Biography of Andrew Allen

Andrew Allen. The English settlers in this country are apt to have a clannish tendency, and where you find one family you generally have not to look far for several others. There are many English farmers in Shipman Township, some of whom have retired from active or agricultural pursuits and are living in the enjoyment of village life. Our subject, Andrew Allen, is one of these.

Mr. Allen’s father was William Allen who was born in Lancastershire, England. His mother was Mary Goodyear, also of England. They emigrated to America in 1819 and in 1821, they settled in Wilmington, Del., at which the parents passed away from this life. Our subject was one of five children, he being the second in order of birth. His advent into this life of turmoil and labor was made in Lancastershire, England, March 11, 1815. he was only six years of age when his parents settled in Delaware. He grew to manhood in Wilmington, or its immediate vicinity. While a boy he was employed in a cotton factory some three or four years and after that time he was reared on a farm.

Our subject’s father purchased a cotton factory and Andrew soon learned to manage it so well that the entire charge of the institution was placed in his hand. It was located near Wilmington. He after took charge of the weaving department in the Franklin Mills. These mills were also located in Wilmington. He held that position for about five years at the end of which time he resigned, after which he went to Philadelphia, Pa., where he was engaged in the same business for about five years. He then returned to Wilmington acting in the same capacity for several years until he came West in 1858, induced by the flattering promises in stock-raising and agriculture. In the spring of the year above named he came to Illinois and was employed for two years as a farm laborer. At the end of that time he purchased the farm in Shipman Township, where he settled and made his home for three years.

So thoroughly had Mr. Allen adopted the ideas and principles of his foster land that he was ready to fight for any of the principles that it held dear and on August 12, 1862, on the second call for volunteers for the Federal Army of the Rebellion he enlisted in Company H, of the Eighty-eighth Illinois Infantry and served for three years. He participated in that time of trial with the brave Americans that held freedom dearer than life in the battles of Perryville, Stone River, and that of Nashville. In the battle of Stone River he was wounded in the spine and was never after able to do active service. He was transferred to the Second Battalion of the Veteran Reserve Corps and stood ready in time of emergency to give a blow for the right.

When the war was over Mr. Allen returned to Shipman Township, where with the exception of about two years when he lived in Missouri he has been a resident. Mr. Allen was married in Delaware to Mary Walker who was a native of that State. She bore him five children, only one of whom survives. This is a daughter, Louisa who was the wife of Joseph R. Talley. Mrs. Mary Allen died in Wilmington, Del., and after coming West our subject again married. This time his union was with Elizabeth G. Justison, who was born in Delaware March 29, 1825.

The original of this sketch naturally takes an interest in the politics of the country for which he fought. He is a Republican, casting his vote with that party. Both he and his wife are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Socially he is a member of N. B. Buford Post No. 156, of the G.A.R. he also belongs to the Masonic fraternity.

Mr. Allen secured three patents on gingham weaving looms that were at once universally adopted. he also has patented one of the handiest farm gates now in use.


Chapman bros. Portrait and biographical record of Macoupin county, Illinois. Chicago: Biographical publishing company, 1891.

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