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Truman Curtis Allen

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.

Truman Curtis Allen, a dealer in dry goods, boots and shoes, in Oquawka, is numbered among the enterprising and successful business men of this place. He began operations along this line in 1892, as a partner of John McFarland, and the firm has since been engaged in trade. Mr. Allen is a native of Genesee County, N. Y., his birth having occurred in Batavia, January 4, 1843. He comes of a family of English origin, his parents being Daniel W. and Elizabeth ( McCullum ) Allen. His second Christian name comes from his father's mother. The father, who was a native of the Empire State, entered the Union army during the late war, was shot at the battle of Shiloh, and died from the effects of his wound. In the family were six children, four sons and two daughters, and the sons were all in the army at the same time. Martha J., who is the eldest, is now the wife of Howard Kendall, of Los Angeles, Cal.; Charles H. is living in Angola, Ind. ; Daniel W. was killed at the battle of Perryville; Truman C. is the next younger; Emma is now deceased; and William W. makes his home in South Bend, Ind.

In a very early day Mr. Allen removed with his family to Steuben County, Ind., and when Truman C. was quite young his mother passed away. He then went to live with friends in the Hoosier State, being reared in Steuben County by William McEntarfer. The common schools afforded him his educational privileges, and he conned his lessons in a log schoolhouse with puncheon floor and slab seats. He could attend only through the winter season, for his services were needed on the farm during the summer. After the outbreak of the Civil War, he responded to the country's call for troops, enlisting August 12, 1861, in Company G, Thirtieth Indiana Infantry. In September he was mustered into service, and for three years he valiantly aided in the defense of the Union. He participated in the engagements at Stone River, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Rocky-faced Ridge, Dalton, Resaca, Dallas, and all the battles of the Georgia campaign, including Kenuesaw Mountain, Marietta, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, Jonesboro and Lovejoy. After his three-years term had expired, he was honorably discharged in Indianapolis, Ind., in October, 1864.

Mr. Allen then returned to his Indiana home, where he remained until August, 1866, when he came to Henderson County, Ill., locating near Oquawka, where he worked as a farm hand for two years. From 1868 until 1871 he conducted a billiard hall in Oquawka, and in the latter year he entered the Sheriff's office as Deputy, which position he filled until 1886. In that year he was elected Sheriff for a term of four years, and when his time had expired, in 1890, he took a trip to California, where he remained for about eight months. In 1892 he embarked in his present line of business, as before stated, and has since enjoyed a good trade.

Mr. Allen has been twice married. On the 19th of August, 1865, he wedded Laura McFarland, daughter of John McFarland. To them was born a son, John, who is now deceased; and Mrs. Allen died in July, 1866. Our subject was again married, May 30, 1891, his second union being with Mollie Macklin, a daughter of Alfred Macklin. They now have one daughter, Ramona.

Since casting his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln, Mr. Allen has been a supporter of the Republican party and its principles, but though he keeps well informed on the issues of the day, he has never sought or desired political preferment in the sense of being an active politician. Socially, he is a member of Tranquil Lodge No. 172, I. O. O. F., and has filled all its chairs. He also holds membership with Ellsworth Post No. 193, G. A. R. His country found in him a faithful defender during the late war, and he is now recognized as one of the enterprising citizens of the community.