Rev. William N. Allaben

Biography courteously provided by Joyce Riedinger, Delaware County Coordinator.


REV. WILLIAM N. ALLABEN, a minister and dentist in Margarettville, was born in Roxbury, Delaware County, on the 20th of June, 1816. His grandparents, Jonathan and Martha (Bouton) Allaben, were residents of Blue Point, L.I., where the grandfather was drowned in 1787. He was long survived by his wife, who died in 1828, leaving five children - Sally, Polly, John, James, and Esther. John, the first son of Jonathan, was born in Blue Point. He married, and raised a family of seven children, namely: Orson, a physician; William N.; Abigail; James; Sarah; Wilson; and Jonathan. Besides these were two who died in infancy and Orpah and Nelson, who died young.

William N., son of John Allaben, was one of a family who seemed to drift into educational work; and it is a noteworthy fact that each of the brothers and sisters at some period of his or her life was a teacher. William was a teacher at eighteen; and Abigail at the early age of fourteen years, herself a mere child, taught in the neighborhood. William, who was of a studious turn of mind, proved the theory of self-culture by practical demonstration in his own life, for, having no advantages besides those offered in the common schools of his native village, he acquired a good education, storing his mind with much general information by studying and reading at home. After some years he took up the profession of dentistry, which he practiced in West Colesville, Broome County, during a period of eight years. Here he entered the Baptist ministry, and preached for six years. His next charge was in Windsor, where he was pastor for three years, after which, coming to Margarettville, he bought property and remained for eighteen months. He then took charge of the Baptist church in West Kill, Greene County, for eight years. A longing to return to his place in Margarettville now began to possess him; so he came back and built a church in this town, where he has since continued to follow jointly his two professions.

His first wife was a Miss Maben, a daughter of Benjamin Maben, of Greene County. She died in her youth, leaving two sons, namely: James R., a physician, who married Miss Hattie Newton, of Greene County; and Hamblin L. Allaben, a clergyman, who married Hannah Cave, and died in Lebanon, Madison County, being the pastor of the church of that place. The second wife of the Rev. Mr. Allaben was miss Martha Todd, a daughter of Isaac Todd. She died, leaving one son, who bears his father's name, and is a farmer in Iowa. William N. Allaben, Jr., married a Miss Redmond, who has borne him two children. Mr. Allaben's third wife was Josephine Leora DeWitt, an orphan who was adopted by Robert Palmer, a kindly farmer of Sullivan County. Mr. Palmer was one of the first settlers of his section, where he erected the first log habitation.

Mr. Allaben has reached an age when it seems desirable to live a quiet life, free from the demands of business and professional cares, but, being of an active mind and strong character, he still shares in the interests of his fellow-citizens, and attends somewhat to his office practice. He is much beloved and respected.


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