Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Kestner Wallace  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1920 in Mountain Township, Southern Illinois

-- Kestner Wallace on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Mr. Wallace was born in Mountain Township of Saline County, in Southern Illinois. He continues to live on land that has been owned by the Wallace family for five generations.

Biographical and Professional Information

Kestner Wallace was an educator for 41 years before retiring in 1987. He has also been a regular contributor to ''Springhouse'' magazine for nearly 30 years, writing his memoirs as a boy growing up on a farm during the Great Depression, as a one-room schoolteacher and principal, as a sailor during World War II, and as a keen observer of life. The author's incredible memory of bygone times and of the people who have been important to him as friends, mentors, and neighbors lend a richness of detail in these stories that recall a different era in America's history.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

A Dollar the Hard Way: Growing Up in Tough Times in the Ozark Foothills
ISBN: 0977008010

Womble Mountain Press. 2005

"A Dollar the Hard Way" is a series of stories about the life of a young man growing up and entering adulthood in Southern Illinois during the 1930s and '40s. The book is a gem. Whether he is digging for oil, or searching his soul, Kestner Wallace makes real his early life in the rural Midwest. Each story evokes a time and place gone by, with vividly drawn characters described by a man who is clearly a character in his own right. Whether from the viewpoint of a poor Southern Illinois farm boy, a World War II veteran, a fisherman, or an educator for 42 years starting with one-room schoolhouse days, his stories are notable for both their charming ability to show the lighter side of hard times, as well as their intimate details of historical interest. Wallace's stories have delighted "Springhouse Magazine" readers for over twenty years. For the first time, the full collection is available in one entertaining volume.

Blessed Beyond Measure: More Stories from the Ozark Foothills of Southern Illinois
ISBN: 0977008037

Womble Mountain Press. 2013

Fans of Kestner Wallace's first book, A Dollar the Hard Way, will enjoy this new series of stories about life in rural Southern Illinois and beyond during the Great Depression and the decades following. The author's incredible memory of bygone times lends a richness of detail in these delightful and poignant stories that recall a different era in America's history. As each tale unfolds, vivid images are created of life on the farm, in a one-room schoolhouse, or tromping through the woods in Southern Illinois. Sprinkled throughout are words of wisdom, reminders of the incredible hardships faced by his generation, adventures large and small, and even a little romance. This book is a joy to read all at one sitting or bit by heartwarming bit and will leave you wanting to relay the stories within to others. Kestner Wallace's charming, often humorous tales have delighted Springhouse Magazine readers for nearly thirty years.

Speaking Engagements

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