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Below is a family biography included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  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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Samuel Allen, who gave up his life in defense of the Union at the battle of the Blue, was one of the best known men of Auburn township, Shawnee County, where he settled in 1855. The 80 acres he then preempted continued to be his home until his death. Mr. Allen was born May 3, 1826, in County Down, Ireland, and was a son of John and Elizabeth (Laughlin) Allen.

The parents of Mr. Allen lived in Ireland during their entire lives. Of their six children, Samuel was the youngest and he was the only one to seek a home in Kansas. In 1852 he came to America and settled at Oberlin, Ohio, where he farmed and followed his trade of stone-mason, which he had learned from his father in the old country. He came to Shawnee County in 1855 and preempted 80 acres in section 8, township 13, range 15, in Auburn township and worked hard to put it under cultivation and to make improvements.

When the State militia were called out, he went under Col. George W. Veale and he was one of the brave and fearless men who fell, two weeks later, at the battle of the Blue. Samuel Allen was a man sadly missed in his neighborhood. He had always been a Free-State man and during the conflict with the border ruffians had been called upon to prove the courage of his convictions. He was one of the liberal supporters of the Presbyterian Church in Auburn township and one of its first members. In business he was successful because he was cautious. He was respected for his honorable methods by all who knew him.

On January 20, 1857, Mr. Allen was united in marriage with Susanna Baxter, who was born at Tullinkill, County Down, Ireland, in December, 1830, and is a daughter of William and Anna (McCully) Baxter. Her parents passed their whole lives in Ireland and reared a family of eight sons and three daughters. Susanna Baxter came to the United States in 1853, with her brother Isaac, and after living three years at Oberlin, Ohio, joined this brother in Shawnee County, where she married Mr. Allen. They had three children, viz: William J., of Williamsport township, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume; Robert Samuel, born May 12, 1860, deceased October 14, 1860; and Anna Elizabeth, who was but 14 months old when her father was killed in battle,—she is the wife of W. A. C. Moore, of Auburn township.

In October, 1865, Mrs. Allen was married to James Whitten, who was born in County Armagh, Ireland, and died on the farm in Auburn township, on October 30, 1903, aged 77 years. In young manhood he came to the United States, worked at farming for eight years on Long Island and came to Topeka in the spring of 1856, securing land from a squatter. He left a fine, well-improved farm of a half-section of land in section 8, township 13, range 15, in Auburn township, to which he had devoted many years of industry. He served as a member of the Ninth Regiment, Kansas Vol. Cav., during the last 18 months of the Civil War. In politics he was a Republican but he took no very active interest in public matters, being a man much devoted to his home and family. Early in life he was a member of the Presbyterian Church, but later became an Episcopalian.

The three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Whitten were: James, born September 18, 1869, and Lewis and Luther, twins, born May 1, 1871, both residents of Auburn township. Mrs. Whitten has seen many changes since she came to Shawnee County. She remembers when Indians frequently came to the homes of settlers and tells an amusing story of one occasion when a brave came to her door and bargained to exchange wild grapes for a watermelon and then made his escape with both the melon and the grapes.

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This family biography is one of 206 biographies included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  For the complete description, click here: Shawnee County, Kansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Shawnee County, Kansas family biographies here: Shawnee County, Kansas

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