IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

William M. Allyn

William M. Allyn is a sterling representative of an honored pioneer family given to Clayton county by historic old New England, and holds prestige as one of the vigorous and upright citizens who aided in laying broad and deep the foundations for the fine superstructure of civic and industrial prosperity now in evidence in this attractive division of the Hawkeye State. He whose name initiates this paragraph has been a resident of Clayton county for more than sixty years and is now one of its venerable and highly esteemed citizens, the while he has not only been a prominent figure in connection with the development of the agricultural resources of the county, but his also is the distinction of having been one of the gallant patriots who represented Iowa as a soldier of the Union in the great civil conflict through which the nation's integrity was perpetuated. Though he has relegated to others the more arduous and I exacting labors and responsibilities that were long his portion as , one of the world's productive workers, he still resides on his fine homestead farm of 280 acres in section 2, Garnavillo township, and his residence is within easy access of the village of St. Olaf, from which he receives service on rural mail route No.2. William M. Allyn was born in New London county, Connecticut, on the 28th of December, 1828, and in that staunch commonwealth of New England his parents, Abel and Polly Allyn, passed their entire lives, both having been representatives of fine old colonial stock.
Of the eight children Mr. Allyn is the younger of the two now living, and his sister, Margaret, is the widow of James Billings, and now a resident of New London county, Connecticut. Mr. Allyn was reared and educated in his native state, where he gained his early experience with the work of the home farm and where he continued his residence until he had attained more than his legal majority.
In April, 1859, when 32 years of age, he came to Clayton county, Iowa, where he secured a Mexican soldier's claim in Garnavillo township, and on this original place he has continued to live and labor during the long intervening years, which have been marked by his faithful stewardship and by his successful achievement in connection with the basic industries of agriculture and stockgrowing. His financial resources when he came to Iowa were merely nominal, and through his own well ordered endeavors he has gained large and worthy success, as indicated by his ownership at the present time of a valuable and specially well improved landed estate of two hundred and eighty acres. It is a far cry to revert to the primitive log cabin which he erected for his original abiding place to the fine modern residence which he now occupies, and all other permanent improvements which he has made on his farm are of the best type. When the dark cloud of civil war cast its pall over the national horizon, Mr. Allyn was one of the loyal and patriotic citizens of Clayton county who subordinated. all other interests to go forth in defense of the Union, and his service during the great fratricidal conflict was such as to reflect perpetual honor upon his name and memory. In the spring of 1862 he enlisted as a private in Company E, Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, with which he proceeded to the front and in which he rose to the office of sergeant. His regiment was assigned to the army of Tennessee and within his service of nearly three years he took part in numerous engagements, including a number of the sanguinary battles marking the progress of the war. In an engagement at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, he received a severe wound in his left foot, and after having been confined to.a hospital for several weeks he was mustered out and received his honorable discharge. He then returned to his farm and during the long years that have since elapsed he has here continued as one of the staunch and influential representatives of the agricultural and live-stock interests of Clayton county, with inviolable place in popular confidence and good will. He is a stalwart in the local camp of the Republican party and has shown a loyal interest in all things pertaining to the communal welfare, but he has had no desire for public office, his only service having been that of school director, of which office he was the incumbent for several years. Soon after his service as a soldier in the Civil war had been terminated Mr. Allyn wisely girded himself the better for the active duties and responsibilities of life by taking unto himself a wife. He wedded Miss Juliette Eddy, who was born in the State of Vermont, as.. were also her parents, Joseph and Celeste Eddy, with whom she came to Iowa in the pioneer days, her parents passing the remainder of their lives in this state. Mr. and Mrs. Allyn shared with mutual solicitude and loyalty the joys and sorrows of life, and their ideal companionship found its greatest glory in the gracious evening of their lives, the silver cord of their devotion being severed in 1901, when Mrs. Allyn was summoned to eternal rest, her memory being revered by all who came within the sphere of her gentle influence and her mortal remains resting in the cemetery at Kandallville, Winneshiek county, not far distant from her old home. She is survived by two children, William, who has practical charge of the old homestead farm, and Juliette, who remains with her father and presides over the attractive home; she is popular in the social life of the community and was graduated in the high school at McGregor.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; pg. 21-23
-submitted by S. Ferrall


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