Lew Wallace Chapter History


General Lewis "Lew" Wallace, 1827-1905

Lew Wallace was born in Indiana, and served in both the Mexican and Civil Wars. As a Civil War General, Wallace commanded federal troops during the Battle of Monocacy in Maryland. The battle slowed the Confederate advance on the capital and came to be known as the battle that saved Washington.

After the war, Lew Wallace returned to his law practice in Indiana. He then served as governor of New Mexico Territory (1878-81) and U.S. minister to Turkey (1881-85). His book, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, became a best-selling novel of the 19th century. It has never been out of print since first published in 1880, and has been translated into nearly every major language.

MEETINGS

Our chapter presents interesting programs on a variety of subjects. During the months of September through May, the chapter meets on the third Saturday at various locations in Albuquerque. The Bellringers' Freedom Celebration is held on July 4. Our meetings are open to all interested ladies. You do not need to have completed an application before attending. We cordially invite you to contact us for further information.

Lew Wallace Chapter is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We have members throughout greater Albuquerque including Rio Rancho, Los Lunas, Moriarty, and the East Mountain Area, as well as across the nation.

HISTORY

On February 22, 1905, Lew Wallace Chapter was organized with 14 members. Charter No. 671 was presented to Mrs. M. J. Borden, the first chapter regent, on October 20, 1905. Through the years, the chapter has planted trees and donated flags, books, and funds to many worthy causes. During times of war, members were active with United Service Organization (USO), Red Cross, war bond sales, knitting, and sewing. We have placed historical markers and watched over New Mexico's Madonna of the Trail monument.

The Peace Rose - Official Flower of Lew Wallace Chapter

In the late 1930s, a young French rose breeder, Francis Meilland, developed a remarkable rose he had nurtured from a single seed. As the threat of war enveloped Europe, Meilland sent seedlings to growers in Italy, Germany, and the United States. An American consul smuggled the rose out of the country as German tanks invaded France. The budwood sent to the United States literally left on the last airplane leaving France.

Because of poor communications during the war, Meilland never knew if his rose survived, but it did. The rose was formally introduced to the world on April 29, 1945, the day that Berlin fell to Allied Forces. That special rose is now known as the Peace Rose.

One of the rosarians in the United States who tested the rose was Lem Tittle, the father of our member and Past Chapter Regent Eloise Tittle Jacobsen. Lew Wallace Chapter has adopted the Peace Rose as its official flower.

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Updated September 12, 2011.