J B ALLISON
A well-known, practical and representative farmer of Walnut township, Brown county, Mr. Allison has for some time resided in this section of the state and has been an active factor in public affairs as well as in agricultural circles. He was born in McDonough county, Illinois, October 9, 1836, his parents being George and Margaret (McCandless) Allison, both of whom were natives of Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, in which state they were married. The father was a son of William and Sarah (Haynes) Allison and his grandfather was James Allison, who wedded a Miss McFadden. He was among the first settlers of Washington county, Pennsylvania, removing to that locality from Maryland. He took up a tomahawk claim, or a tract of land six miles square. The settlers built block houses and occasionally were compelled to fight Indians while improving their farms. James Allison continued in possession of this tract of land and as the country became more thickly settled his property rose in value and made him a wealthy resident of the county. William Allison was born and reared on his father's farm in Washington county, Pennsylvania, was married in that section of the state and in 1833 removed to McDonough county, Illinois, where he purchased large tracts of land. There he spent his remaining days, becoming one of the extensive agriculturists and prominent citizens of the community. Both he and his wife were members of the Presbyterian church. In their family were nine children: Ann, wife of M. Henton; James, of Pennsylvania; Josiah, who died in Illinois; Thomas, who died in Iowa; George, the father of our subject; Andrew and Harmon, who died in Illinois; Mary, wife of W. J. Mellon, and Elizabeth, wife of Dr. Nutting. George Allison, the father of our subject, was reared to manhood in Pennsylvania and in that state married Miss Margaret McCandless. In Illinois he improved a farm, upon which he made his home until 1854, and while a resident of that state he maintained a depot of the underground railroad. He then removed to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, remaining there three years. In 1857 he took up his abode in Nebraska, where he engaged in the lumber business for a time. Selling out, he purchased raw land and improved a farm, which he cultivated until 1860. In that year he sold his property in Nebraska and removed to Kansas, locating in Doniphan county, where he rented a farm until 1863, when he came to Brown county. Here he purchased some land, upon which a few improvements had been made, and continued its further cultivation and. development until his death, which occurred in the fall of 1868. In politics he was an Abolitionist in ante bellum days, and was one of nine in his county who voted for James G. Birney, the Abolitionist candidate for president, the vote being five Allisons and four Blaziers. On the organization of the Republican party he became one of its supporters. His first wife, Margaret McCandless, was a daughter of William McCandless, of Allegheny county, Pennsylvania. who became a farmer of McDonough county, Illinois, where he spent his last days. His children were Harper; Margaret; Mrs. Jane Woods; William, who was killed in the late Rebellion, and Sarah, wife of A. D. McBride. The parents of this family were both Presbyterians in religious faith. Unto George and Margaret (McCandless) Allison were born six children, namely: J. B. McCandless, who died at the age of thirteen years; Margaret L., wife of J. N. Anderson; William, who died in infancy; Josiah, who was killed at Memphis, while serving his country in the war of the Rebellion; Mary H., wife of A. L. Matthews, and Sarah, wife of George W. Warner.
J. B. Allison removed with his parents to Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. From the age of three years he has been a cripple, having lost the use of his limbs. During his boyhood he learned to do some kinds of work, including that of broom-making, to which he has devoted many hours. When a young man he engaged in teaching school, following that profession in Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. After taking up his abode in Brown county he was elected registrar of deeds and removed to Hiawatha, holding the office for three terms or six years. In the meantime he purchased the farm upon which. he now resides, and on his retirement from office, he gave to it his personal supervision. He has filled many township offices, including that of trustee, to which position he was elected for a second term. He has always been an advocate of Republican principles and has done all in his power to promote the growth and secure the success of his party. Aside from office-holding, his attention has been given to general farming and stock raising. He has raised corn and fed stock and his sales have materially increased, his income.
On the 26th of October, 1882, Mr. Allison was united in marriage to Mrs. Martitia Crooks, a widow of J. J. Crooks. By that marriage she had one child, who died in infancy. She is a daughter of J. W. and Paulina (Winters) Tunnell, the former a native of Hawkins county, Tennessee, the latter of Illinois. The father was a farmer by occupation. He married Miss Winters, of Grundy county, Missouri, and in that state her death occurred in 1862. He afterward removed to western Kansas, where he is still engaged in agricultural pursuits. While in Missouri he served as county judge and justice of the peace. Prior to the civil war he was a stanch Abolitionist and his home was a station on the underground railroad. In this way he aided many a poor negro on his way to freedom. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. In the family of this worthy couple were six children: Elizabeth, who died at the age of seven years; Nannie, wife of H. T. Knight; Mrs. Allison; John F., who died in Kansas; Mary T., wife of W. H. Jordan, and Henry E., of Illinois.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Allison have been born one son, James M., whose birth occurred August 17, 1884, and who is now attending school. Our subject and his wife are both members of the Congregational church and enjoy the warm regard of many, friends in the community. He certainly deserves great credit for his success in life, for his physical disability has proved a handicap such as few men have to overcome. With determined purpose, however, he has worked his way upward and is now the owner of one of the fine farms of Walnut township.