Biography from History of DuPage County, Illinois, by Rufus Blanchard, published 1882,
JOHN WEST, drugs and general store, Turner, is a native of England; he was
born in the year 1829. In 1830, his parents moved to America, and located in Oneida
county, N.Y., where they engaged in the manufacture of woolens, which business they and
their ancestors carried on in England for generations. Our subject was raised in
Oneida County, and received his education at the Whitesboro Academy. When
about eighteen, he began as book-keeper in a general store, and, in 1850, he visited
one year in England; in 1852, he engaged in that business on his own account; in 1855, he
went to California via Panama and lived there about fifteen months, being engaged in
mining; he then returned East and soon after took charge of a general store at Blackberry,
Ill., and, in the spring of 1857, he located at Turner and opened a general store, and has
conducted the business ever since, he being the oldest merchant in the town.
In 1852, he married Miss Elizabeth Allison, a native of Leeds, England; she
came to America with her parents. By the marriage there have been four
children, three of whom are living. He was formerly a Whig, and, later, a
Republican; from 1860 to 1869, he was Postmaster of Turner; he has also served as Town
Clerk, in all about fifteen years. In 1848, Mr. West and his father subscribed for
twenty shares in the old Galena & Chicago Railroad, and that $2,000 has now increased
to $20,000, besides the dividends, and has remained in the
family. The children are as follows: John A. West, musician and organist in the Church of the Ascension, Chicago; Mrs. J.T. Hosford, and Annie West, Utica, N.Y.
Anyone with an interest in the Allison or West families may contact Marilynn Howard.