T. L. Wallace from a 1997 newspaper clipping

Tommy Wallace from a newspaper clipping

More than 40 years ago, a young man was hired as a laborer by a construction company. His first assignment – picking up roots around a work site. He must have done a heck of a job, because from this inauspicious beginning that young man, Jayess native, Thomas L. “Tommy” Wallace, created not only a career but a business icon, TL Wallace Construction, Inc. of Columbia.

Wallace stayed with the industry, learning the business from the ground up. In 1955 he was appointed foreman at Singley Construction before joining Dixie Paving Company. Wallace eventually bought the company in 1974, calling it Wallace Construction Company, then changed the name to its modern moniker in 1975 when the company branched out into Alabama.

The company started small and the fledging years were a challenge. Things finally came to a head while working on a project in New Hebron, and the outlook grew bleak. Wallace turned to a higher power.

From the very beginning, I was determined to make God the senior partner,” Wallace said. “In the crisis, the problem was turned over to Him, and He hasn’t failed to help us.

TL Wallace heavy equipment at work four-laning US 98 between Hattiesburg and Columbia, Mississippi.

TL Wallace at work on US 98 between Hattiesburg and Columbia, Mississippi.