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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  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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REV. ROBERT ALLYN, LL. D., formerly of Carbondale, was one of the prominent ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, known not only in Illinois, but throughout the country. He was born January 25, 1817, in Ledyard, New London County, Conn., and was a member of one of the oldest families of this country. The first American ancestor, John Allyn, emigrated from England to America, and in 1646 removed from Gloucester, Mass., to New London County, Conn. He laid out the town of Allyn’s Point, six miles north of New London, and there served as Town Clerk and Selectman. Those in the line of direct descent were Robert, Robert and James. The last-named is the grandfather of our subject. He was born in Ledyard, Conn., married Anna Stanton, and was a soldier of the Revolutionary War.

Charles Allyn, the father of our subject, was born in New London County, Conn., September 28, 1781, and took an active part in the War of 1812, although he was never enrolled as a soldier. His occupation was that of farming. He wedded Lois Gallup, who was born April 17, 1791, and was a daughter of Jacob and Rebecca (Morgan) Gallup, natives of Connecticut. The family was one of prominence in the early history of that state and numbered among its members Capt. John Gallup, who served in the French and Indian War. Ethan Allen, of Revolutionary fame, is of the same family as our subject. One of the Allyn family became the wife of Mr. Cox, and the mother of Jacob D. Cox, ex-Governor of Ohio. The parents of Rev. Mr. Allyn always resided in the Nutmeg State. They had a family of six children, three of whom are now living, Robert; Calvin, of Nevada; and Mrs. Louisa Williams, of Salem, Conn.

Upon his father’s farm our subject was reared to manhood. He began his education in the district schools, later attended Wilbraham Academy of Massachusetts, and was graduated from the Wesleyan University of Middletown, Conn., in 1841. He then became Principal of the academy in which he had studied, and held that position until 1848, after which he was Principal of Kent Academy (now known as Providence Conference Seminary) in East Greenwich, R. I., until 1854. For three years he served as Commissioner of the public schools of Rhode Island, and in 1852 and 1854 was elected to the Legislature of that state. In that year he was appointed to visit West Point by the President, and his commission was signed by Jefferson Davis, then Secretary of War. He was also connected with the Normal School of Rhode Island.

November 18, 1841, Rev. Mr. Allyn married Miss Emeline H. Denison, who was born in Franklin County, Mass., September 18, 1811, and was a daughter of David Denison, who belonged to an old New England family. She died in Colchester, Conn., April 24, 1844. Of her two children, Charles is now deceased; and Emeline L., widow of William H. Hypes, resides in Lebanon, Ill. June 24, 1845, Mr. Allyn wedded Mary B., daughter of Jonathan Budington. She was born June 28, 1823, in Franklin County, Mass., and died October 17, 1879, in Carbondale, Ill., leaving three children, Joseph, Ellen and Harriet. The last-named died January 10, 1883.

In 1857 Rev. Mr. Allyn left the east, and for two years was Professor of Greek and Latin in the Ohio University at Athens. In 1859 he went to Cincinnati, and was President of the Wesleyan Female College for four years. He then went to McKendree College of Illinois, of which he was President for eleven years. In 1874 he came to Carbondale, organized the Southern Illinois Normal University, and for eighteen years continued as its President. His work as an educator was most successful and won him prominence throughout the country. He was a member of the National Educational Association, the National Council of Education, and of the state associations of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Ohio and Illinois. He served as President of the associations in Rhode Island and this state.

In March, 1835, Rev. Mr. Allyn became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and from 1841 until his death was active in pulpit work. He delivered over thirteen hundred sermons, twenty of which have been printed. He was ordained a Deacon of the church in 1844, in May, 1846, was made an Elder, and was a member of the Southern Illinois Conference. He was one of the organizers of the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which has so materially promoted the welfare of the colored race.

In 1864 Rev. Mr. Allyn received the degree of D. D. from the Wesleyan University of Connecticut, and in 1875 McKendree College of Illinois conferred upon him the degree of LL. D. He was a prolific writer and furnished many able articles for the papers. He took an active part in politics during the slavery agitation, helped to raise several companies for the Union army and served as one of the Home Guards in Cincinnati during the war. He was also a prominent worker in the cause of temperance. During the latter years he lived retired at his pleasant home in Carbondale, resting after long and faithful service in lines which tend to elevate and uplift humanity. He was taken ill with la grippe and passed away January 7, 1894. In his demise Carbondale lost one of its most honored citizens and the Methodist Church one of its most able ministers. In the school room and in the pulpit his example and teachings benefited those around him, and his influence will continue an active power for good in this community for many years to come.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Jackson County, Illinois family biographies here: Jackson County, Illinois Biographies

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