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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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GEORGE B. ALLISON, of Chester, is a native of Maries County, Mo., and was born March 10, 1862. He is a son of Ebenezer and Margaret (Gow) Allison, natives of Scotland, the former having been born in Fifeshire, and the latter in Perthshire. The paternal grandparents, John and Jane (Beveredge) Allison, were also natives of the Lowlands of Scotland. The maternal grandparents were William and Elizabeth Gow, the latter of whom is still living in the Highlands, and has attained the advanced age of one hundred and one years (1894).

In the spring of 1856 Ebenezer Allison and Miss Margaret Gow were united in marriage, and a few months later they bade farewell to their childhood’s home and set sail for America. Landing in New York, they proceeded thence to Rochester, where they remained on a farm about three years. Traveling still further westward and settling in Missouri, they entered land some fourteen miles south of Rolla, where they engaged in farming for seven years. The war coming on, they were unable to get away from the county, although the surroundings were not pleasant, owing to the fact that they were faithful to the Union, while their neighbors were mostly southern sympathizers. Rolla was at that time a military post, and Ebenezer Allison joined the militia service, which drew upon him the animosity of his fellow-citizens. His life was constantly in danger, and often, after retiring, he could hear the sound of approaching footsteps, the neighing of horses and the lowing of cattle, and knew that his best stock was being stolen, but he did not dare to protest. Had he done so, it would have cost him his life.

The Rebellion ended, Mr. Allison sold his farm in Missouri in the spring of 1866, and came directly to Chester, where a brother held the position of miller in Cole’s mill. For the four years succeeding his advent in Randolph County he operated rented land near Chester, and then purchased the farm where his widow still resides. Twenty years after coming to this state he passed away, in March, 1886. He and his wife had a family of seven sons and one daughter, five of whom are now living, viz.: William G., a stock-dealer in Chester; George B., Postmaster at Chester; Ebenezer, proprietor of a fine grocery store on Main Street, Chester; Alex G., who is living on the old homestead with his mother; and David.

The subject of this sketch spent his early childhood days on the farm. His primary education was secured in the district school and was supplemented with two years in the South Normal Institute of Carbondale. The six months succeeding his normal course he taught in the district schools of Randolph County. During the summer seasons he read law in the office of H. Clay Horner, of Chester, and in August, 1886, he was admitted to the Bar of Randolph County. In the county seat he began the practice of his profession, and continued thus engaged until his appointment as Postmaster at Chester, under President Harrison, his commission bearing date of December 22, 1891.

Since casting his first vote in a Presidential election for James G. Blaine, Mr. Allison has continued loyal to the principles of the Republican party. He made the race for Prosecuting Attorney, and, although the county is hopelessly Democratic, he ran some sixty votes ahead of his ticket. Socially, he is connected with the order of Knights of Pythias, in which he has filled the highest local offices. He is also a prominent member of the Chester Club.

The lady who, September 8, 1886, became the wife of Mr. Allison was Flora, daughter of Robert and Kate (Harmon) Gant, natives of Randolph County. Her father was a representative of an old English family, members of which were early settlers of Pennsylvania, coming thence to this county many years ago. The Harmon family is of Dutch origin. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Allison have been born three children, Maggie M., Robert G. and William E. Mrs. Allison is a member of the Methodist Church, and Mr. Allison is a regular attendant at the services of that denomination, though not a member. In the social circles of Chester they are worthily held in high esteem.

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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 Randolph County, Illinois family biographies here: Randolph County, Illinois Biographies

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