springfield Safe Deposit and Trust Company, and the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. He is an active worker in the Congregational Church, and a director of the Y. M. C. A. He is also a member of the National Chamber of Commerce, of the St. Andrew’s Society of the State of New York, the Nyasset, Sheomet, Mohawk and Country Clubs, the National Arts Club, New York City, the Grolier Club, and the Miramichi Fishing and Game Club of Canada.

In 1867, he was married in Glasgow to Miss Janet Miller, who died many years ago. In 1883, he married Miss Madora Vaille, of Springfield, who has been a most helpful and congenial companion. He has six children; two of his sons, Andrew B., Jr., and Douglas arc associated with him in the firm.

Mr. Wallace is actively interested in all enterprises for the advancement of the city in which he lives, and is exceedingly generous in his contributions to its philanthropic, charitable and religious work. His beautiful home on Maple Street is one of the attractions of the town; it stands on a hill, surrounded by large shade trees and extensive, well-kept lawns. As a host, Mr. Wallace gathers about him many of the most cultured people of Springfield and other cities; an evening spent with him, his charming wife and beautiful daughter is a memorable occasion. He is an enthusiastic art collector, and has a remarkably fine collection of etchings and paintings which he has gathered during his travels in Great Britain and on the Continent. He is never happier than when showing these rare works of art to his friends. The art department in his store is one of the largest and most complete in this section. Mr. Wallace has a beautiful summer home at Hatchetts Point, Conn., but every year he spends some time automobiling with his family, in this country or Scotland and the continent of Europe.


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