Jonathan A. Allen was born November 17, 1787 in Holliston, Massachusetts, the son of Amos and Abigail Allen. Amos and Abigail Allen moved their family to Newfane, Vermont in 1788, where Jonathan worked on his father's farm until age 21. In November 1808, he took a position as a schoolteacher in Townshend, Vermont. Between 1810 and 1812, Jonathan Allen studied medicine under Dr. Paul Wheeler of Wardsboro, Vermont. In the fall of 1812, he began attending lectures at Dartmouth, studying medicine under Dr. Nathan Smith. He graduated with a medical degree from Dartmouth August 24, 1814. Dr. Allen married Betsey Cheney of Jamaica, Vermont on January 1, 1815 and practiced medicine with his mentor, Dr. Wheeler, in Wardsboro from 1814 to 1816. In 1816, he and Betsey moved to Brattleboro, Vermont to set up practice, and conduct summer school lectures for medical students. During his time in Brattleboro, Dr. Allen was invited to teach chemistry at Middlebury College during the 1820 term. He continued teaching at Middlebury as the unofficial chemistry professor from 1820 to 1826. In 1822, Dr. Allen was appointed Professor of Materia Medica and Pharmacy at the Vermont Academy of Medicine, holding this office until 1829. He also became a member of the Castleton Medical College during this time. The family moved to Middlebury, Vermont in 1822.
During the entirety of his career, Dr. Allen collected herbs and minerals, writing essays and delivering lectures on their properties and uses. Dr. Allen was also heavily involved with the temperance movement, the Vermont Peace Society and was the secretary for the Executive Committee of the Vermont Anti-Slavery Society. He died, after being thrown from a horse, on February 2, 1848, age 60.
Charles L. Allen, the son of Dr. Jonathan A and Betsey Cheney Allen, was born on June 21, 1820 in Brattleboro, Vermont. After a brief time in Herkimer, N.Y., Charles Allen and his siblings spent most of their childhood with their mother's family in Jamaica, Vermont, while their father, Dr. Jonathan Allen was practicing medicine in Middlebury. Charles Allen graduated from Middlebury College in 1842. Following graduation, he traveled to North Carolina, where he spent two years teaching school in Williamsboro, N.C. In 1844, he returned to Vermont and entered Castleton Medical College where he graduated with a M.D. in 1846. Following his father's death in 1848, Charles Allen inherited his father's practice and patients, remaining in Middlebury as a physician until 1862.
In spring 1862, Dr. Allen lectured at the medical department of the University of Vermont, while at the same time serving as one of three doctors on the State Board of Medical Examiners. In June, 1862 Lincoln appointed him surgeon of the volunteers of the U.S. Army with the rank of major and he was assigned to duty as one of three surgeons on the Board for Examining Candidates for Surgeons and Assistant Surgeons of Volunteer of the United States Army, at Washington D.C. He remained on this board until January 1864. Serving in Washington from 1862 to 1864, Dr. Allen attended sick and wounded officers in various hotels and boarding houses around the city. On January 15, 1864, Dr. Allen was ordered to the Department of the South, headquartered at Beaufort, S.C. There he took charge of General Hospital, No. 2, serving at the Department's second ranking medical surgeon. In April 1864, he was appointed Purveyor of the Department of the South and sent to Hilton Head, S.C., where he remained until his resignation in September 1864.
Upon his return to Vermont, Dr. Allen set up his practice in Rutland Vermont and was appointed Examining Surgeon of Pensions in November 1864. In the spring of 1865, UVM requested he chair the Civil and Military Hygiene lectures for their medical department. From 1865 to his death in 1890, Dr. Allen conducted a robust medical practice in Rutland, amid various appointments, such as Consulting Physician of the Mary Fletcher Hospital (Burlington, 1873), Secretary of the Vermont State Board of Health (1886-1890) and President of the U.S. Board of Pension Surgeons (1880). Dr. Charles Allen died, age 70, on July 2, 1890 of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Edwin L. Allen, the oldest son of Dr. Charles and Gertrude Lyon Allen, was born in Rutland, Vermont on March 5, 1867. He attended public schools in Rutland and entered Middlebury College in 1884. He was expelled in 1887, and returned to Rutland to read law in the offices of Peleg, Redfield Kendall and the Honorable John Prout. On August 14, 1889, Edwin married Anne Elizabeth Hopkins in Blackinton, Massachusetts. The couple lived with his father, Dr. Charles Allen, in Rutland until his father's death in July 1890. After administering his father's estate, Edwin Lyon took a job with the Virginia Mining Company and moved his family to Pulaski, Virginia. In 1891, he resigned from the Virginia Mining Company and moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, taking a position as a stenographer with the law offices of Lyon, McKee and Sanderson. In 1895, Edwin was appointed Court Stenographer of Common Pleas Court, No. 2 in Pittsburgh. Edwin Lyon Allen died on May 1, 1927 in Rochester, Pennsylvania.
The collection also contains genealogical information relating to Charles Linnaeus Allen and his descendants.