Old Pioneers of Van Zandt County Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
This page will be devoted to the Old Pioneers of Van Zandt County. These stories have come from a variety of sources, some from old newspapers, some from descendants and some have been previously published in the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society's quarterly publication, "Our Heritage." Our thanks to Sue Wilkinson, quarterly editor, for permission to reprint these stories. All biographies are welcomed and if you have one that you would like to submit, just write it in your own words and send it to Sibyl and we will be very happy to post it on this website.
Dr. William Alexander Allen
Dr. William Alexander Allen was born December 25, 1842. He came to Texas with his parents in April 1852. He is among the old settlers of this county and saw the wonderful development of the country. He attended the Field school as a boy. When he was 18 years of age, he volunteered to serve the Confederacy during the Civil War, and was a prisoner at Delaware until the close of the war. After the war he returned home and married Ann Thompson. They had one child. After her death he married Emma Boudinott. She lived ten years and gave birth to three children. He then married Mrs. Lizzie Davis and two sons were born. He later married Mrs. Mary Helms and they had three sons.
In 1867, he began the practice of medicine under private tutorship and later took lectures in four different schools. He had a wide practice and lived on a 500 acre working farm located near Silver Lake.
He lived out of the county in Indian Territory for a time and once on a visit the Wills Point Chronicle printed an interview in the issue of July 17, 1910. During this interview he spoke of the old mail routes in Van Zandt County. "He remembers the old mail route in those days, when stage coach and four was the travel deluxe. The mail was routed from New Orleans by water to Shreveport, thence to old Jefferson, Marshall, Longview, Tyler, Mt. Sylvan, Garden Valley, Jordan's Saline, Canton, Prairieville to Porter's Bluff and on to Corsicana and other points.
"The carriages at that time were patronized mostly by the aristocrats. They were of Concord, Connecticut manufacture built especially for easy riding, swung as they were in such a way as to create swing motion and accommodated from eight to a dozen passengers, booking sfor travel having to be made in advance so as to insure accommodation, as is often the case in arranging for sleeper berths on roads with heavy travel.
"Referring to the mail again, Doctor Allen well remembers some of the oldtime carriers such as 'Uncle' Dempsey Baker who handled the mail bags west of Canton, and was the father of Billie Baker, now deceased, who lived three miles west of Canton. Both of whom will be readily recalled by many."
Dr. Allen died on May 11, 1922 and was buried at Sand Flat Cemetery.
Previously published in the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society's Our Heritage
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