Nicholas Featherston Pace was born June 4, 1840 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. His parents were Nancy Burwell Inge and Nicholas Pleasant Pace. At age twenty-one he enlisted in the Confederate Army, Company L, 4th Virginia Infantry, and was detailed as a nurse by order of Stonewall Jackson because of his fragile health.
On September 17, 1868 Nicholas Pace married Nancy Catherine Wallace in Craig’s Creek, Montgomery County, Virginia. She was born April 22, 1849 to Susanna Sessler and James John Wallace in Montgomery County. The Paces came to the Texas coast via ship on a honeymoon trip, thence to Garland, Dallas County. The 1870 census lists Nicholas in Precinct #5 as a twenty-nine-year-old white male farmer with real estate valued at $500 and personal property valued at $210. Nancy was listed as a twenty-two-year-old white female housekeeper born in Virginia.
Their children were Mary Arlene “Mollie,” October 9, 1870; William Edward, November 18, 1873; Nancy Susan “Susie,” January 17, 1875; Henrietta “Etta,” October 14, 1877; Nora Virginia, November 4, 1879;
Ida Mae, September 15, 1881; Mattie Agatha, February 5, 1883; and Thomas Jefferson Jackson, September 21, 1884.
Son William Edward was killed at age twelve while standing on the sidelines watching a baseball game in which the batter threw a bat, which struck him in the head. Daughter Ida Mae died May 27, 1900 at age nineteen. Nancy died December 11, 1886 at the age of thirty-seven. All were buried at the Knights of Pythias Cemetery.
Nancy and Nicholas were members of the First Christian Church of Garland. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias, #304 I00F Independent Odd Fellows Lodge, and the Duck Creek Masonic Lodge #441. He was known as a pillar of the community.
Nicholas retired from farming and became inactive because of his afflictions several years before his death on November 26, 1910. The funeral was held in his home two miles north of Garland and he was buried in the Knights of Pythias Cemetery on Miller Road at the intersection with Garland Road. The beautiful headstone on his grave is inscribed: “Only sleeping. Sleep on father and take thy rest. God called thee home. He thought it best.”
By Nell Walker for Dallas County Pioneer Association’s Proud Heritage, Volume III