Wallace Ellis | Ellis Head Owens Justice & Arnold
In 1947, Wales W. Wallace, Jr. opened his office for general practice of law in Columbiana after graduating from the University of Alabama. Wallace grew the firm to one of the most recognized and respected in the Shelby County area. He also was active in the religious and civic life of Columbiana and Shelby County throughout his life, serving as Mayor for three terms, founder of the Shelby County Savings and Loan Association, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Montevallo for ten years. His practice was thriving when, in September, 1964, Frank C. “Butch” Ellis, Jr. joined the firm. At that time, the firm became known as Wallace Ellis, a namesake still utilized informally.
In 1972, Conrad Fowler, Jr. joined the firm. Fowler, a recent graduate of Alabama Law School, had once played football under Coach Paul Bryant. At that time, the firm name changed to Wallace Ellis & Fowler. Fowler’s contributions in civil and criminal matters, domestic relations, and probate matters were robust and his work in juvenile cases fundamentally changed the lives of many young people in the community. Fowler retired in 2013 and passed away in 2020. In 1975, Oliver Head and his father, Frank Head, merged their practice, Head and Head, with the firm to become Wallace Ellis Head & Fowler. Frank Head was a World War I combat veteran and received his law degree from Alabama in 1921. He continued practicing law in Columbiana until his death in 1979. Oliver Head (pictured in our group photo below), also a graduate of Alabama Law School (1956), worked with the firm representing the County and other entities until he was appointed Circuit Judge for Shelby County in 1990. After over a decade of service as a judge, he retired in January 2002.
Still located in Columbiana, the firm continues with Butch in a leading role and with the addition of six other experienced practitioners who continue to follow Wallace’s example in providing high quality legal services for the benefit of our clients.
Columbiana, located in central Alabama, is the county seat of Shelby County and has maintained its small-town charm despite its location in one of the fastest growing counties in Alabama and the Southeast.
Columbiana has a mild climate, friendly people, and affordable housing. It is home to the historic Courthouse built in 1908, the Shelby County Arts Council, the Shelby County Historical Society, and the Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington, to name a few attractions, and is located within a short driving distance to recreational opportunities on Lay Lake and in Oak Mountain State Park.