1st Lt. William Wallis

William Wallis1st Lt. William Wallis was born on June 5, 1836 in Parsington, King’s County, Ireland. His father’s ancestors entered Ireland from England in the army of William the Third and fought in the battle of Boyne. His mother’s ancestors came to Ireland with Cromwell’s army and settled there. Both of his parents were of Puritan ancestry. Wallis’ father passed away a year after moving to the United States where he was raised on a farm and joined a Methodist church in his early teens. He earned the money to go to school at McKendree College through the tanning trade. He received an A.B. degree from McKendree College in 1862. He later received an A.M.  degree in 1865 and a doctoral degree in 1900. He was a member of the Philosophian Literary Society.

He enlisted in the 117th Infantry on Sept.19, 1862 and was mustered in as 2nd Lt. for Company C.  He was promoted to 1st Lt. and held this position until he mustered out on Aug. 5, 1865.  In October of 1865, he was admitted on trial to the Southern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church and was assigned to 16 churches for nearly 35 years.  He retired in 1899.  Rev. Dr. Wallis was a trustee of McKendree College for many years and a delegate to the General Conference of 1896. 

On Sept. 8, 1868, Wallis married Eva Hain of Salem, Illinois and had five children, William, Marshall, Robert, Edward, and Mary. They were buried together in College Hill Cemetery in Lebanon, Illinois. On May 25, 2012, McKendree University honored the Civil War soldiers of the 117th Illinois Regiment and placed an American flag on the grave of Wallis, as well as fellow soldiers including Jesse Brant, William Ogden, and former professor Lt. Samuel H. Deneen.