Oscar O. Allison

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie Crook
September 19, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 244-245
Hancock County

OSCAR O. ALLISON. The really valuable men of any com-
munity are not necessarily those whom fate has placed
in commanding political positions where they compel ap-
plause from their associates and the admiration and support
of their constituents, but rather the men who rise steadily
through sheer merit to governing places among commercial
and financial enterprises where their abilities are directed
toward the control or finances and the creation of better
conditions for the working majority. Such men are not to
he found everywhere. The requirements of the positions
they fill and the weight of the responsibilities they volun-
tarily assume are of such a nature as to bar out all but the
chosen minority who have proven themselves. When such
an individual has shown his worth, his value to the com-
munity cannot be overestimated. Judged by these standards
one of the valuable men of Chester is Oscar O. Allison,
cashier of the First National Bank of Chester and secre-
tary-treasurer of the Hancock County Building and Loan

Mr. Allison was born at Chester, March 31, 1872, a son of
Samuel and Eliza (Finley) Allison, natives of the same
community. Samuel Allison was born in 1837 and died
May 5, 1907, in his seventy-first year, while Mrs. Allison
was born December 3, 1840, and died March 17, 1910, on
the anniversary of her wedding day. She and her husband
had enjoyed fifty years of happy wedded life. Samuel Alli-
son was a son of Charles Allison, whose father, Jonathan
Allison, died in his ninety-sixth year, the latter’s father,
Datty Allison, being buried on his 100th birthday. Charles
Allison was eighty-six years of age at the time of his demise,
so it will be seen that this is a family somewhat noted for
its longevity. Samuel Allison lived at the old home two
miles south of Chester, at the head of Cunningham’s Run
or Creek. He followed farming for a long period and won
success through industry and good management, so that
he was able to retire in the evening of life, and tor
some years lived comfortably in his pleasant home at
Chester. He was a man of popularity and influence in his
community, and on two occasions was the democratic can-
didate for the office of sheriff, and on one occasion met
defeat by but seven votes, although in a strong republican
county. He and his wife were the parents of the follow-
ing children: Charles F.; Sarah Jane, the widow of John
L. Bernard, of Chester; Ida Mary, the wife of A. J. Glass,
a retired farmer of Chester; Oscar O.; and Olive E., who
was active in the First Presbyterian Church at East
Liverpool, Ohio, and died in young womanhood.

Charles F. Allison, brother of Oscar O. Allison, was bora
on the old home farm in Hancock County, and died in
March, 1921. He remained on the home farm until 1900,
at which time he was elected sheriff of Hancock County, the
only member of his party to be accorded that honor in
forty years. During President Wilson’s administration he
served in the capacity of deputy United States marshal-
Prior to 1900 he had made a special appraisement of real
estate in Hancock County. During the last years of his life
he was connected with the jewelry business. Mr. Allison
was one of the incorporators and a member of the board
of directors of the First National Bank of Chester. He
was an elder of the Presbyterian Church at New Cumber-
land. His widow, who bore the maiden name of Sally
Cameron, survives him as a resident of Chester.

Oscar O. Allison received his education in the country,
attending the Washington Schoolhouse, which was situated
on a corner of the home farm. On first coming to Chester
he became interested in a general store business, with which
he was identified for five years, the firm finally becoming
Allison & Hobbs. Mr. Allison disposed of his interests in
this enterprise to become one of the five incorporators of the
First National Bank of Chester, of which be was the first
cashier, a position which he still retains. A history of this
institution will be found on another page of this work, as
will also a review of the Hancock County Building and Loan
Company, of which Mr. Allison is secretary-treasurer. He
is a director in the Bucher-Smith Company, one of Chester’s
important industries, and in former years was a member of
the board publishing the Tribune of East Liverpool, Ohio.
He is a charter member of the Chamber of Commerce of
East Liverpool and a director of the Kiwanis Club of that
city. An adherent of progress and advancement, he has
been a helpful and constructive supporter of all worthy
civic, educational and religious movements.

As a young man Mr. Allison joined the Presbyterian
Church at Fairview (now Pughtown), and was a trustee
thereof until coming to Chester, where he became one of
the organizers of the church at Chester, of which he has
been an elder since its inception. He has also served as
clerk of the session and as delegate to the Presbytery. He
has likewise been prominent in political matters, and as a
stanch and uncompromising democrat has been a delegate
to several congressional conventions and was formerly a
member of the Democratic Executive Committee.

Mr. Allison has an unique distinction as a fraternalist,
having been the first member initiated in any fraternal order
at Chester, where, October 4, 1890, he was accepted into
the Junior Order United American Mechanics. He presided
over this lodge during the first year, and for twenty years
has filled one or another of its offices, in addition to having
passed all the state chairs. He was made an Odd Fellow
aa a charter member of New Cumberland Lodge, and was
the first noble grand of Pride of Chester Lodge No. 245,
being twice delegate to the Grand Lodge. He became a
charter member of Chester Lodge No. 142, A. F. and A. M.,
of which he was made treasurer at the time of organization,
an office which he still retains. In October, 1921, he was
crowned inspector general of the thirty-third degree in the
House of the Temple at Washington, D. C., and is the only
thirty-third degree Mason in West Virginia north of Wheel-
ing, there not being one even at East Liverpool. His mem-
bership is as a thirty-second -degree Mason in the Con-
sistory at Wheeling. Since 1910 he has been a Knight
Templar in the Commandery at Wheeling, belongs to Osiris
Temple of the Mystic Shrine, and on two occasions has been
a representative to the Imperial Council, in 1918 at Atlantic
City, and in 1920 at Portland, Oregon, and attended both.
Mr. Allison is a member of the board of directors of the
Scottish Rite Educational Association of West Virginia,
president of the Scottish Rite Club of Chester, treasurer
of the Shrine Club of Chester, a member of the Masonic
clubs of Wheeling and East Liverpool and a member of
the board of directors of the Masonic Temple Company of
Chester, and he and Mrs. Allison are charter members of
Chester Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star. Mr. Allison is
greatly interested in tennis, baseball and all forms of whole-
some athletics and recreations.

Mr. Allison married Miss Anna Baxter, a daughter of
Absalom Baxter, a farmer of this locality. She was edu-
cated in the normal school at West Liberty, and prior
to her marriage was a successful and popular teacher in the
public schools. To this union there have been born two
daughters and two sons: Eunice M., a graduate of Wilson
College, Chambersburg, and principal of Newell High School,
who la active in the work of the Presbyterian Church; Helen
R., a graduate of the Pennsylvania College for Women at
Pittsburgh, class of 1922; and Ralph B. and Howard R..,
both deceased.