Wallace Hall Namesake: Henry A. Wallace

Wallace Hall

Henry A. Wallace

"I recommend to all of you that you become gardeners. Then you will never die, because you have to live to see what happens next year." --H. A. Wallace

"The Soil is the mother of man and if we forget her, life eventually weakens." --H. A. Wallace

Henry Agard Wallace was born on October 7, 1888 in Orient, Iowa, son of Henry Cantwell and May (Brodhead) Wallace. His father and grandfather ("Uncle Henry") owned and edited Wallace's Farmer, a prestigious Iowa farming journal. His father was also on the staff of Iowa State College for a few years as well as serving as secretary of agriculture under Warren G. Harding. While his father taught in Ames, Henry A. became friendly with George Washington Carver, to whom he attributed his love of plants.

Wallace attended Iowa State College, graduating in 1910, when he joined the family journal as an associate editor. During the next twenty-three years he made his reputation as editor of one of the leading farm journals, through developing strains of hybrid corn, and as founder of what is now Pioneer Hi-bred International, Inc., seed company.

In 1933, Wallace was appointed Secretary of Agriculture under Franklin D. Roosevelt and served for two terms, throughout the Great Depression. In this capacity he was responsible for the administration of the Agricultural Adjustment Acts and other relief measures for the nation's farmers. During World War II and Roosevelt's third term, Wallace was vice-president. In Roosevelt's fourth term, Wallace was appointed Secretary of Commerce, a position he held until 1946. In 1948, Wallace ran for president as head of the Progressive Party. He lost to Harry Truman.

After leaving public service Wallace retired to a farm near Salem, N.Y. and edited the New Republic for two years. He died at his home on November 18, 1965, leaving his widow, Ilo Browne Wallace, and three children.