Dedicated August 1st, 2020
Partners: Friends of the Chickasha Public Library, Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma, The City of Chickasha, Chickasha Public Library.
Centennial/Kids Place Park, located at 610 W. Texas Ave., in Chickasha, Oklahoma, was designated a Literary Landmark on Saturday, August 1st in honor of children's author Bill Wallace. The dedication ceremony took place on Wallace’s birthday.
William “Bill” Wallace (1947-2012) was an Oklahoma-based teacher and children’s book author. His writing career was prompted by his fourth-grade students, whom he would tell stories to in order to calm his classes down. The students urged Wallace to become an author of children’s books. He is the author of over 30 children’s titles and the recipient of several awards, including the Utah Children's Book Award (twice), the Florida Sunshine State Children's Award, the Arizona Children's Choice Book Award, and several others.
Local dignitaries shared greetings and proclamations with the crowd, including the mayor and sponsors. Carol Wallace, Bill Wallace's widow, read fan letters that Wallace had received over the years. Two teachers, who had known Wallace, gave insights on how he influenced them, their teaching, and in turn their students.
Featured sponsors included United for Libraries, Friends of the Chickasha Public Library, Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma, The City of Chickasha, and the Chickasha Public Library. Many other individuals and organizations assisted monetarily to purchase the landmark, display case, and materials. The display case is housed at the Chickasha Public Library (527 W. Iowa, three blocks from the park) and hosts Wallace memorabilia, including his old typewriter and other materials. The Friends of Chickasha Public Library developed an information brochure about Wallace and his impact on children and reading that is available at the library.