Centennial History of Mason County
By Joseph Cochrane
Springfield, Ill., 1876


Page 221

There will always attach an interest to the history for the pioneer families of the west which will never properly belong to others who came at a later date, as they have laid the foundations of our social and material status, and coming generations can only modify and develop that which they, by their energy and perseverance, established. By their strong arms were the forests felled, the undergrowth cleared away, and the prairie sod broken: by them were the primitive cabin, the log school house and the church erected. Later emigrants make further and higher advancements in all these, and proceed to further develop the embryo founding’s of the pioneer. To the later class of emigrants belongs the subject of this notice. He was born in Dearborn County, Indiana, in 1807, and at the age of fourteen he spent the two succeeding years at school at Vandalia, Illinois, and at the age of sixteen settled at Shelbyville, Indiana, where he resided for ten years, and from there he removed to Laporte, Indiana, in 1834. In the pleasant city of Laporte he made his home for twenty years, and served the people for two terms as sheriff of that county, and was also a member of the Legislature of the State of Indiana, from that district. From there he removed to Mason county in 1854, and settled in Havana, where he has since resided.

In 1838 he married Miss Sarah E. Shortwell, of New Jersey, and together for thirty-eight years have they shared the joys and sorrows incident to human life, but in their case the former have been largely predominant. The result of this union has been three sons and two daughters, all living at this date, in the full vigor of maturity. Randolph, the oldest son, is an honored minister of the M. E. Church, in this State, doing good and acceptable service in this calling; an educated gentleman of more than medium talents.

William, the next son, resides at Hood River, Oregon; whither he emigrated with a colony in 1875, and is engaged in business there, as a permanent home.

Henry, the youngest son, is in a mercantile business in Missouri. Louisa F. is the wife of W. S. Dray, Esq., a prominent citizen, and long identified with the business interests of Havana.

Kate, the youngest daughter, is with her parents.

Mr. Allen became identified with the Presbyterian Church at Laporte, Indiana, in 1835, and after his removal to Havana, there being no society of that denomination, he found no inconvenience in identifying himself with the M. E. Church.

During the war of the rebellion he served as Assessor of internal revenue of this district. Comment is superfluous in this connection, for the integrity, the honor and business abilities of Mr. Allen have long been proverbial with the people of Mason County.

Contributed by: Mandy Reiley


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Illinois Ancestors