M. R. ALLEN, clerk of the courts of Washington county, is a grandson of Rev. Moses Allen, a prominent early settler of the county, who was born September 5, 1780, in Westmoreland county, Penn., and in his youth learned the trade of millwright, which he pursued diligently and successfully for some years. His classical education he secured at Jefferson College, and he studied theology with Dr. John McMillan. On June 23, 1807, he was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Ohio, and in November of same year was ordained and installed pastor of the united churches of Providence and Jefferson, in Greene county, Penn. In 1816 he received a call from the congregation of Raccoon, Washington Co., Penn., and was installed June, 1817, and continued to exercise the pastoral office for twenty-two years.
The Rev. S. C. Jennings, who had been associated with the Rev. Moses Allen for many years, in an address delivered at the "Centennial Meeting" of the Raccoon Church, spoke of the Rev. Moses Allen, second pastor of the church, as follows: "Tall in person, grave and sedate in manners. A preacher of ability, a great reasoner, logical and instructive, irreproachable in character, and diligent in catechising the youth. His pastorate extended over a period of twenty-two years. During this pastorate a new house of worship was built, which was of brick and capable of seating 600 persons. This building continued in use forty-two years."
In 1838 he left Raccoon, and was afterward pastor for nine years at Crab Apple Church in Ohio, and he died there January 18, 1847, aged sixty-six years. It appears from memoranda in his own handwriting that his labors were abundant. "I was pastor of Raccoons," he writes, "twenty-two years, during which I preached 2,685 times; administered the Lord's Supper seventy-five times; admitted to the communion of the church 324 persons; baptized fifteen adults and 558 children, and solemnized 190 marriages." He was a man of decided and positive character, of strong mental ability. He was a sound theologian, and is always spoken of as a very logical, instructive and forcible preacher. Mr. Allen was married, in 1805, to Catherine, the youngest daughter of Rev. John McMillan, D. D., who was the pioneer Presbyterian minister, and founder of the "Log Cabin School," which ultimately became Jefferson College, of Canonsburg, Penn. His watch, an old English "Bulls-eye," which he carried until the case wore off, is in possession of subject. Ten children were born to this union as follows: (1) John Watson, born December 16, 1806, married September 29, 1835, Jane Patterson, and both are now deceased (their only son, R. P. Allen, was a justice of the peace in Sharon, Iowa; he married Annie Cleaver in 1863); (2) Eliza Williams, born August 21, 1808, was married March 14, 1836, to John Symington, and is now deceased (their only son Allen Harper Symington, married Miss Ellen McIlvaine in 1869; they reside in Cherry Valley, Mt. Pleasant township, Washington county, and have three daughters and one son); (3) John McMillan, of whom special mention is made further on; (4) Jane M., born October 2, 1812, died September 8, 1819; (5) Samuel Harper, born February 6, 1815, was married April 26, 1838, to Mary Wallace (he attended Jefferson College, Canonsburg, and Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia; he practiced medicine over half a century, and is now living at Bakerstown, Allegheny Co., Penn.; he has two daughters: Lydia A. (Mrs. Gibson), in the city of Allegheny, where for several years he was a leading teacher in the public schools, and Kate, at home; an only living son, L. M., is a member of the Pittsburgh bar, with residence in Allegheny; an elder son, John Watson, died in the service of his country in the war of the Rebellion); (6) Catherine Blair, born April 2, 1817, married Thomas Morgan, April 19, 1836, and both died in Belmont county, Ohio, where several of their children now are, others being in the West; (7) Moses Coe, born December 20, 1820, married Ann Campbell November 2, 1843; they are both of Belmont county, Ohio, and now reside in Island Creek township, Jefferson Co., Ohio (they had six sons, three of whom died in early youth; the eldest one living married a Miss Crawford, in Jefferson county, Ohio, and they are now in Missouri; the other two surviving sons, William Vincent and Samuel Harper, are living with their parents); (8) Aaron, born February 9, 1823, in Washington county, married Ann Lyle in Belmont county, Ohio, and both died about the year 1877 (one son, John, married a Miss Pollock, another son, Moses Ray, married a Miss Armstrong, one daughter, Catharine, married a Mr. Dunlap, another, Belle, was wedded to a Mr. Pollock, and they all live in Belmont county, Ohio; another son, David Dinsmore, is a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Idaho, and Oscar, yet another son, died at the age of twenty years); (9) William McMillan, born April 11, 1825, died May 23, 1823, and (10) Sarah J., born March 5, 1829, died June 23, 1833.
