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Allen, Thomas


Posted By: mjv (email)
Date: 3/25/2020 at 16:36:27

THOMAS J. ALLEN, Justice of the Peace, Wellman, Iowa, was born in Franklin County, Ind., Nov. 8, 1836, and is the son of John and Frances (Thompson) Allen. His father was born in Harrisburg, Pa., March 30,1786, and was of Scotch descent. His mother was born Jan. 5, 1800, in Clarksburg, Pa. His grandfather, John Allen, was among the first settlers of Franklin County, Ind., and built the first mill in that county, known as the Brookville mill. He died Oct. 3, 1837, and his son, the father of our subject, Oct. 30, 1841, in Franklin county, Ind. Both were blacksmiths by trade.

John Allen, the father of our subject, was a man who took a lively interest in public affairs. He was a Whig, and served sixteen years as Justice of the Peace in Brookville. He served through the War of 1812, as Lieutenant, under Capt. Henderson, of the 7th Regimen of Indiana Rifles, and our subject is still in possession of his commission. He was of Quaker descent, and at the time of his death was the owner of 320 acres of land. Frances (Thompson) Allen, the mother of our subject, died Feb. 18, 1881, at Daytonville, Iowa, and was taken to Indiana for burial. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was a kind and devoted mother. They were the parents of twelve children, eight of whom are now living, two in this county – Naomi Shepard, now living in Washington, and our subject.

The subject of this sketch obtained his education in the district schools of his native State, and at the age of fifteen, in 1851, came by wagon to this county and settled at Wassonville, where he remained engaged in breaking prairie until May, 1853, when he returned to his old home, by way of St. Louis, Louisville and Cincinnati, traveling by water. He arrived at home May 18, and entered a blacksmith-shop in Dunlapsville, Ind., Sept. 26, 1853. For his first year’s work he received his board and clothes, and was to have $75 for the next year, but his employer dying, he only received twenty-five cents. He remained there until Dec. 31, 1855, when he again started west, and landed at Wessouville in December, 1856. He started a blacksmith-shop in that place the next day, and has worked at that trade ever since. He improved a farm near there, which he sold in the fall of 1878, removing to Dayton, and from there to Wellman, in 1880, where he still resides. He sold his blacksmith-shop in November, 1886.

Mr. Allen was married, Jan. 1, 1881, to Marian J. Leighton, a daughter of Isaac Leighton, a sketch of who appears elsewhere in this volume. Mr. and Mrs. Allen are the parents of nine children: Serepta A . died in infancy; Cara Belle, who wedded John Poland, who died Aug. 1, 1883; Bertha May graduated at Keota High School and is now a teacher; Alice Annette is attending a Normal School and fitting herself for a teacher; Ada Estella, at home; Ernest L., at home; Georgia Cornelia died in April, 1877; Jon Everett and Thomas Glenn, at home.

Mr. Allen is a Republican in politics, and served in several of the township offices. In 1870, he was elected Justice of the Peace, serving six years, and was again elected in 1886, and is still performing the duties of that office. He has several times been Township Assessor, has been Township Clerk fourteen years, and Trustee ten years. Fraternally he is a member of the A.F. & A.M. Mr. Allen has always been a hard worker, having made his own way in life since eleven years of age, working on a farm, and at various kinds of labor. With a limited education received in school, he added to his knowledge by studying at odd times while making his living. He is man influence, and is well informed on all subjects of public interest.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington County, Iowa (1887). Excerpt from Biographical Sketch of Thomas Allen, page 529.


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