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Below is a family biography included in The History of Barton County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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William Allen, of the firm of Harkless, Allen & Co., of Lamar, Mo., was born in Tippecanoe County, Ind., May 15, 1833, and is the eldest of two surviving sons in a family of five children born to Alvin and Nancy (Jack) Allen, who were born in Bourbon County, Ky., and Preble County, Ohio, respectively. Alvin Allen and his father, William Allen, went to Tippecanoe County, Ind., in 1828, where they entered about 1,600 acres of land. Mrs. Allen’s parents were Kentuckians, who crossed to Ohio when only the ferryman’s house marked the site where Cincinnati now is. They too went to Tippecanoe County, Ind., in 1828, and settled on a farm adjoining William Allen’s. Here the parents of our subject were married and lived for many years. The father was a farmer and Democrat, and his death occurred at the age of sixty-four years. The mother is still living, and, although over seventy-five years of age, does her own work. William Allen, whose name heads this sketch, was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools, and at the age of twenty-one years began clerking in a store in Crawfordsville, Ind., and in 1856 was married to Harriet Harmon, a native of Ohio, soon after moving to a farm in Vermilion County. This he traded in 1860 for a stock of dry goods in Crawfordsville, and here he continued in business till 1880. In 1862 his wife died, leaving him with three children: Ida, Thomas E. and Edith, to care for. The following year he wedded Mary Harmon, a sister of his first wife, and by her has four children: Fannie, James, Mabel and Harriet. In 1880 he and wife came to Lamar, Mo., both invalids, and now a healthier couple could scarcely be found. For about five years after coming here he traded in stock and land, and sold buggies, selling so many of the latter that he was given the nickname of “Buggy Allen.” For some time past he has given his attention to merchandising, the firm being now composed of Mr. Allen, his son, Thomas E., his sons-in-law, Tom W. Harkless and Henry Tipton, and George Harkless. They have one of the largest stocks of goods in Southwest Missouri, and their trade extends for many miles around. Besides his interest in the store, Mr. Allen owns 320 acres of land, which he has earned by industry and good management. He is a Democrat politically.

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This family biography is one of 166 biographies included in The History of Barton County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Barton County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Barton County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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