Wallace Cabin
9425 Robinson Church Road

1880 U.S. Census 
​Crab Orchard Township

Based on preliminary research, I would infer that the log house was used as a tenant house after the Civil War.  The owner of the land was Nehemiah Wilson Wallace (1856-1925).  A resident of the Crab Orchard Township, Wallace became a major figure in the life of Meckenburg County.  He served as Sheriff for many years and was heavily involved in the economic growth of the Newell community.  He acquired large land holdings in eastern Mecklenburg County.  As I wrote in 1982, N. W. Wallace reputely "owned more farm acreage in the county than any other landholder, much of which was farmed by tenants."  I believe Jerry Wallace and Tena Wallace were tenant farmers.

Dixie Kelly, who has owned the cabin with her husband since November 29, 1982, anecdotally confirms that she learned from an elderly woman who used to babysit her children that Tena Wallace and her family lived in the house in the early 1900s. The U.S. Census of 1870 contains no listing for Tena Wallace and her husband, Jerry Wallace. The writing is not easily legible, but the arrow points to the listing in the 1880 Census for "Tena Wallace" and her husband "Jerry Wallace" and their children.  Note that Tena Wallace is listed as being 47 years old, meaning that she was born c. 1833.  The page is from the Crab Orchard Township of Mecklenburg County, where the cabin is located. 

The story is that Tena Wallace was a slave of the Wallace family.  She was a favored servant, so the Wallaces allowed her to live in the house for the remainder of her life after the Civil War.   I can not verify this information.  Obviously, more research will be required.  It is possible that she and her family had been slaves before the Civil War.

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Dr. Dan L. Morrill
139 Middleton Drive
Charlotte, N.C. 28207
[email protected]
R. J. Reynolds High School - 1956
Wake Forest University - 1960 (B.A.)
Emory University -  1961 (M.A.)
Emory University - 1966  (Ph.D.)
Professor Emeritus of History UNCC
Director, Charlotte-Mecklenburg 
                  Historic Landmarks