Arthur G. Allison

File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by
Valerie Crook
September 13, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 232-233
Hancock County

ARTHUR G. ALLISON. To succeed as a member of the
Hancock County bar requires more than ordinary ability
which has been carefully trained along the lines of the
legal profession, as well as an appreciable fund of general
information and keen judgment with regard to men and
their motives. In a pushing, growing city such as Chester
there is so much competition, events crowd each other in
such a way and circumstances play such an important
part in the shaping of events that the lawyer must neces-
sarily be a man capable of grasping affairs with a ready
and competent hand to effect satisfactory results. Among
those who have won recognition in the profession of
law at Chester is Arthur G. Allison, who is also serving
his thirteenth year as a justice of the peace.

Mr. Allison was born on a farm near Chester, Hancock
County, West Virginia, March 7, 1881, a son of Joseph
B. and Mary E. (Riley) Allison. There were two or
three original families of Allisons, as there were of Wells,
who settled in this part of the Ohio Valley. Joseph B.
Allison was born on the same farm as his son, November
21, 1859, and died April 22, 1915. He was a son of
Enoch Allison, the latter being a son of Burgess Allison,
who settled on a farm one mile from Washington School-
house in Grant District in 1801. He drove the first wagon,
of the “prairie schooner” style, into Hancock County, from
Cumberland, Maryland, and continued to haul freight and
passengers one way and freight the other for a number of
years. Freighting over the mountains was for many years
a profitable business. In coming from Maryland Burgess
Allison followed what later became the National Road,
which extended as far as Vandalia, Illinois, its destination
being St. Louis. More people went over that road to
Western Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Iowa than
over all the other routes. Mr. Allison later secured a farm,
in conjunction with which he operated a blacksmith shop,
and, becoming prosperous, loaned money to his less for-
tunate neighbors and became something of a financier in
his locality. He lived to be ninety-three years of age,
his death then being caused by an accident.

Enoch Allison was born in Hancock County and here
spent his life as an agriculturist, his home being on the
north branch of Tomlinson’s Run. He was a man of
ability and accumulated more than 2,200 acres of land,
and was well esteemed in his community as possessed of
qualities of integrity and probity. He died in 1888, at
the age of sixty-three years. He and his wife, who bore
the maiden name of Mary Ann Barclay, were the parents
of six sons and one daughter: Bergess N., for more than
fifty years a carpenter in the employ of the Pennsylvania
Railroad, who died in September, 1921, at Wellsville,
Ohio; Waitman C., who is living in retirement at Chester;
Joseph B.; Ellsworth E., a Hancock County farmer, who
died February 11, 1909; Sherman C., who is still fol-
lowing farming on his Hancock County property near
Pughtown; Mary E., the wife of Leander Conant, of
East Liverpool, Ohio; and Walter C., engaged in milling
at Chester.

Joseph B. Allison passed practically all his life on his
700-acre farm in Grant District, where he applied himself
to farming and dairying. He was well thought of in his
community as to ability and personal qualities, but never
cared for public office, being content with his farm and
his home. He married Mary E. Riley, who was born in
what is now Chester, June 25, 1863, a daughter of Enoch
and Sarah (Daniels) Riley. Enoch Riley was born in
Staffordshire, England, and on coming to the United States
was first engaged in farming. Later he conducted a hotel
at East Liverpool and was also the part owner of a pot-
tery, and his thirty-five-acre farm is now included within
the city limits of Chester, where he died in August, 1890.
Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Allison: Arthur
G.; and Sarah A., the wife of Harry E. Hall, a dairyman
and fruit grower on the old farm.

Arthur G. Allison spent his boyhood on the home farm
and attended first the public schools in the country and
later the high school at East Liverpool, from which he was
graduated as a member of the class of 1901. He then en-
tered the law department of the West Virginia University,
where he received his degree in 1904, and since that time
has been engaged in a general practice at Chester. At
various times he has been called to public office, having
been city attorney, secretary of the Board of Education
and city tax collector, is a notary public, and for thir-
teen years has been a justice of the peace, now being in
his third term in that office. A republican in politics,
Mr. Allison has done some active and effective work in
his party and is accounted one of its influential members.
He is secretary of the local republican club and a mem-
ber of the county committee, and has been a delegate to
state conventions. Fraternally Mr. Allison is a charter
member of the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias. He
is unmarried.