As the master of the estate, Mr. [Arthur R.] Wall welcomed visiting dignitaries, including U.S. presidents and foreign heads of state, on behalf of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, the private, nonprofit organization that owns and operates Mount Vernon. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt visited once, with the king and queen of England. Later, Prince Philip toured the second floor of the manor house and commented, "A little small, eh?" Mr. Wall maintained a discreet silence.
After his retirement from Mount Vernon, Mr. Wall completed work on his biography of Washington, "George Washington: Citizen-Soldier," which was published by the University of Virginia Press in 1980. The book focused on Washington as a military and political leader and as a farmer and family man at Mount Vernon.
Mr. Wall was born in Curwensville, Pa. He graduated from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1929, he joined the staff at Mount Vernon as an assistant superintendent. During his early years there, he and the superintendent, Harrison H. Dodge, took turns sleeping as guards at the manor house. When Dodge died in 1937, Mr. Wall succeeded him and was the first to live in the newly built director's house on the 500 acres of the estate owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association. In George Washington's time, the estate totaled 8,000 acres.
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