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Below is a family biography included in The History of Darke County, Ohio published by W. H. Beers & Co. in 1880.  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, lawyer, jurist and statesman; was born in Butler Co., Ohio, Aug. 13, 1827. His father, John Allen, was born in Ireland, and emigrated to America in 1812; after residing six years in the State of New York, he moved to Butler Co., Ohio, in 1818; he moved his family into the woods of Darke Co. in 1838, his dwelling being a log cabin with puncheon floors and a mud and stick chimney; in the latter part of his life, he was a preacher in the United Brethren Church. Our subject was favored with no educational advantages; except those afforded by the common schools of the day, yet by making most of these, he was able to teach at the age of 15, and for several years followed that vocation; at the age of 19, he commenced the study of law, under the late Felix Marsh, of Eaton, Ohio; was admitted to the bar in 1849, and in the following year commenced practice in Greenville; in 1850, he was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Darke Co., and reelected in 1852; in the fall of 1858, he was elected to Congress from the Fourth District, comprising the counties of Darke, Shelby, Mercer, Auglaize and Allen, and re-elected in 1860, thus serving in the Thirty-sixth and Thirty-seventh Congress; in the winter of 1865, he was appointed by Gov. Cox as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of the first subdivision of the Second Judicial District of Ohio, composed of the counties of Butler, Darke and Preble, to fill a vacancy made by the resignation of Judge D. L. Meeker; in 1878, Judge Allen was nominated for Congress by the Republicans of the Fifth District, but he declined. In 1851, he married Miss Priscilla Wallace, whose father settled in Darke Co. in 1834; the issue of this marriage was four sons and four daughters, of whom only one son survives; four of his children died of diphtheria under the most afflictive circumstances, in the space of as many weeks ; this was in the winter of 1861, when he was summoned from Washington City to his despoiled home; Mr. Allen, although he has risen from poverty to affluence by his own unaided exertions, is one of the most charitable of our citizens, and his integrity has never been questioned; his positive character, while it wins friends true as steel, also makes bitter enemies, but even his enemies concede to him great ability and unflinching honesty of purpose; he is at present, Vice President of the Greenville Bank, and President of the Greenville Gas Company.

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This family biography is one of 659 biographies included in The History of Darke County, Ohio published in 1880 by W. H. Beers & Co.  For the complete description, click here: Darke County, Ohio History and Genealogy

View additional Darke County, Ohio family biographies here: Darke County, Ohio Biographies

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