Benjamin Franklin ALLEN, physician, Joliet; was born of New England parentage, in Watertown, Jefferson Co., N. Y., Dec. 12, 1815; when about 4 years of age, his parents removed to St. Lawrence Co., where he passed his early years on a farm situated on the banks of the river St. Lawrence, attending the district school during the winter seasons; soon after attaining his majority, he went back to Watertown, his native place, and there spent six years, first as a student at the Black River Literary and Religious Institute, a part of the time teaching school, and later pursuing his medical reading under the direction of Drs. Hannibal S. DICKERSON, of Watertown, and Al. K. BATES, of Browning; he completed his full term of medical study, attending courses of medical lecturers at Geneva College in 1841-42, and, in the summer of 1844, came West, prepared to engage in the practice of medicine; he followed this practice for a few months in Kane Co., and the following winter engaged in teaching in New Lenox Tp., in Will Co., where he made the acquaintance of Mrs. Priscilla W. DAVISON, a young widow lady, relict of Judge John J. DAVISON, to whom he was married April 17,1845, he continued to reside in that township, performing satisfactorily the duties of administrator of the Davison estate, and, jointly with his wife, that of guardian to her infant daughters, and was also engaged in farming, till, in the summer of 1861, he built a residence in the city of Joliet, into which, with his family, he removed in the spring following, and has here since continued to reside. He has four children living – – Helen A., now the wife of now the wife of C. W. CROSS, attorney-at-law in Nevada City, Cal., Florence M., wife of H. C. PLIMPTON, now a resident of Joliet, Ill; Frank E. and Mortimer A., the last-named in the employ of Field, Leiter & Co., in their wholesale house in Chicago. Mrs. ALLEN has two daughters of her former marriage–M. Jennie, wife of Maj. John M. THOMPSON, of New Lenox, and Rachel D., wife of B. N. HIGINBOTHAM, general manager for Field, Leiter & Co., Chicago. Dr. and Mrs. ALLEN are both earnest and consistent members of the Ottawa Street M.E. Church, and also zealous and earnest advocates of the cause of temperance. Dr. ALLEN is in no sense of the term an office-seeker, yet has held various offices much of the time during his residence in Will Co.; for several years served the township of New Lenox as Supervisor or Town Clerk; in 1857 and 1858, held the office of County School Commissioner, and has been most of the time a member of the Board of School Inspectors during, his residence in the city of Joliet. Having considerable leisure time, he has devoted a portion of it to literary pursuits, being a frequent contributor, both in prose and verse, to the city papers, and occasionally furnishing an article to various leading periodicals; among the prose articles from his pen which have been well received by the public, may be mentioned, “How I Was Once Robbed,” “A Visit to the Mammoth Cave;” ” The Short Papers,” a series of twenty-two articles Notes and Opinions on California; “A Trip to Florida-Notes by the Way,” eight papers; and ” The Uncle’s Legacy,” a serial tale, running through six months of the Will County, Courier, and many briefer articles among the articles in verse, which have been read with approval, were ” Women Suffrage;” “Carrier’s Address”, “The Wonderful Pamphlet” “Bring Flowers,” a song for decoration day; “The Two Fishers of Men;” “Ode for the Fourth of July;” “The Secret Cave,” a legend of the Cumberland; and several articles partaking somewhat of the humorous, entitled, “Experiences, Advice, Comment’s and Suggestions of Barney O’Toole,” etc.; he has in course of publication, “Irene, or the Life and Fortunes of a Yankee Girl,” a tale, in eight short cantos, comprising a neatly executed volume of 160 pages, 16 mo, which may be obtained at the book stores, or by addressing the author, at Joliet; Ill.
Source: History of Will County, Illinois; Chicago: Wm LeBaron Jr & Co, 186 Dearborn Street, 1878.