James T. Allen was born in Botetourt, Botetourt county, Virginia, July 16, 1833. He lived with his parents until he was sixteen years old, then attended the Presbyterian High School for one year, and was a student one year at Princeton College, New Jersey. In 1851 he began reading medicine under Dr. Matthew Wallace, of Pocahontas County, Virginia, and continued under his preceptorship until 1853. During the winter of 1854 and 1855 he attended medical lectures at the Virginia Medical College, at Richmond. He came to Missouri in the spring of 1855 and settled at Auberry Grove, now Jamesport, and the following winter attended the McDowell Medical College, of St. Louis, graduating in the spring of 1856, when he returned to Auberry Grove and began the practice of medicine. In the spring of 1857 he, in conjunction with James Gillilan, laid out Jamesport, they giving the town that name after themselves, each bearing the name, James. In 1861 he enlisted in the Confederate army as a private in General Slack’s brigade, and served four years in the medical department on detail. After the war he returned home and soon after settled on a farm near Jamesport and pursued farming in connection with his practice until 1871, when he established himself in the drug business at Jamesport, still continuing the practice of medicine. He retired from the drug business in the fall of 1874, and removed to Gallatin and established his present practice.
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Dr. Allen was united in the marriage bonds to Miss Harriet A. Wynn; of Daviess county, November 10, 1858. By this union they have five children, namely: Capitola, Sydney, Olivia, Wynn, and Harry. He was made a Master Mason in Gallatin in 1856, and is the founder of Jamesport Lodge No. 201; was the first master, and held the position for four years.