Sumter County Alabama

Sumter County
Rev. W. T. Allen Biography

Contributed by Mary Hoit Abbe

From Northern Alabama, Historical and Biographical by Smith & Deland
Chicago: Donohue & Henneberry, Printers and Binders, 1888
p. 220

REV. W. T. ALLEN, Rector in charge of the Episcopal Church, was born in Shenandoah Valley, Clarke County, Va., on December 15, 1855. He remained there, living on his father’s farm, and attending the neighborhood schools until he was nineteen years of age. In 1874, he taught school in West Virginia, and in 1876 went to the Theological Seminary of Virginia, where he remained two years. While there his health was shattered by typhoid fever, which nearly proved fatal. Being called to teach in the Church School in Seguin, Tex., his health being impaired, he accepted and taught till 1879, studying theology meanwhile, under the principal, Rev. Wallace Carnahan.

In 1879 he was ordained deacon by the late Bishop Elliott, at San Antonio, Tex., and placed in charge of Boerne, Tex., and points adjacent. Having built a neat church in this place, in 1881, he went to the University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn., and remained two years. In 1883, he took charge of San Marcos, Tex., and other points. While here he was ordained to the priesthood by the late Bishop Elliott. In December, 1884, being called to Eufaula and Livingston, Ala., he accepted the latter, where he has remained up to date, having Boligee and Gainesville, also under his charge. He was married in December, 1885, to the widow of the late Dr.Pettey and daughter of the late Jesse Weissinger, of Dallas County, Ala.

The great-grandfather of our subject, Col. Thomas Allen, came from the County Armagh, Ireland, and settled in Shenandoah Valley, Va., in 1732. He commanded a regiment in the War of the Revolution, and was presented with a sword by the State for distinguished services. The grandfather of our subject, D. H. Allen, son of Col. Thomas Allen, was a graduate of Princeton College, studied and practiced law for a time, but retired early to his estates, spending his time in making the family residence, Clifton, one of the handsomest in the state. His eldest sister married General Russell, of the Revolution, one of whose daughters married a son of Henry Clay. D. H. Allen married a daughter of Col. Griffin Taylor, whose wife was descended from Laird McKinnon and Lady Ann Maitland, of Scotland. The father of our subject, also named W. T. Allen, graduated at Princeton in 1839. In 1841 he went to the Pacific as Secretary to the Commodore of the Pacific Squadron. In 1849, he married Miss E. Bayly, of Fanquier County, Va., and settled on a farm, relieving the monotony of it by literary and scientific pursuits. One of these was the study of ornithology. He made life-size portraits of 150 species of Virginia birds, which, being submitted to the late Professor Baird, of Smithsonian Institute head of science in this country—were pronounced by him to be "very spirited drawings and accurate likenesses." He then took up botany and, and is now engaged on an "Illustrated Flora of the Shenandoah Valley," for which he has collected, classified, and made paintings of 740 species.

The mother of our subject is descended from General Payne on the one side, and Thomas Greene, brother of Generals Moses and Duff Greene, of the Revolution. Our subject’s sister Emma Allen married Bushrod Charles Washington, grandson of Charles Washington, brother of George Washington.

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