Zerelda Grey Wallace Biography

Zerelda Gray Sanders Wallace (August 6, 1817 – March 19, 1901) was an early temperance and women's suffrage leader, a charter member of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Indianapolis, and stepmother of General Lew Wallace, author of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.

Born Zerelda Gray Sanders, August 7, 1817 in Bourbon County, Kentucky, she came to Indianapolis with her family in the early 1830s. She was a charter member of the Church of Christ in 1833 (later renamed Central Christian Church) which became the "mother church" of all Disciples of Christ congregations in Indianapolis. She was elected the first president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union of Indiana in 1874 and was a member of the Equal Suffrage Society of Indianapolis.

She married David Wallace on December 25, 1836; they had six children and she was stepmother to Wallace's three sons from his first marriage. David Wallace became the sixth governor of Indiana, serving from December 6, 1837 to December 9, 1840.