History of Centre and Clinton County, Pennsylvania, 1893

Archibald  Allison Biography

Archibald Allison, the ancestor of William Allison, landed with his family in America June 18, 1773. His wife, Mary, was the third daughter of John Kennedy, and was born in Scotland, Shire of Galloway, Parish of Kirkmaddin Nov. 1, 1730. Their son Archibald was born April 15, 1761, in Ireland. Archibald Allison, Sr., died in Paxton township (now Dauphin. County), Oct. 6, 1783, and his widow, Mary, in Potter township June 6, 1808.

Archibald, Jr., though young in years, took active part in the defense of the frontiers, to which proper reference is made in Linn's "Annals of Buffalos Valley," page 174, and was an execeedingly bold and courageous man.

After the war he pushed on up into Penn's valley where he married Eleanor, third daughter of George and Margaret McCormick, May 7, 1789. George McCormick was the first settler at Spring Mills, bought his land: of Heuben Haines, and built the first mill there. In 1787 he took up the tract south of the creek. On his failure the lands went into the hands of James Cook, Esq, who sold to James Duncan.

Archibald Allison, jr:, bought of the Penns the eastern third of what was known as the Manor of Succoth, north of the Great Spring tract, and died on the place still owned by his descendants, May 3,1845, possessed of a large quantity of good land. He left a widow, Eleanor, who died Jan. 27, 1848, aged eighty four, and a large family, George, born Aug. 18,1792, died Sept. 28, 1866; William, born April 5, 1794.

James, born Feb. 26, 1796 died Sept. 18, 1863, at North Liberty, Adams Co., Ohio; Margaret, born May 26, 1797, married William Kelly, son of Col. John Kelly, and died, in Union County day 12, 1846; David, born May 22, 1799, married Lucetta McKibben, and died Dec. 22, 1877, in Clinton County; Mary, born May 11, 1801, died Sept. 27, 1866, in Adams County, Ohio; John; born Nov. 22, 1803, died Jan. 23, 1844; Jane, born Sept. 22, 1805, married Thomas Riley, and died in Kansas; Eleanor, born Feb. 8, 1811, married Dr. John Grossman, living in Adams County, Ohio. James Allison, above, married Margaret Hutchinson.

Archibald Jr.,was a stout heavy man, with round ruddy face and flaxen hair, a man of great muscular power, a Presbyterian in religion; and a Federalist in politics.

Hon. William Allison, formerly associate judge, of Centre County is a son of George Allison, and: a grandson of Archibald,Jr.

William Allison, Esq., inherited many of the sterling traits of his father and at an early age commenced life as a clerk in a store at Harrisburg, where he was engaged, six or seven years. From Harrisburg he removed to Brown's Mills, in Mifflin County, now Reedsville, and in connection with J. & J. Potter opened a store, there in July, 1827. In 1829 the firm was dissolved, and Mr. Allison carried on the business himself for a few years, after which he returned to his old home near Spring Mills.

His father dying in 1845, left William, in conjunction with his brother James and David and James Potter, executors of his large estate, with many powers and truces to be executed. This, with im proving his farm; building barns and saw-mills, brought a very large amount of business upon Mr. Allison's shoulders which he managed with skill and success.

On the 25th of June, 1847, he married Miss Sarah McNitt, daughter of William R. McNitt, her mother's maiden name being Esther McCoy. W. R. McNitt was a son of Robert McNitt, one of the earliest settlers of Kishacoquillas valley.

In December, 1847, occupied the failure of James and Joan Potter, of whom Mr. Allison was a creditor to a large amount. He was preferred by them on account of old intimacy and business relations, and the judgment they gave him resulted in protracted litigation. Mr. Allison, however, sustained his claim. Meanwhile, having purchased the hotel, factory, and` real estate at Potter's Mills, he removed thither and into the old residence of James Potter. Here be managed his large interests with his accustomed business tact, backed by large experience, very successfully, and uninterrupted prosperity marked his declining years.

Mr. Allison was a man of great executive ability, planned with great discretion and followed up what be determined upon vigorously. He kept himself well informed on the events of the present, although loving often to dwell. on the stirring events of the past, of which he was a great chronicler. His powerful memory, coupled with opportunities derived from his father's great age and good recollection, made Mr. Allison himself an encyclopaedia of past events in Penn's valley, which the local historian could draw upon at pleasure and with great profit.

He was confined to his home for a number of years with a paralytic stroke, but was always cheerful and happy in seeing his friends. He died Feb, 11, 1877, and was buried in the private burying ground of the Allisons, near Spring Mills. Of his children, William M. was born Nov. 4, 1850; Esther E., Jan. 15, 1852, married to Frank McCoy, of Linn & McCoy, iron-masters; Edward, born Aug. 2, 1855; Lettie E., Sept. 28, 180; and Archibald, June 27, 1863.

Source: History of Centre and Clinton Counties, Pennsylvania; John Blair Linn; Philadelphia; Louis H. Everts; 1883.

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