Born in Dangerfield, Morris County, Texas in 1906,
Wallace received his Master of Arts degree at then Texas
Technological College in 1935, after two years of study, and began
as a Texas Tech instructor of history in 1936. He was
promoted to assistant professor in 1941, associate professor in
1943, and full professor in 1946. He was consultant for The Great
Chiefs and The Texans for Time-Life Books.
Wallace wrote eleven
major books on Texas history including The Comanches: Lords of the
South Plains, and co-authoring Richardson's Texas: The Lone
Star State (1970 and 1981) and Texas in Turmoil 1849-1875 (1993). In 1964, Wallace published Ranald
S. McKenzie of the Texas Frontier, a study of the exploits of Ranald
S. Mackenzie in the Texas Panhandle.
From 1975 to 1979, he was
consultant for The Great Chiefs and The Texans for Time-Life Books.
In 1967, he was among the first four professors named a Paul
Whitfield Horn Professor, the highest recognition that the
university bestows. He held the designation until his retirement in
1976, the official end of his 40-year career.
In 1954, Wallace was
named a fellow of the Texas State Historical Association and served
as president of the association from 1977 to 1978. In 1968, the West
Texas Chamber of Commerce presented Wallace with the "Cultural
Achievement Award for Significant Contributions to Historical
Literature". In 1969, he received the Minnie Stevens Piper Award. In
1971, the West Texas Museum Association presented Wallace with its
Action Award for his "outstanding contributions to the enrichment
and culture" of the South Plains.
colleagues at Texas Tech were professors emeriti
Paul H. Carlson
and Alwyn Barr, other authors on Texas topics.
Eminent historian Ernest Wallace brought to life an era of the
frontier that continues to intrigue readers. Wallace died in Lubbock,
Texas November 17, 1985.