Captain Martin V. Allen, druggist, residing at Shabbona, was born in St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., Nov. 6, 1832, and is a son of Reuben and Nancy (Andrews) Allen. In 1845, his father's family left Sackett's Harbor, Jefferson Co., N. Y., in a sail vessel, cruised around the lakes, debarked at Chicago and came then by steam to this county, arriving at Shabbona Grove June 2 1845. His father was consequently one of the pioneers of this county, and soon after he arrived here entered 320 acres of Government land on sections 19, Clinton Township, and 24, Shabbona Township, and entered vigorously on the laborious task of cultivating and improving it.
Capt. Allen was brought up on his father's farm. He assisted in the farm labors and attended the common schools, and developed into manhood while under the parental roof-tree. Aug. 12, 1862, he entered the military service of the United States in the late Civil War with the commission of First Lieutenant of Co. E, 105th Ill. Inf., and was promoted as Captain March 9, 1863. He was wounded at Atlanta, Aug. 16, 1864, receiving a gunshot wound in the right arm near the shoulder, which resulted in resection and causing the loss of about three inches of the bone. He was then, Jan. 22, 1865, discharged for physical disability.
Capt. Allen suffered a far more serious misfortune as a result of being wounded than the loss of a portion of his arm. His wife, on hearing of the casualty, proceeded to his side to nurse him. She found him at Chattanooga, Tenn., in an atmosphere infected with pestilence, and fell a victim to typhoid fever. She lived to reach home, in a delirious condition, and died in a few days. Their second child, a daughter contracted the disease, and in a short time follower her mother to the land of everlasting peace.
Captain Allen was married at Little Rock, Ill., Oct. 7, 1856, to Miss Jane A. Hunter. She was a daughter of William and Janet Hunter, and was a native of Scotland. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Allen: Cora A., Lida E. and Jennie M. The eldest, Cora A., is the wife of George C.Sanborn, a commission merchant at Chicago. The youngest daughter was adopted by H. E. Allen, of DeKalb, a brother of Capt. Allen. She grew to womanhood in his household, and is the wife of William Ellwood, of that place.
Mrs. Allen died Sept. 20, 1864, and Capt. Allen was again married Nov. 6, 1867, at Shabbona, to Miss Lizzie, daughter of Giles M. and Eve (Clapsaddle) Alexander. She was born in Herkimer Co., N. Y., and is the mother on one child, a son, Bertie, age 14 years.
Soon after his return from the army Capt. Allen was elected Superintendent of Schools of DeKalb County, which position he held for a term of four years, from 1865 to 1869. In 1873 he engaged in the drug business at Shabbona, and has since continued in the same. He carries a stock averaging $2,000 and including everything pertaining to that business. In March, 1877, he was burned out, sustaining a loss of about $1,500, with no insurance. He is a prominent Freemason, and was the first Master of Shabbona Lodge, No. 374, A. F. & A. M., and is holding that position at the present time (1885). He is also a member of DeKalb Chapter, No. 52, R. A. M., and of Aurora Commandery, No. 22, K. T. He is likewise Sen. V. C. of T. S. Terry Post, G.A.R., of Shabbona.
Politically, Capt. Allen is a Republican. Religiously, he is a member of the Congregational Church. He is one of Shabbona's most liberal-minded and enterprising citizens, and is held in high esteem. Of no other citizen in the county could a portrait be more appropriately given in this worm, and accordingly a fine lithographic likeness of Capt. Allen is given on a page proceeding.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of DeKalb County Illinois; Chapman Brothers, 1885, Chicago, IL
Click on images to enlarge