Topic: Wallace Place ( 12/11/2011)
Word on the street - Wallace Place
Wallace Place is one of New Plymouth's older streets, having been named before 1875. The Taranaki Herald reported in 1878 that tenders for Mr Standish's house in Wallace Place had been accepted. Wallace Place then appears on a topographic map from 1923, when the long street through Westown was Tukapo Street and Sanders Park was Tukapa Sports Ground.
John Wallace arrived in New Plymouth on board Captain Dawson's Amelia Thompson in 1841. Originally from Birmingham, where he was involved as a Fellow of the local Society of Arts, Wallace was an early settler and land owner. He had an interest in Physics and had published on the subject of Optics.
His son John Howard Wallace beat his father to New Zealand. Emigrating in 1840, he arrived on the Aurora at Port Nicholson. There he set up business with his friend and later brother-in-law, George White, as general merchants. The business expanded with Mr. White managing a branch at Nelson. John Wallace senior left New Plymouth for Nelson to join his family in the business. Newspaper advertisements for their merchant business were posted under the name Wallace, White and Wallace.
Moving to Wellington, Wallace was elected as a city representative to the first Provincial Council. He was a personal friend of Edward Gibbon Wakefield, the driving force behind much of the early colonisation of South Australia, and later New Zealand.
John Wallace died in 1880, aged 92.
At his passing, The Evening Post announced that "Another of the veteran founders of the colony has passed from our midst." The Star newspaper reported simply on 16 March 1880 that "An old settler named John Wallace died this morning in his 93rd year."