COKE BRICKEY WALLACE. To be a pioneer business man in a new community and to successfully cope with untoward conditions and guard against possible failure, and at the same time give encouragement to hundreds of others, requires a large degree of business capacity together with many other qualities which the settlement of a new town demands. This distinction and the possession of these qualities belong to the history of Coke Brickey Wallace, who is cashier and one of the organizers of the Farmers Bank at Valmeyer, Illinois. He was born October 12, 1861, on a farm in Harrisonville precinct, Monroe county, Illinois, and is a son of Lewis and Mary Jane (Wood) Wallace.
Lewis Wallace was born in Hamilton county, Ohio, in 1836, and died in March, 1863. About 1850 he came to Illinois and then made the overland trip to California, and when he returned from the far West settled permanently in Illinois and became a farmer in Monroe county. In 1858 he married Mary Jane Wood, who was born also in Hamilton county, Ohio, and died in Illinois, September 23, 1911. To this union three children were born, two of whom died in infancy, Coke B. being the only survivor of the family.
After securing a public school education Coke B. Wallace entered the St. Louis University, where he completed his course, graduating in 1882, with his degree of B. S. For five years afterward he engaged in teaching school in Monroe county and then embarked in the mercantile business at Harrisonville, where he continued a merchant for ten years.
Having capital to invest, he became interested in the new town of Valmeyer, when the Iron Mountain Railroad was constructed through here, opening up a rich district to prospective investors and home-seekers. Mr. Wallace became one of the earliest settled residents and was the first one to engage in business, building the first elevator in 1903 and managed the elevator for the Nanson Commission Company of St. Louis, Missouri. As the town grew it soon became apparent that banking facilities must be afforded, and in 1909 Mr. Wallace, in association with several other capitalists, opened a private bank, known as the Farmers Bank, with a capital of ten thousand dollars. The officers of this institution are: John Kline, president; A. C. Bollenger, vice president; C. B. Wallace, cashier; Lewis Wallace, assistant cashier, with Dr. Paulter; H. P. Niebruegge and B. James as additional directors. The bank is in an exceedingly prosperous condition.
In 1883 Mr. Wallace was married to Miss Mary C. Allen, a daughter of James Allen, of Monroe county, and they have six children, namely: Nina, who is the wife of A. E. LaSorwe; Mabel, who resides at home; Lewis, who is assistant cashier of the Farmers Bank; and Marjorie, Robert and Ruth, all of whom are at home. Mr. and Mrs. Wallace are affording many advantages to their children. He was brought up in the Democratic political faith and has always adhered to the same, but has been too much engaged as a business man to find time to entertain political aspirations. He is identified with the different Masonic bodies.