J. W. ALLISON, farmer, post-office Mercer, was born November 29, 1840, in Hickory Township, to James and Elizabeth J. (Gettis) Allison, natives, the father of Westmoreland County, and of Scotch extraction, and the mother of Ireland, an immigrant to America at the age of six years with her father, Archibald Gettis. They settled in Pittsburgh, where he merchandised for a number of years. He died in 1840 and his widow died in 1854. James H. Allison was engaged in cabinet-making in Pittsburgh when he was married in 1832, and the following year he came to Hickory Township, where he remained for many years. In 1835 he and a Mr. Lightner began a search for coal on their respective farms. The first shaft was sunk on Mr. Lightner’ s farm, with no success, and the next was on Mr. Allison’s farm, which was with good result. His son claims that these were the first coal shafts sunk in Mercer County. Mr. Allison subsequently sold his farm, and died at his home in Illinois in 1863. His widow died August 7, 1885, at the home of J.W. Allison. They had eighteen children, nine of whom grew up: James C., enlisted in the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers; Thomas C.; J. W, Mary J., married S. J. Wier; Henry J., a merchant at Pittsburgh; Margaret, married John Nelson; Fannie, married F. Bastress; Emma, married Abner Rice, and Joseph. Our subject attended the common schools and Allegheny College, at Meadville, and taught eight terms of school, two of which were in Shelby County, lnd. He enlisted in Company I, Eighth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Three months afterward he enlisted in Rabb’s Light Artillery, but was rejected owing to a wound received in service with Company I. He was married in 1861 to Elizabeth Wilson, and has by her James, Homer, Robert, Edith, Jennie, Mary and Benjamin. Mr. and Mrs. Allison are members of the Second United Presbyterian Church of Mercer, and he is a Republican. He and his boys are extensively engaged in the dairy business, running a milk wagon to Mercer. They are all farmers, and give especial attention to raising small fruits.

Source: (History of Mercer County, 1888, page 974)
Additional Info: John W. Allison died 28 July 1916 and is buried in Mercer Citizens Cemetery.

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