A native of Waxahachie, Texas, Emma Shirley Henderson Wallace (1876-1968) attended school at Prairie View College before becoming a teacher in 1896. She taught in Tyler, Ellis and Jefferson Counties before moving to Orange in 1901 to become one of four teachers at Orange Colored School, which was housed in the Salem Methodist and Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Churches. She joined the Orange Public School faculty in 1914. The widow of Lofty Henderson, Emma married Anderson Wallace in the 1920s. After serving first as a teacher at Moton High School, named for educator Robert Russa Moton, she was appointed principal in 1933. Under Wallace's 13-year leadership, the campus developed with a library, basketball and tennis courts, a band, choir, drama group and student clubs. A drill corps, which supported the school's longtime Dragons football team, formed in 1946. That same year, at the request of the Moton School Parent -Teacher Association, the school was renamed Emma H. Wallace High School in her honor.Emma Wallace retired from Orange public schools in 1952. In addition to her role as educator, she was also an active member in Mount Zion Baptist Church, Civic Betterment League, Order of the Eastern Star and other organizations. She moved to Dallas in 1959 and died there in 1968.The community Wallace served for the better part
of a century continues to honor her memory. Her legacy is remembered by the many students whose lives she affected through her dedication to educating the youth of Orange's African American community and her devotion to her pupil's success.