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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  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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THOMAS J. ALLISON, a retired farmer of Holden, was born in Jefferson County, Ohio, July 12, 1825, and is a son of Samuel and Mary (Murphy) Allison, both of whom were of Irish ancestry. The father grew to manhood in Maryland, where he was married. The paternal grandfather of our subject was at one time proprietor of large iron works in that state. He died when Samuel was quite young. After the division of the property the brothers separated and became scattered, all trace of them being lost. The father lived in Maryland for some years, carrying on his trade of tailoring. He was born in the latter part of the last century, and was a soldier of the War of 1812, serving under General Jackson at the battle of New Orleans. In connection with his trade, he bought a small farm, which he cultivated, and where the boyhood days of our subject were spent. He had to work hard in helping to clear the farm, and had a poor chance of obtaining an education.

Thomas J. Allison remained at home assisting to till the farm until he was twenty-one years of age. He then learned the trade of a stone-cutter, serving two years, for which he received fifty cents per day. He worked mostly along the railroad, particularly in Ohio, and in 1852, when twenty-seven years of age, he married Miss Maria Davison, of Ironton, Lawrence County, Ohio, by whom there is one child, Mary, now the wife of J. A. Sterling, of Arkansas City, Kan. Her husband is a conductor on the railroad. Mrs. Allison died when her child was but three months old.

In June, 1857, Mr. Allison came to Missouri and took a contract for the building of a portion of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, which took him about three years. He brought with him to this state about $6,000. On the 7th of February, 1860, he married Miss Susan E. Garnett, of Otterville, Cooper County, Mo. She was born in Culpeper County, Va., June 23, 1840, and is a daughter of George T. and Mary J. (Hume) Garnett, the former a native of Culpeper County, Va., and the latter of Madison County, the same state. They moved to Cooper County, Mo., in 1856, the present Mrs. Allison, however, remaining in Virginia until 1859. She received a good education in the private schools of her native state.

When the late Civil War came on Mr. Allison moved back to his native town in Ohio, and purchased an interest in a flouring-mill. He operated the mill for about two years, when he sold out and again resumed work building railroads. He took a contract to do mason work for twenty miles on the Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad, which took him about three years to complete. In the spring of 1866 he returned to Missouri, locating in Warrensburg. Before he went back to Ohio he had purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Cass County, Mo., but on account of bushwhackers, he did not feel safe to go to that county on his return to Missouri, so he rented a farm near Warrensburg. However, in 1867 he removed to his farm in Cass County and began its development. In about two years he sold out and came to Holden, purchasing property in the town. He afterward bought four hundred and eighty acres near the city, which he has since continued to improve, though living in Holden.

Politically Mr. Allison is a Republican, but was at first a Whig, having voted for General Taylor in 1848. In 1856 he voted for General Fremont, and has since supported the Republican ticket at all national elections. He is a stockholder and Director in the bank at Holden, and was one of its organizers. This was the first chartered bank in the place. He and his wife have long been members of the Baptist Church, in which body he has been a Deacon some twelve or more years, Mrs. Allison is quite an active member of the Ladies’ Missionary Society of the church, and both have greatly at heart the cause of the Master.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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