Picture of Wallace D. Wattles

Wallace D. Wattles

Writer

Country:United States

Lifetime: 1860 - 1911 Passed: ≈ 110 years ago

Wallace Delois Wattles (1860–1911) was an American New Thought writer. He remains personally somewhat obscure, but his writing has been widely quoted and remains in print in the New Thought and self-help movements.

Wattles' best known work is a 1910 book called The Science of Getting Rich in which he explains how to become wealthy.

 

Wattles' daughter, Florence A. Wattles, described her father's life in a "Letter" that was published shortly after his death in the New Thought magazine Nautilus, edited by Elizabeth Towne. The Nautilus had previously carried articles by Wattles in almost every issue, and Towne was also his book publisher. Florence Wattles wrote that her father was born in the U.S. in 1860, received little formal education, and found himself excluded from the world of commerce and wealth.

 

According to the 1880 US Federal Census, Wallace lived with his parents on a farm in Nunda Township, McHenry County, Illinois, and worked as a farm laborer. His father is listed as a gardener and his mother as "keeping house". Wallace is listed as being born in Illinois while his parents are listed as born in New York. No other siblings are recorded as living with the family. According to the 1910 census, Wattles was married to Abbie Walters, 47. They had three children: Florence Walters, 22, Russell H. Walters, 27, and Agnes Walters, 16. It also shows that at the time Wallace's mother Mary A. Walters was living with the family at the age of 79.

 

Florence wrote that "he made lots of money, and had good health, except for his extreme frailty" in the last three years before his death. Wattles died on February 7, 1911 in Ruskin, Tennessee, and his body was transported home for burial to Elwood, Indiana. As a sign of respect businesses closed throughout the town for two hours on the afternoon of his funeral.

 

His death at age 51 was regarded as "untimely" by his daughter; in the previous year he had not only published two books (The Science of Being Well and The Science of Getting Rich), but he had also run for public office.

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Books by Wallace D. Wattles