Wallace Aloysius Dontanville, eldest of seven children of Wallace Dontanville and Josephine Elbert, was born in New York October 12, 1881. His parents came to Southern California in 1883. Wallace was raised in the home that his parents had constructed on Lester Street in Pasadena. His brothers and sisters affectionately knew him as Pauly. As a young man, he worked on the family ranch in Arroyo Seco.
The 1915 Pasadena City Directory recorded that Wallace Jr was living at 1145 Denver Street. He was not yet married and had already established his own road construction business. Many new sidewalks in Pasadena were beginning to bare impressions identifying that Dontanville Construction Company had built them. In the years just prior World War I, his brothers Henry and Leo and brother-in law Lee Wigand worked for his company.
The 1920 City Directory recorded Wallace as still living on Denver Street in Pasadena, and now married to Arabella Faure, daughter of Edward Faure from France and Alma Matherson, a California native. The 1920 census recorded Wallace and Arabella in Lodi, California. It is possible that the Lodi residence was in connection with a construction assignment and was temporary.
Family members have indicated that Wallace did not get along with the city fathers in Pasadena and for this reason had moved his construction business to Monterey County about that time. He and Arabella established a ranch near Salinas. In the early 1920s Wallace's cousin Ernest worked for him in Salinas and there met Amy Harkins who later became his wife.
During World War II highway construction came to a stand still. In an attempt to maintain his company Wallace devoted his resources to military construction. Wallace retired from construction in the mid 1940s and devoted the remainder of his years to the apricot orchards that he had planted on his ranch. He died in Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital on February 22, 1954 and was interned in Garden of Memories in Salinas. Arabella died on December 1, 1957 and was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma. There were no children.