James Allan

From bonnie Scotland came James Allan, who still has strong love for the land of his birth as well as an ardent attachment for the land of his adoption, which has afforded him advantages that have enabled him to win success and become one of the men of affluence of Jefferson township. He makes his home on section 4, and although he was practically empty handed when he came to the new world, he is now the possessor of a farm valued at fifty thousand dollars. He was born at Callander, Perthshire, Scotland, May 15, 1839, and is a son of Benjamin and Christina (McLaughlin) Allan, who spent their entire lives in the land of hills and heather. James was the third in order of birth in their family of nine children, of whom but two are now living, his sister being Mrs. Christina McFarland, a widow residing in Cedar Rapids.

James Allan, who is her junior and the only other living member of the family, spent not only his youth and early manhood in Scotland, but remained there to the age of forty-four years, coming to the United States in 1883. His investigations of the opportunities offered in this land, led him to send for his family the following year. He had learned and followed the stone cutter's trade in his native country, and he took up work at his trade after coming to Iowa and only recently ceased to labor along that line. On bringing his family, however, he established his home upon a farm, which he yet owns and occupies. His first purchase comprised eighty acres, but as his financial resources increased he extended the boundaries of his farm until it now comprises three hundred and twenty acres on section 4, Jefferson township. James Allan now leaves the active work of the fields to others, his son having charge of a part of it. The place is the visible evidence of a well spent life, for he was but eleven years of age when his father, who was a practicing physician, passed away in Scotland at the age of forty-eight. It became necessary soon afterward for James Allan to earn his own livelihood and from that time forward he has been dependent entirely upon his own resources. He bought
his first eighty acres for eighteen dollars per acre, but when the deal was completed he still owed eight hundred dollars on the transaction. He gave his wife eighteen dollars, all that he had left, with which to meet the family expenses and then sought work at his trade, while the farm work was conducted by his wife and children. As a stone cutter he earned money necessary to develop the farm and the family passed through hard times. When necessary to go to town on business, he would frequently be all day without a meal, but perseverance and energy conquered all difficulties and the farm property today is worth fifty thousand dollars. Mr. Allan has always regretted that he did not come to the
United States earlier, but in the comparatively brief period of his residence here he has made rapid progress and is today numbered among the men of affluence in his community.

In 1864 occurred the marriage of Mr. Allan to Miss Mary Ann Leather, who was born in Cumberland, England, March 23, 1841, and there resided until her marriage, which was celebrated in her native land, Mr. Allan having gone from Scotland to England when twenty years of age. Five children were born unto them : David, who died at the age of two years;  John, living in West Point township ; Sarah Jane, the wife of Burt Curtis, of Jackson township ; William, also living in Jackson township ; and Christina, the wife of Frank Beryls of Minnesota. The parents hold membership in the Presbyterian church, and their lives have been guided by high and honorable principles, which have won for them the warm and endearing regard of all who know them. Mr. Allan has never deviated from a course which he believed to be right between himself and his fellowmen, but has endeavored to do unto others as he would have them do unto him and in his business career has demonstrated the truth of the old adage that honesty is the best policy.