Dr. Joseph Lee Allen, prominent and well-known physician and surgeon of Greenfield, this county, is a native son of Hancock county, having been born on a farm in Brandywine township, this county, October 25, 1874, son of John and Eliza (Dunwoody) Allen, the former of whom also was born in this county and the latter in Ohio.
John Allen was born in Brandywine township, this county, October 6, 1848, son of Jesse and Jan (Snodgrass) Allen, the former of whom was a native of North Carolina, of English parentage, who came to Indiana and settled in Hancock county, taking a claim in Sugar Creek township, which he developed, and later moved to Brandywine township, where he established his permanent home, and it was there that John Allen was born and there he grew to manhood. Jesse Allen and wife reared a family of twelve children, six sons and six daughters, all living to be married. For some years after his marriage, John Allen farmed in Brandywine township and then moved to Greenfield, where for two years he conducted a hotel. He then moved to Shelby county and again to Brandywine township, this county. He later moved to Henry county, this state, where he bought an operated a farm. He later conducted a small store in the village of Ogden, where he died at the age of sixty-five years. He was a Democrat and a member of the Primitive Baptist church. His widow, who still survives him, was born in Butler county, Ohio, not far from the city of Hamilton, one of a family of seven daughters born to her parents, Joseph and Hannah (Keene) Dunwoody, and all of whom lived to advanced ages. She is a member of an old New England family, of Scotch descent, the Dunwoodys of her line in this country dating back to early colonial days. To John Allen and wife were born six children, of whom the subject of this sketch is the eldest, the others being as follow: Jesse P., Harry B., John Ralph, Grace Ethel, whom married Walter E. Perkins, of Newcastle, this state, and Nellie Alice, who died in infancy. Doctor Allen's brothers are all married and are well-to-do farmers living near Knightstown, this state.
Joseph Lee Allen was reared on the paternal farm in Brandywine township and received his elementary education in the district school in the neighborhood of his home, which he supplemented by a course in the normal school at Acton and a year in the Carthage high school, after which he taught for a couple of years in the district schools of Rush county. He then attended the normal school at Rushville and took a year of the academic course in the Spiceland Academy, after which he was engaged for four years as a teacher in the graded schools at Perkinsville, in Madison county, this state, occupying his vacations by attending the Indiana State Normal at Terre Haute. In the meantime he had decided upon a medical career and had done much preliminary reading in preparation for such a career, reading for a time with Dr. O. E. Holloway, of Knightstown. Thus equipped he entered the Indiana Medical College and after a four-years course in that excellent institution was graduated with the class of 1904, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Thus admirably equipped for the practice of his noble profession, Doctor Allen opened an office at Charlottesville, this county, and was thus engaged in that pleasant village until 1911, in which year he took a post-graduate course in the Post-Graduate Medical College at New York and in March of that same year moved to Greenfield, where he opened an office and where he ever since has been engaged in the practice f his profession, long having been regarded as one of the leading practitioners in the county. For four years Doctor Allen served as coroner of Hancock county and is at present county health commissioner, secretary of the Greenfield city board of health, secretary of the Hancock county pension examining board, president of the Hancock County Anti-Tuberculosis Society and secretary of the Hancock County Medical Society, to the duties of all of which several important engagements he gives his most thoughtful and intelligent attention. For some years past Doctor Allen has found a very agreeable diversion in the raising of high-grade Single Comb White Orpington chickens and has become known far and wide over the state as a fancier of fine discrimination. He is the president of the Hancock County Poultry Association and his string of more than fifty prizes taken at chicken shows indicates the care which he has bestowed upon the cultivation of this very interesting and remunerative and useful "hobby."
On August 2, 1903, Dr. Joseph L. Allen was united in marriage to Lillie Alexander, who was born in Madison county, this state, youngest of the five children born to Lewis and Elizabeth (St. Clair) Alexander, prominent residents of that county, and to this union three children have been born, Phoebe Clair, born in 1904; Paul Alexander, 1906, and Charles William, 1912. Mrs. Allen is a woman of wide culture having received her schooling at Oxford (Ohio) College, the Indiana State Normal and Miss Blaker's Training School for primary teachers at Indianapolis, and is an admirable helpmeet for the doctor in his professional career. Doctor and Mrs. Allen are active members of the Bradley Methodist Episcopal church at Greenfield, of which the doctor is one of the trustees. They take a proper part in the social and cultural life of the community and are held in high esteem by their many friends hereabout. Dr. Allen is a member of the local lodge of the Odd Fellows, of which he is a past noble grand; a member of the Masonic order, of the Modern Woodmen and of the Loyal Order of Moose, in the affairs of all of which popular organizations he takes a warm interest.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Page 953-955.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI October 15, 2001.
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