Hugh Allison

From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co. HUGH M. ALLISON, the subject of this sketch, was born on the 16th of May, 1838, in Washington County, Pa., and comes of a family of Scotch origin. His paternal grand-parents, however, were also natives of Washington County. His father, John M. Allison, was born and reared on a farm in the same county, and there engaged in agricultural pursuits for a number of years. In 1835 he married Miss Margaret Carter, a native of Scotland, who came to America with her parents, Andrew and Margaret Carter, when she was but two years of age. After this marriage they located in Greene County, Pa. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Allison: Hugh M.; Viola, now the wife of A. B. Harvey, who is engaged in the banking business in Muscotah, Kan; John C, who enlisted in the Union army and died of camp fever at Ft. Donelson, September 23, 1862; and Andrew C, a prosperous farmer of Henderson County, Ill. The western fever reaching Pennsylvania, John M. Allison with his little family started for Illinois in May, 1850, traveling by water all the way. The day after reaching Burlington his wife died of cholera, and was buried in the cemetery of that city. He with his motherless children continued his journey, locating for a time upon a farm near where the present town of Stronghurst now stands. In 1852 he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of raw land, and went through all the hardships and experiences which fall to the lot of early settlers. They began life in a log cabin, and the subject of this sketch broke the prairie with five yoke of oxen and a twenty-four inch plow, this being the usual way of preparing the virgin soil for the rich after harvests of wheat and corn. In 1854 John M. Allison married Sarah Rodman, of Henderson County, who died in 1863. By their union were born four children: Maria and Clara, now deceased; Webster, a resident of Kansas; and Nellie M., wife of Rev. T. S. Roberts, of Osawatomie, Kan. In September, 1867, Mr. Allison was married to Miss Elizabeth Smiley, of Warren County, Ill., who is still living in Monmouth, near her old home. Two children were born of this union: John S., farming near Monmouth; and Mary, who is married and lives in Galesburg. Mr. Allison lived on the same farm for nearly thirty-five years, and there died at the age of sixty-eight. He was a stanch Republican, and always took a leading part in local politics. He held membership with the United Presbyterian Church, as did also the mother of our subject. Hugh M. Allison spent the first twelve years of his life in his native State. He attended the common schools, acquiring a good English education, and remained under the parental roof until he had attained his majority, when he purchased eighty acres of laud adjoining his father's place, and commenced farming in his own interest. Thus he was employed until August, 1862, when he entered the service of his country. Prompted by patriotic impulses, he left his farm with his grain unstacked to enlist in Company F, Eighty-third Illinois Infantry, for three years, and took part in various important engagements, the first being February 3, 1863, at Ft. Donelson, Tenn., where seven hundred Union troops opposed four thousand Confederate soldiers. His regiment was largely on detached service. He continued with it all through the war, and was never wounded or taken prisoner, but had several narrow escapes. When the country no longer needed his services, he returned home, and pursued a commercial course of study in Burlington, Iowa. In April, 1867, he married Miss Jennie E. Taylor, of that city, daughter of Allen and Margaret E. Taylor. Their home has been blessed with four children. Edwin H., the eldest, is one of the wide-awake young business men of Henderson County, now serving as Cashier of the State Bank of Henderson County; William F. was also interested in banking for a time, acting as Cashier in his uncle's bank in Muscotah, Kan., but is now devoting his entire time to farming; Harry C. died of la grippe at the early age of fifteen; and Maude J. is now attending school in Stronghurst. >With the exception of one year Mr. Allison has, since his marriage, resided upon his present farm, owning three hundred and fifty acres of valuable farm land, and in connection with its cultivation is largely engaged in cattle-dealing. His property all represents his own labors, having been acquired through industry and enterprise. He is also President of the State Bank of Henderson County, located at Stronghurst, and the success of that institution is due in no small degree to his careful management. In politics, he is a stanch Republican, interested in the welfare of the nation, and its educational interests find in him a warm friend. He and his family are members of the United Presbyterian Church. Mr. Allison is widely recognized as one of the leading and influential citizens of Henderson County, and his well-spent and honorable life has gained for him universal confidence and esteem.