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THOMAS H. ALLYN

ALLYN, AVERY, WALTERS, TALLON, TURNER, HAIGHT, BOYLES, PATTERSON

Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 11/22/2020 at 22:52:58

THOMAS H. ALLYN owns and occupies a snug homestead in Jackson Township, on section 27, and is at present engaged in horticultural pursuits. He is a native of Groton, New London Co., Conn., and was born Feb. 20, 1813, his parents being James and Fannie (Avery) Allyn, natives of the same town and State as their son. There were six children in the parental household, of whom our subject was the youngest.

Thomas H. Allyn continued a resident of his native town until he was about eighteen years old. His father was engaged in the manufacture of furniture, which business young Allyn learned and followed for some time. He received his primary education in the common schools, and later attended a grammar school for several terms. He then left the parental roof, and, in company with an uncle, journeyed to the southwest, and spent three years around the Gulf of Mexico. He then went to Buffalo, N. Y., thence to Canada, where he spent two years; afterward to Cleveland, Ohio, where he became clerk in a canal office, and from there to Portsmouth, Ohio, where he remained for six years as Collector of the Port, where he had subsequently been Inspector. In 1846 he set his face westward, crossed the Mississippi, and coming into Keokuk, Iowa, made arrangements to engage in mercantile pursuits. Circumstances, however, induced him to change his location, and going to Nauvoo, Ill., he opened a store for the sale of general merchandise, which he conducted during that season. He then returned to Keokuk, and the following winter opened a store and was occupied in general merchandising for several years afterward. He finally sold out, and in company with Silas Haight, assumed charge of the wharf boat for three years following.

In 1851, in company with his brother-in-law, Mr. Allyn purchased the old Laclede House, which is now known as the Stanbergh House, and operated as "mine host" for three years. He then became Deputy in the post-office under Col. Patterson, was afterward mail agent on the river from Keokuk to St. Louis, and subsequently employed as clerk on the levee for about three years, being in 1857 appointed Police Magistrate by Judge Boyles. He filled the vacaney to which he was appointed until the time of the regular election, when he was replaced in his position by the votes of his fellow townsmen for another term. He served in this capacity for two terms, and in the fall of 1859 was elected Treasurer and Recorder of Lee County. Mr. Allyn occupied this last position for four consecutive years, and at the expiration of his term of office, in 1864, went South, and for one season engaged as a speculator in cotton. In the fall of that year he went to California, and after his return the year following, again went South, and engaged in steamboating on the Cumberland River for one year. He purchased the steamer Winond, which traded between Gulf ports and New Orleans. He then came to Keokuk and engaged in the wholesale boot-and-shoe trade with a gentleman of that city, the style and title of the firm being Walters, Allyn & Co. He operated thus for one year, and then was appointed Deputy Treasurer of Lee County, which position he acceptably filled for the space of eight years, having his office at Keokuk. He then purchased an interest in a marble-yard on the Illinois side of the river, associating himself with P. J. Tallon, and they operated under the firm title of Tallon & Co. for two years. Mr. Allyn then engaged as a dealer in real estate and other business of a like nature in Keokuk, and in the winter of 1881 took possession of his farm in Jackson Township, upon which he has remained since that time. This he has operated successfully, making the finer fruits a specialty, and has two fine orchards containing a variety of choice apple, peach, plum and other valuable specimens of the larger fruits.

Mr. Allyn was married at Portsmouth, Ohio, Oct. 22, 1842, to Miss Mary Turner, a native of that place, born Dec. 5, 1822. She is the daughter of John R. Turner, who was for fifty years Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas and Supreme Court of that State. He was also President of a bank at Portsmouth, Ohio, Mayor of the city several times, and also Master of Chancery. He was a man of great intelligence and enterprise, and was highly esteemed and respected by his fellow citizens. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. Mr. and Mrs. Allyn have become the parents of one child, a son, Frank, who is an attorney at law at Keokuk. Mr. Allyn is busily engaged in his horticultural pursuits, is a straightforward business man and highly esteemed for his many excellent traits of character. He takes an interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of his community, and in politics is a reliable Democrat.

Source:
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM OF LEE COUNTY, IOWA
CHICAGO: CHAPMAN BROTHERS, 1887
 

Transcription typed/proofed as article was originally published in 1887


 

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