A Massachusetts resident who earned distinction in multiple fields during his life, Cranmore Nesmith Wallace served a brief term as Braintree, Massachusetts's representative in the state legislature during the mid-1870s. A lifelong resident of the Bay State, Cranmore N. Wallace was a descendant of a long established family in Massachusetts, being born in Braintree on November 6, 1844. One of four children born to William Vinson and Maria Keene Wallace, Cranmore is recorded as having attended the public schools of Braintree until the age of eighteen, leaving to join the Union Army.
Wallace's service during the Civil War is notable, as he served as a volunteer in four separate army corps, including both the "Department of North Carolina and the Army of the Potomac." His Boston Evening Globe obituary chronicles Wallace as serving with "distinction in the 42nd and 43rd Massachusetts Regiments" and also notes that he was wounded in battle at Kinston, North Carolina. In addition to seeing action at Kinston, Wallace also fought at the battles of Whitehall, Goldsboro, Rawles Mills and Little Washington, all located in North Carolina. He later became a Lieutenant and aide-de-camp, serving until the close of the hostilities in 1865.
After leaving the military Wallace became employed as an office clerk at the Boston Flax Mills in Braintree. Over the next few decades, he worked his way up through the hierarchy of this company, which underwent a name change to become the Ludlow Manufacturing Company. Wallace later became a selling agent and president of this textile mill, and is remarked as being "largely influential in their successful growth." Wallace continued to be actively engaged with this company until his death, and under his stewardship it grew from one mill to over a dozen, eventually having to establish a model town in Ludlow, Massachusetts where many of its mills were built.
Cranmore Wallace married in April 1873 to Mary Ann Avery, who died shortly after their marriage. Wallace remarried in December 1882 to Eunice Sprague, and both of Wallace's marriages are marked as being childless.
Cranmore N.Wallace during his time in the General Court, circa 1875.
While still involved in the manufacturing of textiles, Cranmore Wallace was elected to represent Braintree in the Massachusetts State House of Representatives. His one term in this body commenced in 1875 and lasted one term, and during his service, he held a seat on the committee on Leave of Absence. After the conclusion of his legislative term Wallace became water commissioner of Braintree and later served as a member of that town's school committee for a number of years. His later years were highlighted by involvement in numerous civic and fraternal organizations, including the following: trustee of the Massachusetts Homeopathic Hospital and Massachusetts Soldier's Home, member of the Boston Athletic Association, the New Boston Riding Club, the Algonquin Club, the Eastern Yacht Club, member of the New England Historic-Genealogical Society, and the Bostonian Society. Wallace is also noted as being an active parishioner at the Emmanuel Church at Boston, where he served as a vestryman.
This sketch of Wallace appeared in the Boston Evening Globe in May 1893.
In addition to his abundant civic activities, Wallace is mentioned as belonging to a great many veterans organizations, holding memberships in the Society of the Grand Army of the Potomac, the Massachusetts Grand Army of the Republic, and the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. In 1889 he was named as Quartermaster General of the Department of Massachusetts and in 1905 journeyed to Washington for President Roosevelt's inauguration on the staff of Major Gen. Adna Romanza Chaffee (1842-1914).
In his later years, Wallace and his wife maintained a summer home in the city of Beverly, Massachusetts. He died here on August 26, 1918 at age 74 and was survived by his wife Eunice. A burial location for both Cranmore and his wife is unknown at this time. The large portrait of Wallace at the top of this profile was featured in the Men of Massachusetts, originally published in 1903.
Wallace's obituary from the August 26, 1918 edition of the Boston Evening Globe.