Pages 788-790, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




From the age of sixteen years Joseph J. Allen has depended upon his own resources for a livelihood, and that to-day he is numbered among the well-to-do agriculturists of Woodson County is due to his energy, careful management and untiring labor. He was born in Venango County, Pennsylvania, upon a farm in Irwin township, his natal day being July 31, 1847. The family is of Scotch lineage and was founded on American soil by James Allen, the grandfather of our subject, who came from the land of hills and heather to the new world and spent the remainder of his life upon a farm


in Venango County, Pennsylvania. He was a soldier of the American Revolution, loyally aiding the colonies in the struggle for independence until the British army was driven from the land. He reared a family of four sons and three daughters, as follows: Robert; Joseph A.; Mary, the wife of Patrick Davidson; Nancy, wife of Jesse Carroll; Margaret, the wife of James Osborn; William and James.

Of this family William Allen was the father of our subject. Also a native of Venango County, Pennsylvania, he was born in 1813 and spent his entire life in that locality. He married Miss Martha Simcox, also a native of the Keystone state. Her father was a farmer by occupation and was numbered among the heroes of the Revolutionary war. Mr. Allen passed away in 1862, but his widow is still living at the venerable age of eighty-four years, her home being still in Venango County, Pennsylvania. This worthy couple were the parents of four children: Mary, the wife of J. A. Glen, a resident of the old home county in Pennsylvania; James P., who is also living in the same county; Ellen A., wife of Kerr Graham, deceased, and a resident of Cripple Creek, Colorado, and Joseph J.

In taking up the personal history of Joseph J. Allen we present to our readers the life record of one who owes advancement entirely to his own well directed efforts. He was reared in Venango County amid the oil fields of Pennsylvania, and in the schools near his home acquired his education, not yet sixteen years of age when he began to earn his livelihood by hoeing corn and through many years his career has been one of activity in the busy places of life. For ten years he was employed in the oil country and then turned his attention to merchandising which he followed for twelve years in Mechaniscsvlle,[sic] Pennsylvania, meeting with gratifying success in the undertaking. Favorable reports of Kansas and its opportunities caused him to leave the east and seek a home in the Sunflower state, so that in 18— he located on section five, Center township, Woodson County, owning the northern half of the section. His farming interests have been well conducted and the arable land, highly cultivated, has yielded to him an excellent return for his labor.

On the 1st of June, 1876, Mr. Allen was united in marriage to Miss Lizzie A., daughter of Abram Hunsberger. Her father was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and now resides in Barkeyville. His life has been devoted to mercantile business. He married Miss Catherine Barkey, and unto them were born nine children, namely: Lizzie A.; Mary, who died in childhood; Nancy, the wife of F. B. Sterrett, of Venango County, Pennsylvania; Sarah J., wife of L. Loucks, of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania; Henrietta, wife of E. Loucks of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; William H.; Charles Forney, of Venango County; Maggie M., wife of Frank Stowe, of Tennessee, and Mrs. Allen. Unto our subject and his wife have been born two children, Ollie M., wife of Drummond S. Bell, of Woodson County, and Florence E., who died at the age of ten years.


In his political views Mr. Allen is a Republican and takes an active interest in local politics. For six years he has served as clerk of the board of Center township, and his long continuation in the office stands in unmistakable evidence of his fidelity to duty. He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church and is a representative of that class of citizens who support all progressive measures for the general good and thus promote the welfare of the entire community.

Previous | Home | Next