John F. Allen
John F. Allen
Dies At Age 94;
Came from Tennessee at Age
6 After Civil War Split Family
John F. Allen of Waltonville, one of Jefferson county's best liked citizens,
died at 2:00 p.m. yesterday at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Wesley W. Hart,
north of Mt. Vernon. Mr. Allen was 94 years and five months of age.
Mr. Allen, a retired farmer, resided in the Waltonville community for 88 years.
The history of Mr. Allen's family is one of the many stories of the sturdy Americans
who settled Jefferson county. Mr. Allen was a lad of six years when we came from
Tennessee to the Waltonville neighborhood with his family.
He was born January 29, 1860 in Meigs county, Tenn., the son of R.J.D.W. and
Elzirah (Smith) Allen.
Shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War, Mr. Allen's father and his
brother, Pete, discussed their allegiances and fight on the side of the
North, his brother for the South. Mr. Allen's father left a family of ten
children at home when he went away to war. The brothers father left a family
of ten children at home when he went away to war. The brothers fought on
opposite sides in the Confederate retreat from Chattanooga after the Battle
of Lookout Mountain. Both survived the war and returned to their homes
in Tennessee. Not long afterwards, though, when Mr. Allen was a six-year-old
boy, the family started the trek to Illinois. The trip took 29 days, with
the father driving a team given to him by the U.S. government. The family
settled in the Waltonville community and Mr. Allen's father bought a farm,
where he raised his family.
On April 3, 1890 Mr. Allen was married, in Jefferson county, to Margaret Kolinsky,
who preceded him in death August 9, 1951. Mr. Allen, a member of the Methodist church
at Sesser, was one of the founders of the Dryden Methodist church there. He remained
a healthy, vigorous man into his 90's. On his 92nd birthday he held "open house" for
his friends at Waltonville. At that time he was a rabid Mt. Vernon Ram fan. Unable to
attend the games, he listened to each game the local basketball team played and rooted
for the home team. In the summerime he followed major league baseball and backed his
favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals. At one time he operated an automobile sales
agency in Mt. Vernon.
Mr. Allen is survived by one son, Joe Frank Allen of Mt. Vernon; a daughter, Mrs.
Katie Mae Hart of Mt. Vernon; one granddaugter; and a sister, Mrs. Susan Smith of
Funeral services will be held Thursday at 2:00 p.m. at the Brayfield Chapel in
Sesser and burial will be in Dryden cemetery. Friends may call at the chapel at
any time until the funeral hour.
Source: Mt. Vernon Register News
Submitted by: Cindy Ford