On Saturday, August 1, Chickasha native and beloved children’s author William “Bill” Wallace will be honored with the dedication of a Literary Landmark at Centennial Park.
Wallace gained nationwide popularity as an author of 38 children’s books and recipient of 22 state awards. He has been honored with the Arrell M. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
As a lifetime resident of Chickasha, many local many local places and events influenced Wallace’s writing. From his first published book, A Dog Called Kitty, to his last, That Doggone Calf, Wallace has entertained and educated children.
When asked why he became an author, he replied, “Trying to read to a class of 25 (fourth graders) kids who aren’t listening is downright miserable. Finally, students asked me to tell stories about when I was growing up. I soon ran out of these so they decided I should make up new stories. I became a writer so I could survive my first year as a teacher. The class loved the stories I wrote for them and persuaded me to get somebody to make us a real book.”
Wallace studied professional writing at the University of Oklahoma and got a B.S. in Elementary Education from USAO in 1971. In 1974, he received a M.S. in Elementary Administration from SWOSU. He started teaching in 1971 and became the principal and PE teacher at West Elementary in Chickasha in 1977. The Bill Wallace Early Education Center in Chickasha is named in his honor. Wallace left the school system in 1988 to pursue writing full time. He wrote a total of 32 book, seven of white he wrote with his wife, Carol. He has three children, Laurie Beth, Amanda Nicole and Justin Keith.
Prior to the July 20, 2020 Chickasha City Council Meeting, Mayor Chris Mosley issued a proclamation that August 1, 2020 will be known as William “Bill” Wallace Day in the City of Chickasha.
The Literary Landmark dedication ceremony and reception is planned for August 1, 2020 at 10 a.m. in Centennial Park. The Chickasha Public Library has Wallace’s materials easily available to children for circulation, and will have a display case of materials and memorabilia.