Wallace Homes

The Frank Wallace Home...Then...and Now
Brick bungalow-style house, Frank and Natalie Wallace posing Brick bungalow-style home, modern view
Frank and Natalie Wallace Home, circa 1954. Truman Library
Frank Wallace Home today NPS
Frank G. Wallace was the brother of Bess Wallace Truman. He and his wife Natalie (nee Ott) lived in a cozy bungalow built behind what it now called the Truman Home.
 
The George Wallace Home...Then...and Now
1910's bungalow-style house with two women posing The George and May Wallace Home today
The George and May Wallace Home, with May and Natalie Wallace on the steps Truman Library
Bungalow-style house, painted green. NPS
This home belonged to George P. Wallace, brother of Bess Wallace Truman, and his wife May (nee Southern). It is, today, where the Park Rangers have their offices.
 
Frank and George Wallace Homes
Frank Wallace Home (Top) and George Wallace Home (bottom) date from 1915-1916 and were home to Bess Truman's brothers.

NPS Image

In the early 1900s, George Wallace and May Southern, Frank Wallace and Natalie Ott, and Bess Wallace and Harry Truman were three couples, all in their 20s, all in love, and all close friends. None of them knew it at the time, but they were destined to spend the rest of their lives together. Frank, George, and Bess were siblings, and after the three couples were married, all six were related to each other.

George Porterfield Gates, grandfather to Bess, Frank, and George, built the house known today as the Truman home. The three Wallace siblings had lived there with their mother and younger brother since shortly after their own father's death in 1903. Upon Frank's and George's marriages in 1915 and 1916, their grandfather subdivided the back 100 feet of his property into two 50-foot lots and gave them to his grandsons as wedding gifts.

The boys' constructed two craftsman-style bungalows, popular at the time, on these lots shortly afterwards. Frank Wallace was tall and dignified, a serious fellow who assumed responsibility for his widowed mother's business affairs. His wife, Natalie, was the daughter of a banker and had traveled widely. When she was 20, Natalie was able to take a nine-month trip to Europe - something few Independence residents would have had the opportunity to do.

George Wallace was the handyman; if something needed fixing, they took it to George. His wife, May, eventually found herself the family spokesperson after her brother-in-law Harry became the President of the United States. One local reporter remembered, "She was wonderful, because I could always find out what was going on. I would find out some things that some other papers wouldn't."

The Wallace Homes are located at 601 & 605 West Truman Road behind the Truman Home. The homes are not open to the public but are utilized by park service staff. The homes continue to be preserved and illustrate an extended family that often drew upon each other for help and support.

 
Frank and George Wallace Homes
The Frank Wallace Home (left) and the George Wallace Home (right) are preserved as part of Harry S Truman National Historic Site.

NPS Photo

 

Last updated: July 28, 2021

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Mailing Address:

223 North Main Street (Visitor Center)
Independence, MO 64050

Phone:

(816) 254-2720
Please note that as the Visitor Center is closed because of COVID19, staff are teleworking and not available at the phones to answer.

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