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Mini Bios of People of Scots Descent
Jeanne Wallace


Mountain Maid of Roaring River
(from "Stories of the Ozarks" by Irene Horner)
(photo from "Ozark Mountaineer" magazine Feb-Mar. '98 issue)

Jeanne Wallace Miss Jean Wallace, was born "on a pier at the foot of Canal Street' in New York City. Her father was William M. Wallace, a Scotsman, and descendant of the historical Wallaces of Scotland, and once a captain of the Palmyra, a crack Cunard liner. Her mother was an American. Jeanne was educated in New York and became a nurse....but the strain of knowing what the future held for her patients lead her to leave New York and settle in the Ozark Mountains.

This mysterious lady homesteaded a tract of land in the Roaring River country in the year 1892. Her father had been born with this "sixth sense" also. He had explained that she had a "special God-given power" and to use it carefully, only for good, and never for pay, and she said that she obeyed that injunction.

The road to her cabin was well worn by folks who had lost things or worried over some problems they were having. Many times had she informed them where they had mislaid things, lost items, and foresaw what the future had in store for them.

Once two boys testing her powers rode up to Jeanne's cabin, before they even arrived she knew they where pranksters. They told of their "stolen" saddles and wondered who had them...she snapped out a sharp command: "Yes you young rascals, you stole them yourselves. Get back as fast as you can to where you hid them because wild pigs are chewing them up." The boys obeyed but the pigs had already had done the deed.

The Mountain Maid (or witch - some would say) did not use her clairvoyant powers on gambling, she considered it an evil thing. Once a woman had heard of the celebrity on the mountain, she wanted to know which horse to bet on at the race the next day, the visitor asked Jeanne which horse was the prettiest instead of putting the question frankly. The Mountain Maid answered with a strange smile..."Butterfly -- that's the prettiest...and the fastest too." Knowing this lady had won $1,250 on her tip...when asked why by an incredulous friend, she replied "Yes, and if you knew what the woman was going to use the money for you would understand why I let her think she fooled me."

The Mountain Maid did not like to waste time with none believers. A Mr. Wood paid her a visit once to have his fortune told. Upon entering her cabin she greeted him with. "You don't believe in me do you?" He replied that he did not believe in this kind of power or sense. Jeanne let him know emphatically that no information would be provided to him. When he turned to leave she said "But one thing I will tell you, you will have an automobile accident when you are about 50 years old." He had forgotten of this prediction until it came true two years ago when he had a bad car accident.

There are many people still living in the area that have stories to tell that prove that the Mountain Maid had these mysterious powers.

Note * - Jeanne Wallace, Mountain Maid, died on February 29, 1940 in a fire that consumed her and her cabin. Although she could tell what the future held for everyone else she never knew what it held for her.

Story from the River Valley Community Portal

Thanks to Jill Allford for sending this in.


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