Biography of William Allison of Smith Township

William Allison, born in Bedford County, Tennessee, in 1824, was a farmer and stock-raiser in Smith Township, Missouri. He was the son of James and Sarah (Lee) Allison. The family moved to Ray County, Missouri, in 1830 and later settled near Greenfield in Dade County, becoming some of the first white settlers in the area. William served in the Mexican-American War and spent several years mining in California, Idaho, and Montana. Returning to Dade County in 1870, he farmed 160 acres. He married Mary Ann Taylor in 1867 and had four children. Allison was a Democrat and a member of the Baptist Church.

William Allison, farmer and stock-raiser of Smith Township was born in Bedford County, Tenn., in 1824, the son of James and Sarah (Lee) Allison, natives of South Carolina and Kentucky respectively. They married in Tennessee, where they lived till about 1830, when they removed to Ray County, Mo., remained seven years and then came to Dade County, settling in the woods near where Greenfield now is, being among the first white settlers of the county, the inhabitants being mostly Indians, and the country abounding in wolves, bear, panther, wild-cat, deer, etc. The nearest market and post office was Springfield; the nearest mill twenty-five miles away, on Little Sac River. Mrs. Allison died in 1850 at the age of fifty-five, and Mr. Allison married for a second wife Mrs. Jane Bryant, by whom he had three children. He served in the War of 1812, having been with Jackson at New Orleans. He was also in the black Hawk War and was major of militia in Ray County. His father, Joseph Allison, born in America, of English and Irish descent, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and died in Tennessee. One of his sons, Hon. Samuel Allison, by his second wife, was congressman from Tennessee at one time. Mr. Allison died in Dade County in 1869 or 1870 at the age of 85. William Lee, grandfather of William Allison, was of Welsh descent, and died in Ray County, Mo. The subject of this sketch, the third child of three sons and four daughters, had but very little education. Remaining at home till he was twenty-one, he began farming for himself, and in 1847 enlisted in Company F, Third Missouri Mounted Volunteers, for five years, serving but eighteen months. He was in the battle of Vera Cruz, crossed the plains to New Mexico, returned by the same route, and was discharged at Independence, Mo., in the fall of 1848. In 1850 he crossed the plains to California with an ox-team, being four and a half months on the way, and remained there nearly twelve years engaged in mining. He spent one year in Idaho, and went to Montana Territory in 1863, where he lived till 1870, mining and furnishing water for the mines. In the meantime, he returned to Dade County in 1866, and the next spring married Mary Ann, daughter of John and Matilda Taylor, natives of Tennessee. After coming to Dade County, Mrs. Taylor died, Mr. Taylor living to be about sixty-eight years of age. After his marriage, Mr. Allison returned to Montana by way of the Missouri River, being sixty days en-route. In 1870 he returned to Dade County and has since lived on his present farm of 160 acres, being the owner also of eighty acres of timber. After the war he also purchased a small farm for his father, who lost all his property during the war. He was elected county judge in Montana the year he left there but did not serve. The family consists of one son and three daughters: Emma Louella (born in Montana, wife of John Parminter), Sarah Lee, George Walter and Ida Elizabeth. Mrs. Allison died February 17, 1889. Mr. Allison is a Democrat, having voted for Polk in 1844. He is a member of the Baptist Church, as was also his wife. He is greatly interested in education and is something of a poet.


Goodspeed, History of Hickory, Polk, Cedar, Dade and Barton Counties, Missouri; Chicago, The Goodspeed publishing co., 1889.

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