Tama County Iowa Biographies

A Narrative History of The People of Iowa

by EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M. Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa Volume IV


MANNING L. ALLEN as a physician and surgeon has practiced in Tama for over forty years. He is a son of a pioneer Iowa doctor, and their careers overlapped for a number of years, and in the aggregate the Allen family has been represented by capable physicians and surgeons in this state for over eighty years.

His father was Dr. L. F. Allen, who was born at Saratoga Springs, New York, and was brought out to Iowa when a young boy. He returned East to get his education, and was graduated from the medical department of the University of Rochester, New York. For a time he practiced at Ottawa, Illinois, and during the early 1850's came to Iowa and in 1860 located at Columbus City. For years he performed all the service of a country doctor, riding and driving night and day regardless of the condition of roads or the weather, and, like many other pioneer doctors, his skill in administering medicine was supplemented by his cheerfulness and benevolence of his character. He had to his credit a professional career of more than half a century when he retired in 1909. His last years were spent with his son at Tama, where he died in 1912, at the age of eighty-six. Dr. L. F. Allen married Harriett Litsey, who passed away in 1824, at the age of seventy-nine. There were seven children in the family, two of them becoming doctors. Dr. L. E. Allen is a well known medical man in Des Moines.

Dr. Manning L. Allen was born at Wapello, Louisa County, Iowa, November 14, 1862. He graduated from the School of Medicine of the University of Iowa in 1883. In 1893 he received a second degree from the University of Illinois. He has taken four extended post-graduate courses, attending the Chicago Post Graduate College, the Illinois Post Graduate College, and spent some time in the Woman's Hospital in Chicago. His work has been that of a general physician and surgeon, and he enjoys a wide reputation among other members of the profession and the public for his skill in rectal diseases and surgery.

Doctor Allen paid his expenses through school and college. At one time he taught school in Greene County, Iowa. While in Illinois he taught singing classes, operated a pile driver and took other employment that would enable him to make his expenses and tide him over the period until he was qualified for his chosen line of work. Doctor Allen first practiced at Manila, Iowa, locating there after graduating in 1883, and in 1887 moved to Tama. He is a member of the Tama County, Iowa State and American Medical Associations and is a charter member of the American Association of Railway Surgeons, having acted as local surgeon for the Milwaukee Railway since 1889.

Tama citizens often think of Doctor Allen in other relationships than as a professional man. For eight years he gave the value of his effort and counsel to running the local city government. He is a member of the Commercial Club and during the World war was enrolled in the Medical Reserve Corps. He is a trustee of the Baptist Church, a past chancellor commander of the local lodge Knights of Pythias, and has sat in the Grand Lodge of that order.

He married Miss Sarah Rebecca Rambo, of Lamoille, Illinois. Frances R., the oldest of their three children, showed as a girl special gifts in music and was educated in that line at Leander Clarke College at Tama and Knox College at Galesburg. She is now the wife of Earl Spooner, of Tama. The son, Raymond M., now located at Long Beach, California, was with the Aviation Corps during the World war, being chief of the mechanical field at Birmingham, Alabama. The second son, Leonard E., who served overseas with the Hospital Corps in France, is a representative of the Stoner Piano Company of Des Moines at Pella.

Debbie Clough Gerischer
Iowa History Site

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