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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Cross County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Dr. William D. Allen, of Wynne, Ark., has been a successful practitioner of Cross County, Ark., for forty years, and is ever to be found at the bedside of the sick and afflicted. His birth occurred in Baton Rouge, La., in 1823, and he was the fifth of a family of ten children, the result of the union of William and Clementine J. (Quillin) Allen, natives of Tennessee. Both Mr. and Mrs. Allen removed with their parents to Louisiana when children, and there attained their growth. William Allen was a farmer by occupation, also carried on stock-raising, and remained in Louisiana until 1836, when in the spring of that year he came to Arkansas. He settled about, six miles southeast of the present village of Wynne, in what was then Phillips County, Ark., and when there were about forty families living along Crowley’s Ridge, a distance of about sixty miles. Here Mr. Allen, Sr., bought about 4,000 acres of land, on which he at once began making improvements, clearing land, erecting buildings, etc., and he brought with him a large number of negroes, who, with his family, numbered fifty-six souls. He chartered a small steamboat to transport his family and slaves to Arkansas, and landed at a point called Andrew’s Landing. This boat was the second one up the St. Francis River. He then went to work and cleared about 400 acres, and resided on the same until his death, which occurred in 1846. The mother lived until 1880, and died at the age of seventy-eight years. Dr. William D. Allen was twelve years of age at the time his father moved to Arkansas, and prior to that time had attended school in his native State. After moving to Arkansas his father engaged a private teacher for his family and other children in the vicinity, and the Doctor received instruction in this manner for three years; then as new settlers came in they had permanently established subscription schools. At the age of twenty-one years Dr. Allen went to Lexington, Ky., and entered the Transylvania University, where he took a literary course of three years. There were attending, at that time, Gen. Morgan, William Walker, Gen. Buckner, Col. Pickett, and a number of others, who have since become known in history. From there Dr. Allen went to Louisville, where he took a year’s course in medicine, and then went to the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated after a strict examination, in May, 1849. He then returned to Arkansas, and at once began the practice of his profession in the country surrounding his father’s homestead. The Doctor has been in the constant practice of his profession since that time, and in the immediate vicinity of the place. In 1852, Dr. Allen was united in marriage to Miss Eliza Oliver, a granddaughter of John Johnson, who came to Arkansas in 1812, settling in Phillips, now St. Francis County, where he cleared a large tract of land, and there died about 1830. Many of his descendants are still living in this section, prosperous and well-to-do. After marriage Dr. Allen continued his practice, and in connection speculated considerably in land, making large sums on some of their sales, and on some tracts making extensive improvements. In 1884 he came to Wynne, a station on the railroad, that had just been named, and at that time there was but one shanty in the place. His office was a small log-cabin. In 1886 he erected an office which was destroyed in the fire that year. The Doctor is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Forrest City Lodge No. 34, and he and family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. To his marriage were born four children: Willie, John, Walter and Emmett. The first three are living in St. Francis County, where they own fine farms, and the last is attending medical lectures in New Orleans.

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This family biography is one of 103 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Cross County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Cross County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Cross County, Arkansas family biographies here: Cross County, Arkansas Biographies

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