John McMillan Allen was born, July 11, 1810, in Greene county, Penn., and reared to agricultural pursuits, which he followed through life. In March, 1837, he married Margaret Ann Riddell, daughter of Rev. John Riddell, D. D., first pastor of Robinson Run Church, by the edge of Washington and Allegheny counties. To this union was born one child Moses Riddell Allen the subject of this sketch. This wife dying February 28, 1856, Mr. Allen married, for his second wife, Mrs. Margaret Ann Lockart, mother of ex-Sheriff Lockart, and one child came of this marriage, Annie Eliza, now the wife of J. A. Evans, an attorney in Pittsburgh, Penn. The father died in Burgettstown, July 15, 1860, and is buried in Raccoon cemetery; the mother died near Noblestown, Allegheny Co., Penn.
M. R. Allen was born July 19, 1842, in Harrison county, Ohio, and in 1859 removed with his father to Burgettstown, Washington county, and has since been a resident of the county. His education was received at the common schools and at Franklin College, New Athens, Ohio, after which he taught school in Washington county, Penn. For a time he carried on farming operations, also a mercantile business, and on August 2, 1881, he founded the Burgettstown Call, which he published till January 1, 1887, when, having been elected to the office of clerk of courts of Washington county, he sold the paper to the owner of the Enterprise (J. H. Cramer), since when the two have been consolidated with the title Enterprise-Call. Mr. Allen then removed to Washington, where he has since had his home, having been re-elected in 1890 to the office he holds.
On January 14, 1864, Mr. Allen was married to Ella M. Daugherty, of Burgettstown, daughter of John Daugherty (of the same place) and Abigail B. (Canon) Daugherty, daughter of Joshua Canon, and granddaughter of Col. John Canon, the founder of Canonsburg. Mr. and Mrs. Daugherty were the parents of five children: John Wesley, who died in 1878; Ella M. (Mrs. M. R. Allen); Jennie C., wife of W. B. Porter, of Burgettstown; Flora B., teacher in the East Washington public schools, and Asenath M., who died November 3, 1804. The father of this family, who was a wagon maker and carriage builder by trade, well known and highly respected, died in August, 1866; in April, 1877, the mother followed him to the grave, and they sleep their last sleep in the cemetery at Burgettstown. They were both natives of Washington county, the father born in Donegal township. To Mr. and Mrs. Allen were born six children, of whom the following is a brief record: John E. is with his father; Harper Riddell is his father's assistant in the office, and his special work now is preparing the new index of the Orphans' Court, from the organization of the county up to date; Wesley Hays is also assistant clerk with his father (he was married in 1891 to Miss Dora E. Mounts, of Washington county; one child a daughter Helen M., has been born to them); William, died September 11, 1881, and Effie, died August 28, 1881, both in infancy, aged eleven and seven respectively; Maynord Robert is attending Washington and Jefferson College, freshman class. Mr. Allen is a Republican in his political preferences, and has served as burgess of Burgettstown, also as clerk of council. In 1880 he enumerated the census of the First Precinct of Smith township. Since coming to Washington he has served as director of the Keystone Building & Loan Association, a local organization.
For three generations preceding our subject, the family has been Presbyterian in its religious affiliations and workers in the cause; it is, therefore, nothing of wonder that Mr. Allen and his entire family are followers and supporters of the same principles and creed. Mr. Allen is a member and deacon of Dr. Brownson's (First Presbyterian) Church of Washington, and is also a member of the Improved Order of Heptasophs, of Washington, having filled the office of "Archon" in the order since its organization. At the present time Mr. Allen is secretary of the school board of East Washington.
Text taken from page 155 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
[ [Back to Beers Table of Contents] [Back to Beers Project Page]