Growing Pioneer

James W. Wallace (Jim) was the third son of Henry C. and May Wallace, born in 1896. He was raised in Des Moines. After serving in the Army Signal Corps and the Air Corps during World War I, Jim graduated from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania.

Like most Wallace children, Jim started working at Wallaces’ Farmer. He focused on its production, rather than writing. In 1926, Jim joined his brother Henry A. and others to establish the Hi-Bred Corn Company. Jim’s first position was Secretary. He served that company for the rest of his life, acting as Secretary-Treasurer, Executive Vice-President, and ultimately as President. Jim helped develop and articulate the business principles of Pioneer called “The Long Look.” He was elected Chairman of the Board in 1965 and named Honorary Chairman in 1969, a post he held until his death. The company has changed names over its history to Pioneer Hi-Bred International; Pioneer, A DuPont Company; DuPont Pioneer; and now Corteva Agriscience.

Like his father, Jim was active in civic life. He was President of the Des Moines Chamber of Commerce and the American Seed Trade Association. He also sat on Simpson College’s Board of Trustees. James Wallace died in Des Moines in 1993.