Bio: Allen, Henry R. (Commemorative Bio - 1895)

Poster: Crystal Wendt

Henry R. Allen

Henry R. Allen, who during the Civil War “wore the blue” and aided in the defense of the Union, is now one of the loyal citizens of Merrill, Lincoln County, where he is engaged in the insurance and real-estate business. In September, 1844, he was born in Lewis County, N. Y., and is a son of Hiram R. Allen, whose birth occurred at Sacket’s Harbor, N.  Y., in 1810. Lorenzo Allen, grandfather of our subject, was a native of Dublin, Ireland, whence, when a young man he emigrated to Canada, and there served as a soldier. In that country he married and had one child: Hiram R. Lorenzo was a direct descendent of Bishop Allen of Dublin. The grandfather’s death occurred in Canada, his widow afterward marring Lawrence Burzee, and they became the parents of two children – Lawrence and Betsy. Mrs. Burzee’s death occurred in Lewis County, N. Y.; she was a Scotch descent.

Hiram R. Allen was a blacksmith by trade, an occupation he followed for many years. He received his education in Sacket’s Harbor, N. Y., and in that State married Louisa Morse, who was born in 1812 in Lowville, N. Y. They became the parents of nine children: Orlando M., George H., Ethan D., Henry R., Marcellus H., Emery H., Ira W., Mary L., and Lucy E. The father passed away in the town of Greig, Lewis Co., N. Y., about the year 1872, but the mother is still living. She is a daughter of Jedediah and Lucy (Gates) Morse, and one of a family of eight children: Parash L., Chauncey, Jedediah, Horatio, Louisa, Lucy, Anna and Jane; both the Morse and Gates families were from Connecticut. The father of Mrs. Allen served as a soldier and fife major in the war of 1812. He was a farmer of the Empire State, where his death occurred in 1854, his wife surviving him about sixteen years, and dying in Fond du Lac., Wis., in 1870.  

Henry R. Allen, whose name introduces this record, worked with his father at blacksmithing until he was sixteen years old, becoming quite proficient at the trade. At the age of sixteen he entered the Lowville Academy, graduating at the age of eighteen, and then taught district school for two years. He made four successful attempts to enter the Union Army, twice in 1862 and twice the following year, but each time was rejected. However, in June, 1864, he became a member of Company D, One Hundred-eighty-fourth N. Y. V. I., which was attached to the First Brigade, Third Division, Sixth Army Corps, under Gen. Sheridan, and served through the Shenandoah Valley campaign. In December, 1864, they were transferred to the James River Valley and attached to a separate brigade, known as the Army of the James, with which they remained until the close of the war. Our subject received an honorable discharge comes of patriotic family, having four brothers who also fought for the stars and strips. They all saw active service, but not one was wounded. Orlando, who was a member of the One Hundred and Tenth N. Y. V. I., served for two years; Ethan D., who served for over three years; was a member of the Fifth N. Y. V. I., Marcellus, who was a member of the Second N. Y. V. I. A., died in the service in 1863; and George fought for two years and a half on the frontier. After his discharge our subject returned home and taught school during the winters of 1866-67 and ’68, while in the summers he worked upon the farm.

At that time he married Miss Eleanor F. Cole, a native of New York, and a daughter of L. W. and Pedee (Denison) Cole, farming people, and natives of New York, who had a family of eleven children: Mathew, Alonzo, Samuel, Halsey, Lysander, Angleine, Jane, Pedee, Eleanor, Medora and Adeline. Mr. and Mrs. Allen have two children: Harry R. and Cora E. After his marriage our subject came west and located at Fond du Lac, Wis., where for twelve years he was employed in a factory. In February, 1881, he arrived in Merrill and was engaged by the Merrill Manufacturing Company, remaining with them until the summer of 1882. During the latter part of 1883 and the following year he was engaged in the insurance business, and in May, 1885, he opened an office of his own, now conducting both an insurance and real estate business. He is one of the leading men in this line in Merrill, and is meeting with a well merited success. He has not only been self supporting from an early ago, but also materially assisted in his parents, and can be justly ranked among the self made men of Lincoln County. He was a pioneer of what is now West Merrill, as at the time of his location it was a dense forest. He lived in a board shanty, and helped to erect the first mill of the place, which is now the A. H. Stange Mill.

Mr. Allen is a Master Mason, and at present is secretary and an active member of Virginia Falls Lodge No. 226, F. & A. M. He also belongs to West Merrill Lodge, No. 39; I. O. O. F.; Lincoln Post, No. 131, G. A. R.; and Columbia Council, No. 309, Royal Arcanum, in all of which societies he takes an active part. For many years he has been a stanch supporter of the Republican Party, having cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln while in the Shenandoah Valley in 1864, and is ever loyal to its principles. He has never been an office seeker, in the common acceptation of the term, though he has served his fellow citizens as supervisor and alderman for two terms each.

---Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin Counties of Waupaca, Portage, Wood, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Langlade and Shawano. publ. 1895 by J. H. Beers & Co., Chicago 1110 pages, illustrated; Page 652-654


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