One of the best known surgeons in northeastern Oklahoma is Dr. Robert I. Allen, who was born at Coodys Bluff on the 9th of September, 1877, a son of Dr. R. M. and Mary (Journeycake) Allen. His father was a native of Illinois, in which state he resided until after the close of the Civil war. Upon the outbreak of that war he enlisted in the Federal army and became a member of the medical staff. He was a stretcher bearer at the battles of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. Dr. R. M. Allen received his medical training at Rush Medical College of Chicago and was a graduate of that institution. He came to Nowata in 1868 and was the first practicing physician here. He was successfully identified with the profession until 1904, when his demise occurred in Nowata. In September, 1868, occurred the marriage of Dr. R. M. Allen to Mary Journeycake, whose uncle, Charlie Journeycake, was the noted chief of the Delaware. Mrs. Allen died January 16, 1922, and was buried beside her husband in Nowata county.
In the acquirement of an education Robert I. Allen attended the Cherokee schools and later entered Bacone Indian University and Willie Halsell College at Vinita. Determining upon a medical career, he subsequently enrolled as a student in the Baines Medical College at St. Louis, Missouri, and graduating in 1899, began practice at Centralia, Craig county, this state. Later he removed to Dewey and in 1915 went to Nowata, where he resided until July, 1922, when he removed to Bristow, Oklahoma. He has built up an extensive and lucrative practice and is considered one of the finest surgeons in this part of the state. In addition to his private practice Dr. Allen is chief of the surgical staff of the Nowata Hospital and he discharges his duties in that connection with a high sense of conscientious obligation and with strict regard to the ethics of the profession. Dr. Allen, together with Dr. D. M. Lawson, was one of the influential factors in effecting the establishment of that institution, which is now located in the Galer building. The hospital has a competent staff of doctors and nurses and has the most modern equipment.
Dr. Allen has been married twice. In 1900 he was married to Miss Maude C. Webb, a daughter of Charles and Columbia Webb, natives of Virginia. Mrs. Webb is living in Kansas, while her husband is deceased. Mrs. Allen died in 1913 and some years later the doctor was again married, Maude Elizabeth Oschman becoming his wife. She is the daughter of Fred and Margaret Isabell Oschman and for some years was an instructor in the high school at Nowata. To the second union three children have been born Margaret Isabell, Roberta Louise and R. I., Jr.
Since attaining his majority Dr. Allen has given his political allegiance to the republican party, having firm belief in the principles of that party as factors in good government. He has never sought nor desired public office, however, and declined an appointment as delegate to the national convention from the fifty-ninth district. Fraternally he is a Mason and is conceded to be an exemplary member of the craft. Upon the entrance of the United States into the World war Dr. Allen put all personal interests aside and in the spring of 1918 enlisted in the army. He was stationed at Camp Greenleaf, Georgia, for some time, was transferred from there to Belleview Hospital in New York and was subsequently sent to Camp Upton on Long Island. He received his honorable discharge in January, 1919. Dr. Allen was promoted to a lieutenancy soon after his enlistment. He is a constant student of the profession and keeps in touch with the progressive work that is being done by the most eminent members of the profession, through reading the best medical literature and through membership in various medical organizations. Dr. Allen is one of the alert and enterprising citizens of Nowata, and while heavy demands have been made upon his time and attention in the practice of his profession, he has yet found opportunity for cooperation in many public movements whereby the welfare of the community has been promoted.