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William Allan, Lieut.Colonel 20th Rifles, was born in the Parish of Halkirk, Caithness, Scotland, September 25, 1815, his parents being James Allan, contractor and builder, and Diana nee Waters, both of Caithness. His mother was a daughter of George Waters, of Broadwell Castle.
Young Allan received a parish school education; at nineteen years of age entered Her Majesty’s service in the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders; served eight years as sergeant in that regiment, most of the time in Canada, coming over at the time of the rebellion of 1837-38, and participating in the engagements at St. Denis, St. Eustace, the Windmill, etc. He was subsequently transferred to a Colonial corps, as Ensign Adjutant, and has continued in the service, and has been breveted Lieut.Colonel of the 20th Rifles.
He was for some time a merchant at Cheltenham, Township of Chinguacousy, and while there was Reeve of the Township; and when the Grand Trunk Railway was building from Toronto to Guelph, he represented the stock of that township as Director of the Board.
In 1859 Col. Allan removed to Acton, County of Halton, continuing the mercantile business until 1861, when he retired, and gave his time exclusively to military matters, it being at the time of the Trent affair, when Mason and Slidell were seized by Capt. Wilkes, of the United States Navy. During that period of excitement Col. Allan was very busy in raising troops, and was on the front during the Fenian raid. He still holds his commission of Lieut. Colonel in the active service.
He has held for a long time the offices of Magistrate and Commissioner in the Court of Queen’s Bench, and is an efficient man in the discharge of duty, whether in a civil or military capacity. He is greatly esteemed by his fellow citizens.
In 1843 the Colonel married, at Toronto, Catharine, daughter of John Campbell, a native of the Island of Isley, Scotland; and they have lost one son, and have two daughters and one son living. Diana is the wife of Charles Sidney Smith, stock raiser, at Acton; John C, is married and a druggist in Buffalo, N. Y., and Ellen F. is at home.